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How to implement DevSecOps - choosing the right tools to stay secure

Melissa Hales
Melissa Hales
20 December 21 DevOps
How to implement DevSecOps - choosing the right tools to stay secure

Don’t let a lack of tech take the shine of your DevSecOps strategy. Find out which tools you need to stay one step ahead.

We won’t lie to you–doing DevSecOps is not going to be easy. There are some key practices you need to put into place and a number of common challenges organisations face along the way. That said, it will be even harder if you don’t have the right tools to support your new approach. As with any framework, there’s no one right way to tool up for DevSecOps–it all depends on your organisational needs and goals. So in this article, we will take a look at the different types of tools to help you think about what might work best for your people.

Integrating security into DevOps

DevSecOps is a mindset. It requires organisational change, whereby you integrate security into the entire development process. It brings together the rapid delivery of DevOps with a security-first approach. That means rather than be disruptive and time-consuming, as with traditional approaches, security is a continuous part of the process and everyone is responsible for making applications more secure.

The tools that help an organisation achieve this have a wide variety of features and functionality, and range from supporting developers to secure source code with iterative threat modeling through to automated deployment and production monitoring. Most of these tools aid communication, collaboration, and visibility–helping teams work together to make improvements and ensuring easy identification of vulnerabilities, wherever they are in the pipeline. Let’s take a closer look at these different tool types.

Types of tools for DevSecOps

Log management

Logging is one of the few disciplines shared by developers, operations, and security personnel. In DevSecOps, effective log data management aids communication between these teams, serving as a single source of truth. These tools can help your organisation analyse and keep on top of the large volume of logs it generates, as well as helping to identify trends, put events in context, locate weak spots, and find all the information people need to get their jobs done. 

Monitoring

Want a clear picture of what’s happening across your applications, deployments, and infrastructure? Monitoring tools give you access to the information you need quickly. They can also help you keep tabs on users–from malicious login attempts and application errors to unauthorised access. Monitoring privileges can be extended to other teams and can be used to track specific metrics and generate reports.

Alerting

Working in tandem with your monitoring tools, these keep you informed when suspicious activity takes place. Alerting the appropriate people within your organisation, they make sure everyone is on the same page and ensure a more efficient response when issues arise.

Dashboard

If you want to view and share security information throughout the software development lifecycle, you’ll need an effective dashboard tool. These provide accessible graphics covering your DevSecOps implementation from development through to operations. Some offer the option to create custom dashboards, bringing data together to help you visualise and analyse your security information.

Threat modelling

Designed to help you identify, predict, and interpret threats, these tools are essential if you want to make dynamic security decisions. Your teams–security and non-security alike–can use their visual interfaces to prepare for the worst, understand the impacts, and figure out how to mitigate against threats. Either build your own threat models or use automatic options, built using information provided by your users.

Automated testing

Rather than picking up on problems after people have had the chance to exploit them, testing tools can help identify security vulnerabilities before your code goes live–an essential DevSecOps process. They can test custom and open-source code, and generate reports that provide insights to take action. Automated testing tools will resolve problems using a variety of types, including functional testing, end-to-end testing, load and performance testing, static code analysis, dynamic code analysis, mobile application behavioural analysis, and software composition analysis.

Other tools to consider

There are some other tools that combine many of the features and capabilities described above, such as cloud and container security tools, with added extras but don’t fit so neatly into the categories. Some incorporate end-to-end security management alongside automated testing and enforcement, while others test every piece of code upon commit, supporting developers to fix security issues there and then, or focus specifically on open-source code or the deployment stage. Of these tools, some are more targeted to container, cloud-native, or public cloud applications. 

Time to fill your toolbox

Needless to say, there’s no one-tool-fits-all solution when it comes to DevSecOps. What you will need is a suite of solutions that help keep software SAFe® in different ways and at different stages in your pipeline. There is a wide variety of tools on offer, with more being developed every day, so it’s a smart idea to do your research, engage experts, and work with your developers, operations, and security professionals to find the right solutions that will work best for the whole organisation.

If you want to start stocking your toolbox but aren’t sure where to start, speak to our expert team to find out how we can help.

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About the authors

Melissa Hales

Melissa Hales

Senior Partner Marketing Manager