In our most recent blog post, we touched upon the difficulties of building security features into applications during the development process as well as how it can be delayed or even overlooked. But as we also mentioned, it doesn’t change the fact that application security and protecting the data used by those applications is critical to the wellbeing of any business.
If it is so important, what prevents InfoSec teams from taking charge of securing applications during development? We’ll explore those challenges in this post, and how a comprehensive approach to Securing DevOps may help address them.
InfoSec challenges related to DevOps tools and processes
Because information security teams are separate from an organization’s lines of business, they typically cannot influence development strategies and technology decisions up front, when these types of security questions and assessments need to be made. As a result, they are often forced to play catch-up, discovering and securing applications after they’ve been deployed.
The first complication is that even in the most open and collaborative development environment, information security is typically considered in the very late stages of testing and implementation, when prototype applications are functional and meeting business expectations. At this point in the process, testing often requires access to production data, which increases the levels of risk. On the surface, this approach makes sense given the amount of security implementation work that could be wasted if an application is never fully deployed.
Second, business applications can be launched by many areas of the business and reside virtually anywhere — on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. This makes enforcing information security protocols difficult, time-consuming, and error-prone. The data accessed by business applications needs to be secured no matter where it is stored or how it is being accessed on the network.
The reality is securing DevOps applications after they’ve been deployed is dangerous and a concern for many businesses that realize various vulnerabilities likely existed for extended periods of time. The alternative is to go back to a waterfall methodology where InfoSec must have a role in every step of development to ensure the prototype and the deployed applications are properly secured. This not only slows development, but also likely adds the need for additional InfoSec staff, and both combined will have a negative impact on the business. How can these conflicting priorities be rationalized?
Today’s InfoSec teams require an efficient and effective security solution, that puts them back in the drivers seat capable of protecting their most critical data no matter where it travels or resides. A solution that allows both operations and developers rapid application deployment that scales, while also achieving their business goals. Ideally one that simplifies and takes risk out of the entire process.
A better approach to information security and achieve Secure DevOps
One answer is the ARIA™ SDS solution, which provides the critical functionality needed to automatically and fully secure a DevOps environment without requiring changes to how application developers or information security teams focus on their normal responsibilities and activities.
It allows application developers to include prebuilt ARIA SDS security functions in their libraries for simple addition and connection within a given application. Once embedded, these ARIA SDS agents not only provide the required security functions, they also beacon out to an orchestrator, providing notification and identification of the applications existence. This in turn allows the InfoSec teams to come in as the applications become active and apply the appropriate security policy. Such polices can be automated and programmatically applied for all iterations. Applications and the data they access and manipulate can be appropriately secured as they are activated, not after.