DevSecOps and DevOps: Key Differences

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This post was written by Vincent Chosen. Scroll down for the author’s bio.

DevOps and DevSecOps have gained more attention in recent years in the world of software development. While both of these methodologies emphasize the agile development process and team collaboration, there are some key differences that distinguish them. Understanding these distinctions is critical for software development teams and organizations to determine which methodology is best suited to their requirements.

In this article, we’ll learn about the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps. By the end of the article, readers will be able to distinguish between both methodologies and also the features of each.

Let’s get started.

What is DevOps?

DevOps stands for development (Dev) and operations (Ops). DevOps combines software development and IT operations to improve collaboration, communication, and efficiency throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC). Developers and operations teams collaborate using DevOps to streamline processes, reduce errors, and deliver software faster and more reliably.

DevOps aims to increase efficiency, accelerate the delivery of new software features, and improve the quality of software applications. This is accomplished through the use of automation, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. DevOps enables organizations to quickly and reliably deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of their customers.

You can learn more about DevOps here.

Key principles of DevOps

The DevOps principles are a set of standards and best practices that assist teams in effectively implementing the DevOps methodology. Some of the key DevOps principles are as follows:

  1. Collaboration and communication: DevOps emphasizes collaboration and communication among developers, operations teams, and other stakeholders involved in the software development process. Teams must collaborate to share information, identify issues, and solve problems.

  2. Automation: Automation is an essential component of DevOps. Teams can reduce errors and improve software delivery speed and quality by automating testing, deployment, and other repetitive tasks.

  3. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD): CI/CD is a process that involves integrating code changes into a shared repository, automatically testing those changes, and quickly and safely delivering the changes to production. CI/CD enables teams to deliver software more quickly and reliably.

  4. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): IaC is the use of code to manage infrastructure, such as Terraform, CloudFormation, or Ansible. This enables teams to automate infrastructure provisioning and management, reducing manual errors and increasing consistency.

  5. Monitoring and logging: DevOps teams have to track and record their applications and infrastructure in order to quickly identify and troubleshoot issues. This necessitates the implementation of tools and processes for monitoring application and infrastructure health, as well as logging and metrics.

  6. Continuous improvement: DevOps is a process of continuous improvement. Teams must examine and evaluate their workflows, tools, and practices on a regular basis in order to identify areas for improvement. This enables teams to constantly optimize and refine their workflows, resulting in better software.

DevOps teams can create a culture of collaboration, automation, and continuous improvement by adhering to these guidelines, allowing them to deliver software faster, more reliably, and with higher quality.

Benefits of DevOps

DevOps provides several benefits to organizations that implement its concepts and procedures. Some of the key benefits of DevOps include the following:

  • Faster time to market: DevOps allows organizations to deliver software regularly and at a faster pace. Teams can accelerate software delivery and respond to changing market demands by automating testing, deployment, and other repetitive tasks.

  • Improved collaboration: DevOps places a premium on collaboration and communication among the various teams involved in the software development process. This allows teams to collaborate more effectively and reduces the silos that may hinder innovation and progress.

  • Higher quality: DevOps fosters a culture of excellence and continual enhancement. Teams are able to detect and fix issues more quickly by automating testing and monitoring, resulting in higher-quality software.

  • Improved customer satisfaction: DevOps can improve customer satisfaction by delivering software faster and with higher quality. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, greater rates of retention, and better business results.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps stands for development (Dev), security (Sec), and operations (Ops). It’s an extension of the DevOps methodology that brings security practices into the software development process. DevSecOps aims to shift security to the left. This means that security concerns are addressed early in the development process rather than as an afterthought.

Traditionally, security was viewed as a distinct function that was performed by a specialized security team. However, as agile development practices grow and software delivery speeds up, security has to be incorporated into the development process itself. DevSecOps acknowledges that security is everyone’s responsibility and strives to instill a security culture throughout the organization.

