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DevOps and DevSecOps: Understanding the Difference

StrongDM Team
Written by
Dynamic Access Management platform
Fazila Malik
Reviewed by
Product Marketing Manager
Last updated on: June 28, 2023

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In today's fast-paced business world, technology and software development have become crucial for organizations to stay ahead of the competition. With increasing demand for faster and more efficient delivery of software and applications, the need for adopting DevOps and DevSecOps has become more important than ever before. While both approaches focus on delivering high-quality software, there are significant differences between the two that organizations need to understand to make informed decisions. In this article, we will explore the evolution of DevOps, the emergence of DevSecOps, key principles of both approaches, and the similarities and differences between them.

The Evolution of DevOps

DevOps is a software development approach that is characterized by collaboration, communication, automation, and monitoring across the entire software development process. It is a combination of software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) that aims to break down silos between teams to ensure faster and more efficient delivery of software. The origins of DevOps can be traced back to the Agile software development movement in the early 2000s.

The Origins of DevOps

Before the Agile software development movement, software development was a slow and rigid process that often resulted in software that was delivered late, over budget, and with poor quality. As a result, there was a need for a more flexible and collaborative approach to software development. The Agile software development movement introduced the concept of cross-functional teams, continuous delivery, and continuous integration. It was during this time that DevOps started to emerge as a response to the challenges faced by Agile teams in integrating development and operations.

As Agile teams began to embrace DevOps, they started to see significant improvements in the speed and quality of their software delivery. By breaking down the barriers between development and operations, DevOps teams were able to work more collaboratively and efficiently, resulting in faster and more reliable software releases. This led to a growing interest in DevOps, as more and more organizations began to recognize the benefits of the approach.

The Growth and Adoption of DevOps

Over the years, DevOps has grown in popularity and adoption, with more and more organizations recognizing the benefits of using the approach. One of the key reasons for the growth of DevOps is the increasing demand for faster software delivery. In today's fast-paced business environment, organizations need to be able to deliver software quickly in order to stay competitive. DevOps provides a framework for achieving this by enabling teams to work more collaboratively and efficiently.

Another factor that has contributed to the growth of DevOps is the increasing complexity of software systems. As software systems have become more complex, it has become more challenging to manage them effectively. DevOps provides a way to manage this complexity by breaking down silos between teams and enabling them to work together more effectively.

Today, DevOps is considered the standard approach for delivering high-quality software and applications in a timely manner. Many organizations have adopted DevOps and are reaping the benefits of faster delivery, improved collaboration and communication, and higher quality software. As the demand for faster and more reliable software delivery continues to grow, it is likely that DevOps will continue to evolve and become even more widely adopted.

The Emergence of DevSecOps

While DevOps has made significant contributions to the software development process, it has, unfortunately, left security behind. This means that while software is being developed and delivered faster, it is also becoming more vulnerable to security threats. This is where DevSecOps comes in.

DevSecOps is a relatively new concept that aims to bridge the gap between development, operations, and security teams. Its goal is to integrate security practices into every aspect of the software development process, from design through to deployment. By doing so, it ensures that software is secure and free from vulnerabilities.

The Need for Security in DevOps

Cybersecurity has become a primary concern for organizations around the world. As software continues to evolve, so do security threats. Organizations must ensure that their software is secure and free from vulnerabilities. This is where DevSecOps comes in – it ensures that security is integrated into every aspect of the software development process, from design through to deployment.

One of the main reasons why security has been left behind in the DevOps process is that it is often seen as an afterthought. Development teams are focused on delivering software quickly, while operations teams are focused on ensuring that the software runs smoothly. Security, unfortunately, is often not given the attention it deserves. This is where DevSecOps comes in – it ensures that security is not an afterthought but is baked into the software from the start.

The Integration of Security Practices

DevSecOps is an extension of DevOps that integrates security practices into the entire software development process. It encourages collaboration between development, operations, and security teams, ensuring that security is not an afterthought but is instead a shared responsibility across the development and operations teams.

One of the key principles of DevSecOps is automation. By automating security processes, organizations can ensure that security is integrated into every aspect of the software development process. This includes automated security testing, vulnerability scanning, and code analysis.

Another important aspect of DevSecOps is the use of security tools and technologies. These tools can help organizations identify vulnerabilities and potential security threats early in the development process, allowing them to be addressed before the software is deployed.

Ultimately, the goal of DevSecOps is to create a culture of security within organizations. By integrating security practices into the software development process, organizations can ensure that security is not an afterthought but is instead a shared responsibility across the development and operations teams.

