DevSecOps security

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is an efficient way of creating secure software. It involves elevating security at every point along the software development lifecycle. This contrasts with more traditional development philosophies, where security is often an afterthought.

The name "DevSecOps" is an amalgamation of "development", "security", and "operations". It builds on the DevOps philosophy - and in many ways, it's the last piece in this puzzle. By putting security on everyone's agenda, release velocity is increased.

A security bottleneck stopping the flow of development

How does DevSecOps work?

DevSecOps involves a number of processes, but hinges on the power of software automation. By automating security, DevSecOps tools give developers fast feedback, right when they need it. This increases delivery speed, because the sooner a bug is found, the faster (and cheaper) it is to fix.

Developers give DevSecOps the thumbs-up because it makes their job easier. Security staff love it, because it stops them getting swamped with easily-fixed bugs. And it makes executive management happy because release velocity and security are increased.

What's more, by using a scalable solution, you can ensure that the size and cost of your DevSecOps deployment is tailored to your needs. This helps you optimize performance and ensure your automation is as effective as it should be.

DevSecOps and pen testing go hand in hand

DevSecOps in practice

DevSecOps security is a continuous process. Gone is the security "gateway" (many would say "bottleneck") of traditional development. Instead, application security is integrated with development processes. Developers receive timely feedback on their code - empowering them to write secure code even without cybersecurity expertise.

The ability to produce secure code in this way is a primary tenet of DevSecOps. Its processes should be robust enough to run without any need for intervention by security professionals. Developer education is key to this - and should be an ongoing process within DevSecOps.

The best DevSecOps security tools train developers in effective security techniques while also making their life easier. At PortSwigger, we believe the best way to do this is through timely feedback written with developers in mind. Developers learn on-the-fly - putting their newly-honed skills to work immediately.

How does penetration testing work in DevSecOps?

DevSecOps means software gets released with a basic level of security built in. But detection of certain vulnerabilities can still require penetration testing. This more manual step will generally happen shortly before or after development - and is crucial for effective DevSecOps.

While penetration testing can reveal advanced vulnerabilities, it's not a quick process. A worldwide skills shortage also makes it difficult to carry out at scale. Conversely, vulnerability scanning is fast and gives broad coverage, but can lack in depth compared to manual testing. Each has benefits and drawbacks - and DevSecOps security best practice demands both.

This approach is of great benefit to organizations with many applications to secure. While blanket penetration testing at this scale may be impossible, DevSecOps allows for an acceptable level of security to be achieved before release. Manual testing can then be carried out on a priority-based approach.

DevSecOps and Burp Suite

The Burp Suite ecosystem is designed to enable DevSecOps on every level. Burp Suite Enterprise Edition provides web security automation based on PortSwigger's highly-regarded research. On top of this, its security reporting features allow for the simplified management and auditing of your DevSecOps processes.

Burp Suite Professional is the world's most widely-used penetration testing toolkit. Expert testers use Burp Suite Professional to provide an enhanced level of security to web applications that may already have been through a DevSecOps process. Burp Suite Pro's proven combination of automated and manual tools enables them to do this.