DevSecOps entails putting security checks and controls in place at each stage of the SDLC. Implementing security into the design phase, using secure coding practices, automating security testing and vulnerability scanning, and monitoring applications and infrastructure for security risks are all part of this.

Key principles of DevSecOps

DevSecOps principles are similar to DevOps principles but with a higher priority on security. Some of the fundamental DevSecOps principles are as follows:

  1. Shift left: The goal of DevSecOps is to move security considerations to the left in the development process, which means that security is taken into account early in the SDLC. This necessitates the incorporation of security into the design phase, the use of secure coding practices, and the automation of security testing and vulnerability scanning.

  2. Continuous security: DevSecOps is the continuous identification and prevention of security risks. This necessitates continuous monitoring of applications and infrastructure for security flaws and threats, as well as continuous improvement of security controls.

  3. Automation: This is an essential part of DevSecOps, allowing security checks and controls to be seamlessly integrated into the software development process. Security testing, vulnerability scanning, and compliance checks are all automated.

  4. Collaboration: DevSecOps necessitates collaboration and communication among developers, operations teams, and security teams. This includes developing a security shared responsibility model in which all teams collaborate to identify and address security issues.

  5. Compliance: DevSecOps necessitates adherence to regulatory and industry standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This demands the implementation of appropriate security controls, the monitoring of compliance, and the reporting of compliance status.

  6. Continuous learning: DevSecOps demands continuous growth in knowledge and sharing across teams. This includes staying current on security threats and vulnerabilities, sharing the most effective techniques and lessons learned, and constantly improving security practices.

Benefits of DevSecOps

DevSecOps also provides many benefits to organizations that implement its principles and practices. Some of the most notable benefits of DevSecOps include the following:

  1. Better security posture: DevSecOps can improve an organization’s overall security posture by integrating security into the software development process. This can reduce the risk of information theft and cyberattacks while also increasing the organization’s capacity for handling security threats.

  2. Faster time to market: DevSecOps can also help to accelerate the software delivery process by automating security testing and vulnerability scanning. This allows organizations to deliver software more quickly while maintaining security.

  3. Cost savings: By dealing with security risks early in the software development process, DevSecOps can help minimize the cost of later security issues. This can help to improve the bottom line of the organization and reduce the risk of financial loss due to security incidents.

  4. Improved compliance: DevSecOps can assist organizations in meeting regulatory and industry standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. This can assist in avoiding expensive fines and other penalties for noncompliance.

  5. Increased collaboration: DevSecOps emphasizes teamwork and communication among the various teams involved in the software development process. This can aid in the breakdown of silos and the improvement of collaboration among developers, operations teams, and security teams.

  6. Enhancing the value of DevOps: DevSecOps increases the value of DevOps by improving software security, lowering the risk of incidents, and improving overall software quality.

  7. Improving secure development standards: This is also accomplished by implementing security checks and controls at all stages of the SDLC, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards, and lowering the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks.

  8. Enabling greater overall business success: DevSecOps enables greater overall business success by lowering the risk of security incidents and noncompliance, improving customer satisfaction, and gaining a competitive edge in the market.

Difference between DevOps and DevSecOps

The following are the key distinctions between DevOps and DevSecOps:

  • Security integration: The amount of security integration is the most significant distinction between DevOps and DevSecOps. While DevOps prioritizes software delivery speed and efficiency, DevSecOps prioritizes the integration of security practices throughout the SDLC.

  • Security expertise: DevOps teams typically consist of developers, operations personnel, and quality assurance testers. DevSecOps teams, on the other hand, include security experts who are in charge of finding and reducing potential security risks and vulnerabilities in software.

  • Automation: Automation works in both DevOps and DevSecOps to accelerate software delivery. DevSecOps, however, incorporates automated security testing and vulnerability scanning to ensure the integration of security throughout the development process.

  • Compliance: There is a greater emphasis on regulatory compliance and meeting industry security standards, such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR, in DevSecOps. Compliance may not be as important to DevOps.

