devsecops automation and safety critical software
May 21, 2020

How to Use DevSecOps Automation for Safety-Critical Software Development

Static Analysis
DevOps

DevSecOps automation is key for safety-critical software development. Here we explain what is DevSecOps automation and why it is important for safety-critical software.

What Is DevSecOps Automation?

DevSecOps automation means leveraging automation for development, security, and operations.

DevSecOps is a popular software development practice for automation, shortening feedback times, and ensuring secure software development. 

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Challenges in Safety-Critical Software Development

There are — of course — specific challenges in safety-critical software development.

Many of these are defined by industry-specific functional-safety standards. Each of these has a set of core requirements that helps enable you to produce safe software.

Functional-safety standards require you to:

  • Know exactly what it is that has been delivered.
  • Know how the final deliverables were produced.
  • Produce documentation to reflect what has been delivered and how it has been put together.
  • Be able to reproduce the deliverables and all related verification and validation work products.

You need a controlled, reliable, repeatable, and — ideally — automated set of delivery processes to demonstrate compliance.

DevSecOps automation champions the same basic principles. And it can solve these challenges in safety-critical software development.

DevSecOps Automation and CI/CD

Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) are important to DevSecOps automation. 

CI typically improves the quality of the codebase by breaking up the tasks into small chunks and performing code integrations frequently. Each integration kicks off an automated build and test process to expose any defects and report status as quickly as possible.

4 Benefits of Continuous Integration For Safety-Critical Software

Here are the top benefits of CI for developing safety-critical software.

Identifies Problems Sooner

This makes it easier for the developers to fix them. It increases the likelihood that the issue will be fixed correctly. This results in a build that’s error-free and operational.

Encourages Small, Modular Changes to the Code

This helps to ensure that new functionality can be backed out of a release more quickly, or even prevented from entering the main code stream altogether. This minimizes the impact of an issue on other developers.

Detects Issues ASAP

CI enables developers, through automation, to detect as many issues as possible in each integration build. This increases the breadth, depth, and repeatability of the tests. It also reduces the need for manual testing.

Automated Repeatable Tasks

It provides automation of the repeated tasks, which allows developers to focus on features.

Benefits of DevSecOps Automation

The most significant benefits of DevOps automation as a whole are:

  • Decreased development and operations costs.
  • Shorter development cycles.
  • Increased release velocity.
  • Improved defect detection.
  • Reduced deployment failures and rollbacks.
  • Reduced time to recover upon failure.

Benefits of DevSecOps Automation For Safety-Critical Software

Safety-critical software benefits from DevSecOps automation in:

  • Repeatability is the notion that tests may be rerun at any time. Provided that the behavior of the software (or the tests) have not changed, the results of two individual executions should be identical.
  • Independence is the concept of ensuring that each test case within a suite of test cases is not influenced by the prior test cases. This ensures that the results could only be created by a specific test case and not influenced by the tests run previously.

DevSecOps Automation Tools

DevSecOps automation helps to ensure that your code development process is free from coding errors and bugs. An essential part of that process is using a SAST tool — like Klocwork — to detect these vulnerabilities.

By regularly using a SAST tool provides you with the following benefits:

  • Automated vulnerability detection
  • Vulnerability elimination
  • Development velocity
  • Ease of integration

And, SAST tools are able to examine the code quickly, which reduces the amount of disruption to the software development cycle.

Choose Klocwork for Safety-Critical Software Development

Klocwork helps you achieve DevSecOps automation for safety-critical software development. It enforces functional safety standards and delivers the benefits of automation. 

In addition, Klocwork:

  • Detects code vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and rule violations earlier in development. This helps to accelerate code reviews as well as the manual testing efforts of developers.
  • Enforces industry and coding standards, including CWE, CERT, and OWASP.
  • Reports on compliance over time and across product versions.

See for yourself why Klocwork is the best static analyzer for DevSecOps automation. Sign up for our next live demo to learn more.

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