Key Principles of DevOps

DevOps is a software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration, communication, and automation to deliver high-quality software quickly and reliably. It is a cultural shift that brings together development and operations teams to work together throughout the entire software development lifecycle. DevOps is based on several key principles, including:

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) are two critical principles of DevOps. CI/CD is a process that involves integrating code changes into a shared repository frequently, which is then automatically tested and built. The aim is to ensure that software is always in a releasable state, so that it can be deployed to production quickly and with confidence.

CI/CD helps to reduce the time it takes to deploy software and ensures that software is always functional and free from defects. It also helps to improve collaboration between development and operations teams, as everyone is working towards a common goal of delivering high-quality software quickly.

Collaboration and Communication

Collaboration and communication are also critical principles of DevOps. By breaking down silos between teams and encouraging open collaboration and communication, DevOps ensures that everyone is on the same page and can work together to deliver high-quality software.

Collaboration and communication help to improve the overall quality of software by ensuring that all stakeholders are involved in the development process. This includes developers, operations teams, business analysts, and end-users. By involving all stakeholders, DevOps ensures that software meets the needs of all parties involved.

Automation and Monitoring

Automation and monitoring are key principles of DevOps that aim to reduce human error, ensure reliability, and increase efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks and monitoring the software regularly, DevOps ensures that software is always functional and free from defects.

Automation helps to reduce the time it takes to deploy software and ensures that software is always built and tested consistently. It also helps to reduce the risk of human error, as automated tasks are less prone to mistakes than manual tasks.

Monitoring helps to ensure that software is always functional and free from defects. It involves regularly checking the software for issues and addressing them as soon as they are discovered. This helps to ensure that software is always reliable and meets the needs of end-users.

In conclusion, DevOps is a software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration, communication, and automation to deliver high-quality software quickly and reliably. Its key principles include continuous integration and continuous delivery, collaboration and communication, and automation and monitoring. By following these principles, DevOps teams can deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of all stakeholders.

Key Principles of DevSecOps

DevSecOps is a methodology that seeks to integrate security practices into the software development process. It is based on three key principles:

Security as a Shared Responsibility

One of the main principles of DevSecOps is that security is a shared responsibility. In the traditional model of software development, security was the responsibility of the security team. However, this approach has proven to be ineffective in today's fast-paced development environment. The security team cannot be responsible for securing the entire software development process. Instead, all members of the development and operations teams must have a shared responsibility for security.

By involving everyone in the security process, organizations can create a culture of security that permeates the entire software development process. Developers can learn about security best practices, and security professionals can gain a better understanding of the software development process. This shared responsibility ensures that security is not an afterthought but an integral part of the software development process.

Shifting Security Left

DevSecOps aims to shift security left in the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). Traditionally, security was only addressed in the later stages of the software development process, such as testing and deployment. However, this approach is flawed because it can lead to security vulnerabilities being discovered late in the process, when they are more difficult and expensive to fix.

By integrating security practices into the design and development stages of the software development process, organizations can identify and address security vulnerabilities early, before they become bigger problems. This approach ensures that security is built into the software from the beginning, rather than being added as an afterthought.

Shifting security left also means that developers are responsible for ensuring that the software they write is secure. This approach encourages developers to think about security from the beginning and to write code that is secure by design.

Continuous Security Monitoring and Automation

Continuous security monitoring and automation are critical for ensuring that software is secure. By continuously monitoring the software for security threats and vulnerabilities and automating the response to those threats, organizations can ensure that software is always secure and free from vulnerabilities.

Continuous security monitoring involves monitoring the software for security threats and vulnerabilities in real-time. This approach allows organizations to detect and respond to security threats quickly, before they can cause any damage.

Automation is also an important aspect of DevSecOps. By automating security processes, organizations can ensure that security is always a part of the software development process. Automation can also help organizations to respond quickly to security threats and vulnerabilities.

Overall, DevSecOps is a methodology that seeks to integrate security practices into the software development process. By following the key principles of DevSecOps, organizations can create software that is secure, reliable, and free from vulnerabilities.

Comparing DevOps and DevSecOps

Similarities Between DevOps and DevSecOps

DevOps and DevSecOps share many similarities. Both approaches focus on collaboration, communication, and automation. Both aim to ensure faster and more efficient delivery of software and applications. And both aim to improve the quality of software by integrating feedback loops throughout the development process.