  • Risk management: To recognize and reduce potential security risks, DevSecOps places a higher priority on risk management and threat modeling throughout the development process. DevOps may not place the same emphasis on risk management.

DevSecOps prioritizes security integration in every stage of software development, including experts on the team, automated security testing, compliance, and risk management. While DevOps emphasizes speed and efficiency in software delivery, DevSecOps emphasizes security.

Utilizing both DevOps and DevSecOps

Organizations may develop a culture of collaboration, agility, and security by combining the principles and practices of DevOps and DevSecOps. The collaboration aligns goals and integrates security measures into the software development life cycle.

An organization can also use both DevOps and DevSecOps methodologies at the same time to build a strong and secure software development and delivery pipeline. Hence, here are some examples of how a company can use both DevOps and DevSecOps.

DevOps and DevSecOps combined

  1. Collaboration and communication: Encourage collaboration and communication among development, operations, and security teams through regular meetings and task delegation. This promotes seamless integration of development and security considerations throughout the software life cycle.

  2. Secure development practices: Build security into the development process from the start. This includes implementing secure coding practices, code reviews, and testing throughout the pipeline. Embedding security early allows for identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities at each stage of development.

  3. Automated security testing: Utilize automated security testing tools and practices to identify vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and other security issues in code and infrastructure. Static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), and interactive application security testing (IAST) are all used to detect and mitigate security risks in real time.

  4. CI/CD: Use CI/CD practices to automate software development, testing, and deployment. This ensures code changes are implemented on a regular basis and thoroughly tested for functional and security requirements. Automated testing should include security-specific tests to identify and address vulnerabilities at each stage of the development pipeline.

  5. Security controls for IaC: Use IaC principles to programmatically supply and manage infrastructure resources. Within the infrastructure code, implement security controls such as secure configuration management, intrusion detection, and access controls. This ensures that security measures are consistently applied across environments, lowering the risk of misconfigurations and vulnerabilities.

  6. Threat modeling and risk assessment: Run threat modeling exercises on a regular basis to identify possible threats to security and assess associated risks. This proactive approach helps to prioritize security efforts and ensures the alignment of security measures with the risk tolerance of the organization. Organizations can use threat modeling findings to guide security requirements, testing strategies, and the implementation of appropriate security controls.

  7. Training and awareness: Provide developers, operations staff, and security professionals with ongoing training and awareness programs. This ensures team members understand secure development practices, security risks, and their roles in maintaining a secure software delivery pipeline.

Importance of adopting a DevSecOps approach in today’s digital landscape

Adopting a DevSecOps approach is critical in today’s digital landscape due to the following reasons:

  • Growing security threats: Amid rising cybercrime and breaches, organizations must prioritize security as a key component of software development. DevSecOps is a proactive security approach that enables organizations to recognize and reduce security risks throughout the SDLC.

  • Improved collaboration: DevSecOps places a premium on collaboration among development, operations, and security teams. With this, organizations can improve communication, decision-making, and collaboration, leading to efficient software development and effective security.

  • Increase in customer trust: Security breaches can severely harm an organization’s reputation and destroy customer trust. Organizations can show their dedication to security and earn the trust of their customers by implementing a DevSecOps approach and delivering more secure software.

  • Regulatory compliance: Many regulations and standards, such as GDPR and PCI DSS, impose specific security requirements on organizations. Therefore, organizations can integrate security into their software development process and ensure regulatory compliance by using a DevSecOps approach.

Summing up

In conclusion, DevOps and DevSecOps share automation and collaboration but differ in security integration, expertise, compliance, and risk management. Adopting DevSecOps is critical due to security threats, compliance, agility, trust, and collaboration. By integrating security, organizations can deliver secure software faster and respond to business needs effectively.

About the author

Vincent Chosen is a web developer and technical writer. He has proficient knowledge in JavaScript, ReactJS, NextJS, React Native, Nodejs and Database. Aside from coding, Vincent loves playing chess and discussing tech related topics with other developers.