DevSecOps Challenge #3: Doing DevSecOps without constant CI/CD changes

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn
  • Share on Instagram

Better collaboration between teams, faster time to market, improved overall productivity and enhanced customer satisfaction are just some of the benefits you can reap from successful DevSecOps

However, it’s not just a matter of wrapping a few security tool APIs into your favourite CI tool and calling it a day. DevSecOps programs and tooling grow and mature, as new tools are added, teams come onboard and processes update. You don’t want to clog up and confuse your CI/CD pipelines with constant changes to accommodate DevSecOps.  

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ process for DevSecOps and we recognise every company will be at different stages. Here are some essential considerations to start with.

  • Make security part of the software development workflow
  • Automation, automation, automation
  • Finding your balance with automated security 


Make security part of the software development workflow

DevSecOps unites developers and security professionals, cultivating an environment of collaboration. But it’s hard to ignore that a certain level of friction has always existed. 

Besides time, there are lots of things that naturally place pressure on the CI/CD pipeline when it comes to security:

  • Hooking in all the relevant security tools (APIs, docker, CLIs, etc)
  • Collecting, understanding and processing the results from all of these tools so you don’t just throw every vulnerability back to the development team
  • Prioritising which security issues to report on and which are not important 
  • Communicating issues where they’re needed through channels like Slack, Jira, and others
  • Making any automated go/no-go decisions based on the security results. Are there big issues that need to be fixed before deployment? 
  • Handling tool extensions and keeping new versions up to date 
  • Recording security metrics to tell the full pipeline story

In one corner you have the development team and in the other, security. Both sometimes think what the other team does create nothing but work for each other. This perspective results in both teams working in silos, which defeats the main principle of DevSecOps

Making security part of the workflow simply starts with a mindset change, which is easier said than done. DevOps teams spend their time improving and refining their pipelines based on the needs of the teams around them. Now, with DevSecOps, security teams are joining the party with requirements that aren’t as straightforward.

Security controls and tests need to be embedded early and often in the development lifecycle. With organisations potentially pushing new versions of code into production 60+ times per day, automated security is the answer.

If you believe increased security slows things down and creates a barrier to innovation, we’re here to dispel that. We understand your reluctance, but it’s just not the case when you have automation on your side paired with a platform that eases the job of adding DevSecOps to the CI/CD pipeline.

Automation, automation, automation

It’s not news to anybody that automation is a key characteristic in DevSecOps. For security to keep pace with code delivery in a CI/CD environment, automation of security is a given. 

Organisations, where developers push code to production multiple times a day, will feel this more than anybody. Rapid and secure code delivery may sound like an oxymoron to most businesses. But DevSecOps aspires to change that.  

Trying to run automated scans on your entire application source code each day can be time-consuming and hinder your ability to keep up with daily changes. So, before delving into a tool stack head first, tread carefully.

Teams responsible for application security can now use pioneering platforms to set the tool and test configuration as well as collect and consolidate reporting data to various other tools - all without changing the DevOps pipeline. This gives security maximum flexibility to make the changes they need to, without needing permissions for DevOps.

For added simplicity, we can use the Uleska Platform as an example for ease. The short API logic Uleska uses to run security testing is consistent for every project. This means regardless of the project logic or the CI/CD system being used, the same template can be used. Not only does it ease the job of adding DevSecOps to the CI/CD pipeline but it makes it quicker and easier for security changes to be made since they’re configured outside the main CI/CD logic.

Finding your balance with automated security 

Doing DevSecOps right is a fine balance. If it’s approached as a simple automation task, it’s likely to result in clunky connections to an ever growing list of security tools, as well as large lists of security issues being thrown back at developers - and more delays to code being released. As if everybody didn’t already have enough on their plate?

DevSecOps processes in many companies are immature, but maturing. This means the tech, tools and processes are continually evolving as improvements are being made.  

However, if this logic is based within the CI/CD pipeline, this results in continual requests to update the pipeline logic. Given there are already lots of pipeline requests and changes going on for other reasons, this means security has to compete for time, resources and capacity.

Although there’s a good case for saying the CI/CD pipeline isn’t the place to hold the logic or code to do DevSecOps, but if not there, where would it live? This is the reason the Uleska Platform has separated the setup and configuration of DevSecOps away from the core CI/CD pipeline, whilst still being driven by it.

At the heart of it all, security products need to integrate into the development pipeline and enable both the development and security team to work together instead of just throwing things over the fence to each other. 

Many of the tools required to insert security into agile DevOps are still emerging. As the methodology matures, you need a reliable platform that can scale with you, making it easy for you to adopt new tools, ways of working and to onboard new teams and applications.

Overcoming challenges to unify DevOps and security

Eliminating manual security tasks by hooking end-to-end security automation into your CI/CD sounds like no easy feat - and you’re right. There are many challenges that may crop up on your journey to releasing faster, more secure code. 

That’s why we’ve provided practical guidance for software security teams looking to save time when scanning and testing software - all without slowing down the delivery. Download your guide today to prepare for the security challenges your team might come up against.overcome the challenge of devsecops

Subscribe to the Uleska blog

You may unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe link in the newsletter.

Popular Articles
Visit the Blog

DevSecOps tool examples that will alleviate your workload

Nowhere is this more apparent than in DevSecOps where developers and releases outnumber security experts by thousands to one. It’s simply not...


What is CI/CD? A Complete Guide to CI/CD

Software development cycles have changed immensely in the last ten years. New practices and design philosophies are being tried every day. One of...


How to source the right tools to scale an AppSec programme

Everyone’s development is different, it stands to reason everyone’s perfect security toolkit will also be different. But finding the right tools to...


What is Penetration Testing (Pen Testing)?

Penetration testing (also known as pen testing) is the process of checking if your infrastructure and applications are robust enough to protect...


What is Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)?

DAST, meaning Dynamic Application Security Testing, is a form of black-box security testing. It simulates external attacks on a live application,...


Ultimate Guide to DevSecOps

What is DevSecOps?  DevSecOps meaning (Development, Security, and Operations) primarily aims to automate security in each part of the software...

Company News, Security

Uleska and Log4Shell

Summary TL;DR: If you are a cloud customer of Uleska, you are not vulnerable to log4shell. If you are an on-premise customer of Uleska and are using...


The Top Application Security Tools in 2021

In modern businesses, applications have assumed a pivotal role. And while applications help with operational processes, the majority of cyber-attacks...


The Ultimate Guide to Application Security Tools

With the emergence of new software security threats, businesses need robust, flexible and affordable methods to ensure their applications are...


Introducing the DevSecOps Toolkit: A guide to scaling an AppSec programme

Imagine you’ve been asked to build a house from scratch. You don’t have any tools. You don’t have any experience. In fact, all you have is an empty...


What is Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and how does it work?

What is SAST? Static Application Security Testing (SAST), or static analysis, is a method of testing and analysing source code. This method allows...

Tools, Featured

Choosing the Best AppSec Tools: Advice from Experienced Engineers

In our latest webinar Gary Robinson and Martin Hewitt from Uleska gave us a fascinating and comprehensive look into how experienced security teams...

Managing Risk

How to Use Risk Based Security Testing [With Video]

Last week we discussed how using risk-based decisions can help speed up pipelines. You can watch the webinar on demand and read a summary of the...


Can DevSecOps Tools Open Security Testing To Everyone?

At Uleska, we focus on moving security testing away from experts running manual tests and move it to automating security checks into existing...

Company News

Start your DevSecOps journey with the Uleska free plan

Companies are developing and shipping software faster than ever before. The very nature of DevOps means that developers can work in an always-on...