Differences Between DevOps and DevSecOps

The main difference between DevOps and DevSecOps is that DevSecOps integrates security into every stage of the software development process. DevOps, on the other hand, focuses mainly on collaboration, communication, automation, and monitoring. DevSecOps also emphasizes the need for a shared responsibility for security, whereas DevOps does not address security as comprehensively.

Conclusion

Both DevOps and DevSecOps are critical for delivering high-quality software and applications in today's fast-paced business world. While there are similarities between the two approaches, there are also significant differences that organizations need to be aware of. By understanding the key principles of both approaches, organizations can make informed decisions about which approach is best for them and ensure that their software is delivered in a timely and secure manner.


About the Author

, Dynamic Access Management platform, StrongDM puts people first by giving technical staff a direct route to the critical infrastructure they need to be their most productive.

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What Is a Policy Enforcement Point (PEP)?

A Policy Enforcement Point (PEP) is a component in a security framework that enforces access control policies. It regulates and monitors access to...

What Is a Policy Engine?

A policy engine is a software component that allows an organization to manage, enforce, and audit rules across their system. It is designed to provide a...

What Is a Policy Information Point (PIP)?

A Policy Enforcement Point (PEP) is a component in a security framework that enforces access control policies. It regulates and monitors access to...

What is Access Discovery?

Access Discovery is the process of identifying and verifying available pathways to digital resources or information within a system or network. It...

What Is Active Directory (AD) Bridging?

Active Directory (AD) bridging lets users log into non-Windows systems with their Microsoft Active Directory account credentials. This extends AD benefits...

What Is an Open Policy Agent (OPA)?

Open Policy Agent (OPA) is an open-source, general-purpose policy engine that enables policy-as-code across diverse software stacks. It provides a unified...

What Is Continuous Authorization?

Continuous Authorization is a security concept ensuring ongoing validation of users' access rights within a system. Employing real-time session monitoring...

What is Continuous Monitoring?

What is Continuous Monitoring? Continuous monitoring is a systematic and ongoing process that uses automated tools and technologies to monitor the...

What is Customer Identity Access Management (CIAM)?

Customer Identity Access Management (CIAM) is a specialized branch of identity and access management designed to facilitate secure and seamless customer...

What is Cyber Threat Hunting?

Threat hunting is the cyber defense practice of proactively searching for threats within a network. Threat hunters look for threats that may have evaded...

What Is Disaster Recovery Policy (DRP)?

Disaster Recovery Policy is a strategic framework outlining procedures and resources to swiftly restore essential business functions after a disruptive...

What Is eXtensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML)?

eXtensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) is a standard for specifying and exchanging access control policies in computer systems. It provides a...

What Is Fine-Grain Access Controls?

Fine-grain access controls are a type of access control that enables granular access to systems, applications, and data. Access is based on specific...

What Is Group-Based Access Control (GBAC)?

Group-Based Access Control (GBAC) is a security model that regulates access to resources by assigning permissions based on user group membership. It...

What Is NoSQL Injection? Examples, Prevention, and More

What is NoSQL Injection? NoSQL Injection is a type of injection attack that exploits vulnerabilities in NoSQL databases by injecting malicious code into...

What Is Privileged Identity Management (PIM)?

Privileged identity management is the process companies use to manage which privileged users—including human users and machine users—have access to which...

What is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)?

What is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)? Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft that allows users to remotely...

What Is Segregation of Duties (SoD)?

Segregation of Duties (SoD) is a risk management principle that ensures critical tasks are divided among different individuals to prevent conflicts of...

What is Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM)?

Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM) is a cybersecurity strategy that focuses on controlling and securing third-party access to an organization's...

What Is Zero Trust Data Protection?

Zero Trust Data Protection is a security framework that assumes no inherent trust, requiring verification from anyone trying to access data, regardless of...

When to Use SQL vs. NoSQL Databases

Understanding SQL and NoSQL Databases When it comes to managing data, there are two main types of databases: SQL and NoSQL. While both types of databases...

Z
Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a modern security model founded on the design principle “Never trust, always verify.” It requires all devices and users, regardless of...

Zero Trust vs. the Principle of Least Privilege: What's the Differences?

As cyber attacks become more advanced and frequent, organizations are realizing the importance of enhancing their cybersecurity strategies. Two approaches...

Zombie Accounts

Zombie accounts: forgotten accounts that open the door to bad actors looking to insert malware, steal data, and damage your internal systems.

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