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Bringing Security to Your AWS DevOps Applications with DevSecOps

Tyler BoykinBy: Tyler Boykin

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The unparalleled advances in information technology that have occurred over the last several decades have created new industries, given millions of people access to lucrative career opportunities, and spawned novel solutions to some of society's biggest challenges. However, new tech platforms have also given hackers more ways than ever to wreak havoc on companies.

Providing legacy DevOps services, which blend canonical software development practices with established IT project management and operations methodologies, is no longer enough to give software development firms the edge. To protect against current security threats, businesses worldwide have begun shifting resources to development houses that offer DevSecOps consulting as well.

By making DevSecOps services a priority, development clients can benefit from having embedded security features during every production stage. Vulnerabilities get patched faster, and clients no longer must experience the anxiety that comes with saving comprehensive security testing until the product is almost ready for deployment. Although many companies have turned to DevOps from AWS for the security features these practices provide, the iterative security testing that a proper DevSecOps strategy delivers to every stage of the software development lifecycle (SLDC) has emerged as the most rigorous approach for businesses developing mission-critical applications.

Putting Security First with DevSecOps Services

Putting Security First with DevSecOps Services

Certified AWS DevOps partners know that constant vigilance and a relentless commitment to inbuilt security are required in today's era of large-scale data breaches. Firms offering DevSecOps services can develop the codebase more agilely and accommodate unanticipated client requests with confidence by testing crucial vulnerabilities from the start.

By contrast, DevOps consulting services that fail to take an iterative approach to vulnerability testing, and even those that follow a flexible approach to project management, introduce several risks to the client. For starters, clients must pay for a significant amount of additional developer hours if a significant vulnerability rears its head for the first time after most of the codebase is complete. Secondly, these increased expenses frequently come with delays to the release timeline that can cost clients valuable market share.

Experts estimate that roughly four of every ten development teams will fall into the high-performer category by 2024. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that enterprise-level clients have begun stepping up expectations and treating high-velocity release capabilities as the standard rather than the exception. With an AWS DevOps services team that has experience merging cutting-edge security testing protocols into established development workflows, Chetu can accommodate clients who need quick release times while maintaining architectural integrity.

What It Takes to Implement the DevSecOps Approach

In short, the DevSecOps approach holds team members at every level accountable for developing robust security environments at the application level while building premier software products that clients love. Thus, a high-quality DevSecOps consulting team needs each member to constantly update their knowledge base around the latest cyberattacks and what can be done to future-proof software against the hacking strategies of tomorrow.

How DevSecOps Benefits AWS DevOps Tools

DevSecOps Benefits AWS DevOps Tools

With the proliferation of Kubernetes and similar solutions, today's chief information security officers (CISOs) have warmed to the idea of giving cloud-native security systems higher priority than their on-premises counterparts. However, a culture transformation that elevates AWS DevSecOps services to the forefront can present several management challenges. Despite the difficulties of managing change, security has become such a necessary part of any DevOps workflow that organizations seeking to survive have no choice but to face such challenges head-on.

Also driving this culture shift are the undeniable advantages that a partnership with DevSecOps consulting service brings with it, including:

  1. Higher development velocity and increased agility.

  2. The increased ROI comes with faster and more efficient identification of vulnerabilities.

  3. More QA testing opportunities to produce release-ready software that only needs minor improvements as time goes on.

Creating and Auditing Secure Solutions with DevSecOps

Shifting compliance standards also add to the challenges of implementing DevSecOps in practice. Government, industry, and corporate regulatory guidelines are all designed to ensure that only software that is highly secure, reliable, and privacy-compliant gets released "into the wild." As issues regarding data privacy have exploded to the forefront of the public discourse over the past decade, security compliance requirements have understandably exploded in complexity. While businesses can automate much of compliance validation and reporting, they still must devote considerable human capital to keep up with which regulatory standards are imperative to meet.

As of today, the most critical regulatory standards include:

  1. The United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)- This federal law prohibits the uninformed disclosure of personal health records.

