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How to integrate security into the DevOps pipeline

This may be one of the most frequently asked questions by security staff. This is because security teams are always part of DevOps teams when business clients ask about compliance, security, and internal and external rules. Unfortunately, by the time security teams get involved, the CI/CD pipeline is already in place, and it can be difficult for them to grasp the various steps involved.

In the past, DevOps teams focused more on meeting application development and deployment deadlines than on deciding which security measures should be put in place along the software development lifecycle (SDLC).  There are three basic obstacles that cause this:

  1. The insufficient DevOps expertise of security teams.
  2. Due to the tremendous volume of requests for new features, applications, and bug patches coming from business units, DevOps teams sometimes neglect to include security in their processes.
  3. The third problem is that there aren’t enough good security solutions that are easy to add to the pipeline.

The “Big” Problem, and How to Fix It, in this Integration

Today, most security teams aren’t well versed in languages like Ruby, Go, Node.JS, Java, Python, and others. Once upon a time, when DevOps wasn’t nearly as commonplace, it wasn’t the security team’s job to double-check the safety of each step in the software development process. Security in the code relied heavily on the experience and training of the developers, and it still does to a certain extent. Developers usually have free reign over their workflow and methods as long as they get the results the company wants. Because of recent changes in the way people think, like DevSecOps, a new set of technologies has come out to automate security and incident response. The market and the security personnel won’t take long to adjust to the new normal.

To really adopt a DevSecOps culture, companies need to invest in their people by putting together cross-functional teams to teach developers about security and security experts about the development process. This could help your security teams learn more about programming languages and application programming interfaces (APIs) so that they have more time to do more important work in their organizations. It’s trite to say, but consider how many individuals on your team are competent enough to write an automation script in Python (or another language) or manipulate APIs to automate mundane, repetitive tasks. I know it must be challenging, but I want you to know that this is becoming an increasingly important and sought-after skill set. It seems that nowadays, every business is also developing software. If your organization hasn’t changed enough to fit the new environment, it may soon have to deal with some really tough problems.

8 Recommendations to Start Implementing Security In Your CI/CD Pipeline

When businesses all over the world set up a DevOps pipeline, these are some of the most common security measures they take:

Let’s learn more about each of the possible security features shown in the diagram above:

Unit Testing

In software testing, “Unit Testing” refers to testing the smallest possible pieces of code. Software engineers could use this to make sure that the right function is returning the right value and that a change or update to a small function doesn’t mess up the output of the application.

Static Application Security (SAST)

The practice of “white box testing,” or Static Application Security Testing (SAST), has been around for over a decade. It cuts down on the time it takes to find security flaws in the source code of an application while it is being built (SDLC). The SAST tools do a comprehensive, static analysis of an application. Finding security flaws at this point in the SDLC can reduce costs and shorten the time needed to fix the code.

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), which is sometimes called “black box” testing, can find security flaws and weaknesses in applications, most often web apps, without having access to the source code. To do this, it uses methods like giving the program malicious data to find common security holes like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS). It mimics an attacker’s approach to discovering vulnerabilities in software.

Dependency Scanning

Unfortunately, developers often forget that their apps may be vulnerable because they use third-party libraries or packages from open-source projects, which may contain libraries with known vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, developers often forget that their apps may be vulnerable because they use third-party libraries or packages from open-source projects that may contain libraries with known vulnerabilities.

Container Scanning

Container Scanning is an inspection tool that looks at container images for malware, exploits, private keys, and other security flaws, as well as for compliance and other regulatory requirements. Before a container is put into the production environment, the operations team needs to do container security scanning at every stage of the software development life cycle (SDLC). This gives the operations team a full picture of any security problems within the container.

Runtime Protection

Protecting the OS and/or container engines at runtime is what Runtime Protection does for machines, whether they are physical or virtual. It is sometimes overlooked how important it is to secure the host operating system for a container, which, if hacked, might cause a DoS (Denial of Service) across all containers running on that host or node. File integrity monitoring, log inspection, and application control are just some of the ways this solution could help keep your system safe from malicious software and security flaws, as well as help you pass an audit.

Privileged Container Security

In a Privileged Container Security container, the uid 0 of the container is the same as the uid 0 of the host. Mandatory Access Control (apparmor, selinux), seccomp filters, dropping of capabilities, and namespaces are used in these containers to protect the host and prevent escape. When used together, these safety measures almost eliminate the chance of accidentally hurting the host. This includes, but is not limited to, changes to the host’s hardware configuration, kernel settings, or filesystem. When you give the privileged container full access to the host, it raises questions about how well this security feature protects the environment. Should something go wrong, it might affect all of the containers now being run.

Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP)

Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) is a security framework that is built into the program itself. It keeps a close eye on all incoming and outgoing communication and blocks anything that appears to be malicious RASP systems can protect online applications from a wide range of attacks, like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), vulnerabilities, and automated software. At the start of the software development life cycle (SDLC), a RASP security framework is built in. This makes the program secure by design. This security measure is based on an idea that can be used in web apps, serverless architectures, and containers.

These days, these are some of the most common security layers added to the DevOps process. It might seem hard to add all these layers at once, but if you plan carefully, you can make your existing CI/CD pipelines much more secure.

Final Thoughts

In the past, when making apps, DevOps teams put meeting deadlines ahead of figuring out where and when security measures should be added during the software development lifecycle (SDLC). The security teams of today aren’t very fluent in languages like Ruby, Go, Node.JS, Java, Python, and others. For more than a decade, static application security testing (SAST), also known as “white box testing,” has been in use. reduces the amount of time needed to locate vulnerabilities in an application’s code. If security issues are discovered at this stage of the SDLC, they can be fixed more quickly and for less money.

It is just as critical to protect the host OS as it is to protect the container itself. Runtime Protection protects both real and virtual machines by securing the operating system and/or container engines while they are running. Commonly added protections for the DevOps procedure include the ones listed above.

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