/may 30, 2024

These 5 Critical Capabilities Enhance DevSecOps Effectiveness

By Sohail Iqbal

Implementation of a DevSecOps approach is the most impactful key factor in the total cost of a data breach, according to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023. DevSecOps, security practices integrated in DevOps, represents an advanced practice where the choice of tools is crucial for maximum risk reduction.  

For organizations striving to excel in DevSecOps, it’s essential to conduct comprehensive testing and establish an efficient remediation process that prioritizes issues based on their context. Let’s explore five critical capabilities essential for success and what to consider when implementing them. 

1. Automated Comprehensive Testing Capabilities 

The right solution should offer a variety of testing services, such as Static Analysis (SAST), Dynamic Analysis (DAST), Penetration Testing (PTaaS), and Software Composition Analysis (SCA). This broad spectrum of testing ensures that applications are thoroughly evaluated under various scenarios and conditions, crucial for comprehensive risk assessment and management. Code functions differently at runtime, for example, so it’s important to have security along all the points of the continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline

It’s critical that security tools be integrated directly into the Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Veracode offers next-generation IDE plugins that support SAST, SCA, and Veracode Fix, allowing developers to scan, review, and remediate security issues before the code is even checked in. This integration ensures that security is a continuous focus throughout the development process, enabling immediate detection and correction of vulnerabilities. 

2. Advanced Analytics and Aggregated Findings  

To define risk, you need context. Advanced analytics capabilities should provide immediate access to essential data like the timing of the last scan, scan results, and the status of findings. A solution that integrates capabilities to aggregate findings from various tools, including vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and over-permissioned accounts, and then normalizes, pre-investigates, and prioritizes these findings, offers actionable insights that are contextualized based on business, asset, and environment factors. 

The essence of effective analytics is their ability to help you identify and extinguish the fire, not merely the smoke. Veracode's acquisition of Longbow Security was driven by insights from our customers, emphasizing the crucial role of advanced analytics in optimizing risk reduction from code to cloud with minimal effort. 

3. Proactive Vulnerability Intelligence  

Staying ahead of emerging threats is crucial. The ideal solution should include vulnerability intelligence and threat research that continuously monitors and analyzes the threat landscape, providing valuable insights that help enhance an organization's threat intelligence capabilities. This proactive approach helps you respond to and anticipate security challenges.  

4. Immersive Secure Code Education  

Education is fundamental in any effective DevSecOps strategy. An immersive, hands-on experience in secure coding practices, potentially gamified to increase engagement and retention, is an effective learning tool. Organizations employing such educational tools should see significantly lower security debt and faster remediation times compared to those that don’t, according to the 2024 State of Software Security report

5. Beyond Testing: Emphasizing Remediation  

Identifying vulnerabilities is only part of the equation—effective remediation is key to truly enhancing security. The right solution emphasizes not just the detection but also the fixing of security issues, potentially with tools like AI-assisted remediation to streamline the tedious task of manual vulnerability fixing, thereby reducing the time and effort required to secure applications. Pay special attention to how the tool has been trained and if it leverages a curated set of reference patches from a security research team. 

Practical DevSecOps: Reduce Risk and Go to Market Faster 

In conclusion, a practical approach to DevSecOps incorporates advanced testing, aggregated and actionable analytics, proactive threat intelligence, immersive educational tools, and efficient remediation capabilities. These differentiators not only address the immediate needs of application security in the AI era, but they also foster a more resilient and responsive security culture within organizations.  

For a deeper dive into how these elements can be integrated into your DevSecOps practices to reduce risk and accelerate your time to market, check out our eBook, Practical DevSecOps: Reduce Risk and Go to Market Faster. This resource is designed to provide you with actionable insights and strategies to enhance your security framework effectively. 

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By Sohail Iqbal

Sohail Iqbal is Veracode's Chief Information Security Officer. He has been instrumental in developing and maturing security practices as Head of Cybersecurity Operations at Dow Jones / WSJ, CISO at J2 Global, and recently Head of Information Security at CarGurus. Sohail is an active member of many security conferences and seminars, and contributes frequently to the cybersecurity community. Sohail is also an avid cricketer and has been playing for the Cricket League of NJ for the past 20 years.