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Integrations to elevate your DevSecOps program

Charlotte Freeman

Sep 26, 2023 / 4 min read

In this blog series, we’ve covered how AppSec integrations can enable a more secure SDLC, avoiding pitfalls when integrating AppSec for DevOps, and how to use integrations to automate security risk information collection and delivery. So let’s wrap up this series by taking a look at how an Integrated DevSecOps program can help future-proof your AppSec program.

When moving from DevOps to DevSecOps, organizations are seeking to secure the systems and workflows they are using right now so they can accelerate the delivery of more-secure software. But tech stacks are always evolving—they are linked to the processes you’re using right now, but they’re also expanding to accommodate the growth of your organization. This means that it’s a real priority to ensure that the investments you’re making now will continue to be profitable tomorrow. Creating a DevSecOps program can help scale your application security testing (AST) as your organization grows while maintaining manageable overhead, so you don’t overwhelm your development, operations, and security teams.

Security from the start: Enabling developers to code securely

One key way to integrate security throughout your SDLC is to help developers avoid introducing coding weaknesses or vulnerable open source components. Synopsys Code Sight™, for example, works much like a spellchecker for code. Developers can automatically check their code as they write it and receive clear definitions of insecure coding practices and recommendations for how to fix them.

Developers all have diverse backgrounds and experiences, and not all possess the same level of security knowledge. Providing targeted security training that aligns with specific projects, technologies, and business risks is essential. This approach bridges the gap between developers' coding expertise and their understanding of security requirements. Developer security training can greatly enhance the efficacy of DevSecOps initiatives, and help cultivate more security-capable developers over time. It also accelerates time-to-remediation by providing guided learning associated with any detected risks. Integrating secure coding education directly within issue management workflows and IDEs means developers have instant access to relevant security training without deviating from established workflows.

By addressing security issues at the developer desktop, organizations can prevent vulnerabilities from propagating downstream and avoid late-stage rework to fix issues found later in the process.

This year’s SANS DevSecOps Survey reveals that some of the most challenging issues facing DevSecOps are transparency and collaboration when addressing security risks across the SDLC and CI pipelines. Properly integrated DevSecOps establishes a seamless path of risk detection and fix recommendations from development to security and back again. This ensures that security considerations are not isolated but instead are woven into the broader context of DevOps. Achieving this helps align contributors across teams to a unified DevSecOps program, ensuring the necessary buy-in to establish shared goals and standards for security.

Transforming security from cost center to business driver

By involving development teams in security efforts from the outset, and by establishing clearly defined and automated security gates throughout the SDLC and CI pipelines, organizations can change security from a cost center to a business driver. This transformation offers several benefits that enhance an organization's credibility, competitiveness, and risk mitigation strategies.

Remember that in your software supply chain, the security mechanisms you use can allay the concerns of your customers and partners that you might become the weak link in their software supply chain. This is where the decisions you make for the next iteration of your DevSecOps program are going to elevate security from a cost center to a potential revenue engine when you get pulled into opportunities where your security standards influence your competitive position.

An organization that demonstrates a strong commitment to security gains the trust and confidence of its stakeholders. Certification and attestation of security practices become more attainable when security is embedded in the development process, with automated “safety nets” at each stage to detect and fix any issues that enter along the way. Security-conscious customers are increasingly seeking partners and vendors with robust security practices. Security can become a selling point that differentiates an organization from its competitors, as weak links in a supply chain can have cascading negative consequences.

Contrary to the misconception that security hampers development speed, properly integrated security actually accelerates the overall process. By catching vulnerabilities early, you eliminate the need for extensive rework and reduce the backlog of vulnerabilities that often arises during testing. This streamlined approach increases efficiency and supports parallel progress in security and development.

Scale AST without increasing the management burden

As organizations grow and scale their DevSecOps efforts, managing an array of security testing tools can become overwhelming. To achieve scalability without sacrificing efficacy, choosing a comprehensive, single-platform security testing solution is essential. A multifunction security testing platform serves as a central hub for running tests, assigning policies, and integrating with other development, cloud operations, and AppSec tools. This centralized approach streamlines decision-making by consolidating risk information in one place. Cloud-hosted software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions like Polaris Software Integrity Platform® offer the scalability, ease of management, and flexibility necessary to adequately secure diverse development environments and CI pipelines in a way that can evolve with the organization.

Selecting the right security testing platform has a long-lasting business impact. By investing in a unified solution, you simplify the management of security tests and reduce the complexity of integrating multiple tools. This not only enhances your organization's security posture but also contributes to operational efficiency and the return on your security investment.

Ultimately, an integrated DevSecOps program is a strategic approach that aligns security and development efforts for enhanced efficiency, security, and competitiveness. By enabling developers to code securely, embedding security tests throughout the SDLC and CI pipelines, and choosing a scalable and flexible security testing platform, organizations can create a culture where security is a shared responsibility and an integral part of DevOps. Achieving these critical stages can mean immediate security improvements, as well as drive business growth and long-term success in a rapidly evolving technology landscape. As organizations continue to embrace DevSecOps, these strategies will play a pivotal role in navigating the complexities of security while fostering innovation and progress.

How Synopsys can help

Synopsys offers Polaris Software Integrity Platform, an exceptional holistic application security testing solution that combines the power of best-in-class scanning engines, including Black Duck® software composition analysis and Coverity® static application security testing. The Polaris platform delivers unparalleled security testing capabilities, centralized risk intelligence, and powerful integrations for popular tools, including development and build, repositories and DevOps platforms, and cloud providers and issue management.

For more information on how to optimize efforts integrated DevOps, check out the eBook “Solving the AppSec Puzzle: Connecting AppSec to Your DevOps Pipeline.”

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