DevSecOps Pipeline Overview: DevSecOps Simplified
An effective DevSecOps pipeline ensures that security is baked in throughout the software development life cycle. Here, we explain each DevSecOps phase and suggest beneficial DevSecOps tools that can help safeguard and secure your software.
Read along or jump ahead to the section that interests you the most:
- What Is a DevSecOps Pipeline?
- What are the DevSecOps Pipeline Phases?
- What are DevSecOps Security Requirements?
- What are DevSecOps Tools?
- Why SAST Is Necessary For Your DevSecOps Pipeline
What Is a DevSecOps Pipeline?
To put it simply, DevSecOps refers to integrating security into your software development life cycle. So, a DevSecOps pipeline is a set of security practices incorporated into your SDLC to build, test, and deploy secure software faster and easier.
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What are the Advantages of a DevSecOps Pipeline?
The most common advantages of a DevSecOps pipeline include:
- Earlier identification of security vulnerabilities.
- Improved speed and agility for security teams.
- Secure software development.
- Faster recovery speed in the event of a security incident.
What are the DevSecOps Pipeline Phases?
A traditional DevOps pipeline has several distinct phases: Plan, Code, Build, Test, Release, Deploy, Operate, and Monitor. With DevSecOps, there are distinct security steps that happen during each of those phases. Those security-focused phases are:
Threat modeling provides a summary of possible attack scenarios, outlines the flow of sensitive data, and identifies vulnerabilities and offers potential mitigation options. This phase helps to address security vulnerabilities and improves the security knowledge of everyone on the team.
Scanning is the process of analyzing code to ensure that it is safeguarded from security vulnerabilities. This includes both manual and automated code review. AppSec tools — such as SAST and DAST — are used during this phase. This phase enables developers to address security vulnerabilities and bugs earlier in the software development life cycle.
During the Analyze phase, all of the collected data and metrics from the previous phases is reviewed to identify all of the security risks. Then, those risks are compiled into a list ranging from most to least severe. (Note: Some SAST tools — like Klocwork— are able to do this process automatically.)
After identifying and organizing security vulnerabilities in previous phases, they are finally dealt with in the Remediation phase. Some DevSecOps tools — like SAST — can recommend solutions for the vulnerabilities, errors, and bugs that it has identified. This makes it easier to address security issues as they arise.
Monitor refers to the process of tracking the identified vulnerabilities, the steps taken to mitigate and/or eliminate those vulnerabilities, and the overall status of the application’s security. In addition, it may be beneficial to also track and manage the differences between the actual and target metric values. This helps to make informed data-driven decisions during the software development lifecycle.
What Are DevSecOps Security Requirements?
While there are no formal DevSecOps security requirements, there are several security recommendations. These include:
- Follow secure coding guidelines.
- Build security into your application.
- Scan and secure open source and third-party components.
- Validate input data, content types, and responses.
- Detect and block unusual behavior.
- Automate security testing and protection.
- Use a SAST tool to ensure that your code is secure, safe, and reliable.
Learn more about DevSecOps security requirements in our SAST tutorial.
What Are DevSecOps Tools?
DevSecOps tools ensure that your code is free from coding errors and safeguarded against software security vulnerabilities at each phase of the software development life cycle. There are two commonly used DevSecOps tools:
SAST toolsare easy to automate, scalable, and automatically provide the highest levels of code coverage. A part of an effective tool is Source Composition Analysis, which performs automated scans of the application’s code to identify security risks for OSS software, libraries, containers, and other related artifacts that may have open vulnerabilities.
In addition, these types of tools provide DevSecOps pipelines with the following benefits:
- Finding issues by looking for known vulnerability patterns for internationally recognized coding standards for security, as well as safety, and quality.
- Identifying defects earlier, which leads to lower costs of remediation.
- Supporting a shift-left approach — analysis available everywhere, including developer desktop and CI/CD pipelines.
- Delivering fast feedback and providing the exact location of vulnerabilities and their cause.
A DAST tool “looks inside” an application and dynamically analyzes execution logic and live data. In addition, these types of tools provide DevSecOps pipelines with the following benefits:
- Analyzes the whole application as it runs, within the full system environment.
- Attempts to break encryption algorithms from outside.
- Verifies permissions to ensure the isolation of privilege levels.
- Checks for cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and other software security vulnerabilities.
- Tests for vulnerabilities in third-party interfaces.
- Records application execution for post-mortem test failure analysis.
- Catches hard application failures.
Both tools complement one another — making them an essential part of a comprehensive application security testing process for any DevSecOps pipeline.
Why SAST Is Necessary For Your DevSecOps Pipeline
A SAST tool — like Klocwork — is essential to the overall success of your DevSecOps pipeline as it ensures that your code development process is free from coding errors and security vulnerabilities. In addition, Klocwork helps to automate processes in your DevSecOps pipeline while also enforcing coding standards, such as CERT.
By using Klocwork, you are able to:
- Detect code vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and rule violations earlier in your DevSecOps pipeline. This helps to accelerate code reviews.
- Enforce industry and coding standards, including CWE, CERT, and OWASP.
- Report on compliance over time and across product versions.
See for yourself why Klocwork is essential for your DevSecOps pipelines. Register for a free trial.