DevSecOps Checklist for Reliable, Automated Software Security
The purpose of a DevSecOps checklist is not to list every single action and practice you should take to ensure that DevSecOps pipeline is effective. Rather, the purpose is to help you establish the right sort of DevSecOps mindset.
DevSecOps is more than a collection of best practices, it’s a shared mindset that security is the responsibility of everyone on your team. The goal of this shared mindset — to put it simply — is to safely and efficiently implement security decisions throughout the development process without having to comprise safety.
To help ensure that your DevSecOps pipeline is efficient and effective, review this DevSecOps checklist that covers four key areas to help improve your DevSecOps mindset.
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Help your team develop an awareness of potential software vulnerabilities as well as processes to effectively manage, prioritize, and remediate problems early before they can become difficult to fix later on in the development process.
This awareness helps to ensure that you are able to identify and fix vulnerabilities early on, and learn how to avoid these situations in the future.
A few best practices to help ensure this include:
- Follow secure software development best practices.
- Use software security tools, like static application security testing (SAST) to find and fix vulnerabilities early.
- Apply vulnerability findings to your secure coding training to broaden your team’s security knowledge.
- Follow code review best practices and provide constructive feedback quickly to address vulnerabilities and weaknesses early.
- Keep thorough documentation of:
- DevSecOps processes.
- Results of risk assessment(s).
- Steps taken to address identified software vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
It is important that you make sure that security is included in each part of your development process. Several beneficial practices to help ensure that it is includes:
- Conduct a thorough risk assessment.
- Automate security scans within CI/CD pipelines.
- Comply with secure coding standards — such as CERT, CWE, and OWASP.
- Ensure that all APIs are secure.
By having your team focus on security requirements throughout development, they can more easily introduce proper practices, processes, tools, and automation. This helps to ensure that your team is able to produce secure, compliant code while minimally disrupting development velocity.
Ensuring that your software is safeguarded against security vulnerabilities is essential for effective DevSecOps. One effective way to do this is to use an automated static application security testing (SAST) tool — like Klocwork — to identify coding errors, bugs, and security vulnerabilities during all stages of development – as the code is being written, during check-in, and when nightly builds are run.
In addition, you may want to consider using other application security tools (AST) — such as a dynamic application security testing (DAST) tool — alongside to help augment further testing needs.
📕 Related Content: Learn more about the differences between SAST vs. DAST.
Monitoring is an essential part of the DevSecOps mindset as it provides your team with a comprehensive awareness of how your pipeline is performing. To effectively develop this awareness, your team must log all identified weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and gaps as well as where and how these occurred. In addition, you must keep a clear record of how these issues were handled. These materials can then be shared with your team to expand their security knowledge and skillset.
Some best practices to help you improve this area of a DevSecOps mindset, include:
- Scan and secure open source and third-party components.
- Scan your codebase and systems for unusual behavior.
- Review your pipeline to identify issues and make optimizations.
- Gather and record security and compliance metrics.
By following these best practices, you and your team will have a better understanding of how well your DevSecOps pipeline is performing.
How SAST Checks Off Your DevSecOps Checklist
A SAST tool — like Klocwork — is essential to the overall health and efficiency of your DevSecOps pipeline as it helps resolve to-do items on your DevSecOps checklist by:
- Supporting a culture of security, and providing on-the-job security training and security weaknesses learning for developers.
- Enforcing key security coding standards during code development.
- Testing code to identify errors, bugs, and vulnerabilities during all stages of development – as the code is being written, during check-in, and during nightly builds.
- Integrating seamlessly with existing CI/CD processes and DevSecOps automation.
- Producing reports on trending and metrics data for project quality and compliance.
In addition, by using Klocwork, you are able to:
- Detect code vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and rule violations earlier in the software development cycle.
- Deliver fast feedback to developers with the precise locations of security vulnerabilities and their cause.
- Enforce industry and security coding standards, including MISRA, CERT, CWE, ISO/IEC TS 17961, and OWASP.
- Report on compliance over time and across product versions, branches and deliveries.
See for yourself why Klocwork is an essential DevSecOps tool. Register for a free trial.