18 Jan, 2021

New Ways To Secure Your DevSecOps Pipeline

by nVisium

As we kickoff 2021 it is important to ensure all security initiatives are optimized, and one of the most valuable will be your DevSecOps. But how do you know if your software engineering team is utilizing today’s latest best practices, tools and techniques? How can you ensure that your DevSec practices have been optimized for today’s cyberthreats?

DevSecOps Matter

The modern software engineering team practicing DevOps faces a gauntlet of obstacles in the way of shipping secure production software. As the cloud, microservices, and CI/CD have changed the way we build software, refactoring security for DevOps requires a full-stack approach to build a collaborative security culture. This is where DevSecOps comes in to spearhead the management and initiatives necessary for ongoing success.

Recent studies such as the BSIMM 11 suggest that software security groups are increasingly prioritizing cloud and security activities while focusing on secure deployment parameters and configuration across their portfolios. As the modern “full-stack developer” frequently spans the operating system, networking, and software stacks from top to bottom, building security into your system from the ground up requires a comprehensive approach.

Securing Your devSecOps Pipeline

Understanding that risk mitigation extends beyond periodic assessments, code remediation, and training, your DevSecOps should be implementing strategies, technology, and policies that align with your organization and development methodologies. Bottomline: DevSecOps matter and there are a number of key focus areas to consider.

The key areas for DevSecOps focus includes:

  • Logging, Metrics & Tracing (i.e. Observability): having visibility into security events and understanding data flows as your infrastructure evolves, is an indispensable part of your security strategy. With a greater rate of change, microservices and serverless architectures require continuous monitoring to detect events across immutable infrastructure. Often, flaws within IAM implementations can allow an attacker to pivot between services. Understanding regular traffic patterns and anomalous trends comes from having a strong core for observability in place.
  • Infrastructure And Policy As Code: software-defined infrastructure and networking give us the opportunity to build programmatic and declarative controls to automate many aspects of security. Building codified policies to manage and enforce security across the many moving layers of your distributed architecture, is an invaluable security tool in your goal to move quickly with low friction.
  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD): The CI/CD pipeline you use to build and deploy software is a critical component to securing your organization. When considering security within the pipeline, we must focus on keeping our attack surface narrow within our development infrastructure itself, while making sure automated and manual checks occur as various stages are executed.
  • Container Security: Securing containerized microservices requires a focus on orchestration systems, container registries, the container runtimes themselves, and any places where your containerized infrastructure interacts with cloud or authentication systems. Containers offer many security benefits over virtual machines but can also be deployed in insecure ways that expose your services to attack.
  • Code And Artifact Management: Securing access to your code, packages, configurations, containers, and virtual machines spans many layers from IAM through configurations and policies. Your goals should be to reduce the number of vulnerabilities within packages that can be deployed, limit the likelihood of code disclosure as well as to minimize the risks of malicious code being introduced into an environment. Many organizations use a combination of on-prem and cloud-based infrastructure for hosting and managing their code and artifacts.
  • Cloud Security: Software built for the cloud leverages a combination of APIs, IaaS, and PaaS. Building security into a cloud architecture requires carefully planning how your infrastructure and software will grow over time. Designing IAM strategies including separate accounts or subscriptions across business units, application teams, or across test environments, as well as network design and segmentation, are important steps in building a security strategy that will evolve over time.
  • Identity & Access Management: IAM is woven into every aspect of your software delivery pipeline, from the time a developer checks in code through the time it’s deployed via CI/CD, through the capabilities and permissions granted to the software at runtime. As cloud native CI/CD patterns grow in popularity, IAM and role-based access controls (RBAC) propagate deeper across the stack. In general, you want to avoid developers and engineers from interacting directly with cloud architecture. Instead, through deployment artifacts and declarative configurations which launch infrastructure on demand, teams should be deploying through these workflows rather than by manually modifying infrastructure or platform services directly.
  • Secrets Management: Managing secrets across applications, systems, and environments requires a consistent approach to storing secrets and allowing applications, developers, or administrators to access them. Often, secrets are exposed through code repositories, configuration files, or logging. Frequently, passwords and API tokens are leaked through these channels and their disclosure often significantly undermines the security of production systems. Attackers are typically able to log in as privileged users or they are able to sign or decrypt values to gain access to confidential data..

Your Trusted devSecOps Partner

Building out your own DevsecOPs requires you partner with the right organizations to fill in the gaps for security assessments and ongoing training on the latest and greatest techniques to ensure there are no vulnerabilities coded into specific applications or infrastructures.

nVisium empowers organizations to eliminate application and cloud security vulnerabilities before cyber threats exploit them with proven in-depth security assessments, remediation and training programs. Our experienced team of security-savvy developers and engineers guide organizations to build best practices with high ROI into their engineering and secure development lifecycles across applications, operating systems, networks, mobile, cloud and IoT through services, software solutions and R&D unique to business operations and compliance initiatives. Additionally, nVisium provides a fully managed platform for tracking and measuring performance as well as instructor-led and online training.

nVisium empowers organizations to eliminate application and cloud security vulnerabilities before cyber threats exploit them with proven in-depth security assessments, remediation and training programs. Our penetration testers emulate a sophisticated attacker and exploit your networked devices, endpoints, and servers to reduce risks before breaches occur. Give us a call when you start your software developer security training strategy update or better yet, schedule a consultation today or download our new eBook titled “Demystifying DevSecOps” to get started yourself.

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