  2. ISO/IEC 27001 - Introduced by the International Standards Organization, this set of guidelines gives companies a rigorous framework for keeping sensitive information secure.

  3. European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - Exclusive to EU, this set of laws shields citizens from intrusive data collection methodologies.

  4. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) - This set of controls around cardholder information is considered the gold standard for fraud reduction and consumer data protection for online payment portals.

  5. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) - This U.S. government program provides a standardized set of practices for security monitoring, authorization, and assessments to be conducted regularly.

  6. Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs) - The STIGs provide updated configuration standards for specific cybersecurity products.

  7. The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) - Passed as part of the United States E-Government Act of 2002, this set of standards guides every federal agency on properly developing, documenting, and deploying large-scale information security programs to support operations.

  8. Sarbanes-Oxley Act - Designed to deter fraudulent accounting practices, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act implicitly shapes the requirements of IT systems for companies that must regularly report to shareholders.

With so many compliance requirements for even smaller enterprises to satisfy, development firms that can establish themselves as trusted partners to help clients navigate the regulatory landscape are in high demand. Furthermore, firms that can make necessary changes to the security architecture of an application as regulatory needs change can also improve brand trust and the end-user experience.

However, regulatory agencies and industry standards bodies aren't the only entities dictating compliance standards. Apple, Google, and other large application marketplace providers also have a detailed set of criteria that apps must meet to be published.

Leveraging DevSecOps to Build and Deploy Secure Applications

Leveraging DevSecOps to Build and Deploy Secure Applications

To retain high-value clients, teams that provide DevOps consulting services must take it upon themselves to become expert risk assessors. To sustain a security-first culture, development houses must:

  1. Implement secure coding practices.

  2. Take advantage of automation.

  3. Manage vulnerabilities.

  4. Shift security from an afterthought to the beginning of the development workflow.

  5. Control production changes.

Implementing Secure Coding Practices

The United States Department of Homeland Security reports that code vulnerabilities are the root cause behind approximately 90% of security breaches. Thus, it is imperative to choose development partners specializing in working with AWS environments and using high-assurance workflows capable of meeting rigorous compliance demands. The ideal partner should also be capable of high-level threat modeling and be experienced with developing layered protection solutions.

Making the Most of Automation in DevSecOps

Maintaining the high velocity required to compete in today's development landscape is nearly impossible without adequate QA automation. Automated testing is especially critical in projects where the development pipeline calls for bringing several codebase versions to production. More than 50% of companies prioritize speed over security because of the developer hours required for manual testing, giving firms that master automated QA methodologies a significant edge.

Prioritizing Quality from the Start with the Left-Shift Approach

Waterfall development methodologies assume that internal teams can always fix bugs later, but experienced developers know that technical debt accrues in a non-linear fashion. The left-shift approach pushes developers to do rigorous quality testing at every stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to avoid the kinds of last-minute problems that can cause clients to go over budget and fall behind the deployment schedule. Since even the most straightforward software bugs tend to compound on themselves, developers that can catch problems early can eliminate weeks of headaches later.

Final Thoughts on Using DevSecOps to Create Secure Applications

Bridging the traditional divide behind AWS DevOps services and iterative security testing is paramount for firms that seek to create world-class applications. With breaches set to keep rising, organizations gradually understand that partnering with a company that offers DevOps solution services is far more than a "nice to have."

However, even with a firm commitment to implementing DevSecOps, high-performance teams can easily get lost without proper support. As an AWS partner with years of DevOps experience working with organizations that place innovation first, Chetu has developers with all the skills necessary to accommodate the needs of forward-thinking companies in various industries.

As a Certified AWS Partner, Chetu's team of DevOps engineers provide:

Chetu’s developers to hire for AWS DevOps offer Block of Hours for technical and non-technical support with reduced rates contingent on hours purchased. Our lowest rates are attained when utilizing our full-time, dedicated resource(s).

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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