The Role of Security Testing in Enabling DevOps

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In the era of the DevOps environment, organizations are looking forward to shift-left that follows the idea of utilizing perform processes much early in the Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) cycle. It bridges the gap between development and operations teams by involving building, testing, and deploying applications. It also becomes important to include security checks by involving audits in the delivery pipeline. It becomes easier for QA teams to identify problems, and they find more time to address the issues before pushing code into production. The challenge here is on building a shift-left security testing strategy that allows teams to perform security operations by ensuring faster releases. Thus, businesses hire the right security testing companyto achieve speed and quality.

Shift-Left Security Strategy

Shift-left is related to the DevOps culture and it refers to the efforts made by a DevOps team to implement measures to ensure app quality at earlier stages in the software development life cycle. Security testing strategy involves the implementation of the right measures to address the security concerns when developing an app rather than moving that to the end of the process. The aim of a shift-left approach is to identify and solve potential vulnerabilities much early in the software development process. Resolving issues at those stages is less expensive to fix and it helps businesses to mitigate the potential risks in security concerns to ensure faster delivery and end-users.

Adopt Continuous Testing

Previously, organizations were used to involve security testing processes at the end of the development process. But now firms utilize different software testing tools and techniques, assemble the data, and analyze the results right before the release.

However, QA teams provide feedback to the developers by sharing constant bug reports and automated test results. In addition, if developers follow best practices, unit testing and integration testing are made a part of the automated build process, by providing feedback on each build. QA team and developers utilize CI and CD approach to achieve these objectives.

Typically, in a CI/CD approach, automation testing at each stage of the development process to ensure software quality. It is imperative to include security because without changing code in a single line, the new vulnerabilities are identified on a daily basis. Thus, to understand the vulnerabilities in a software application, it is important to include security testing and report its results on a daily basis, and even on code that has already been deployed.

Shift Security Left Approach

Organizations can shift security left by looking at three common security testing tools such as SAST, DAST, and SCA. All these tools generate reports right before releases so that developers work on each build.

Static Application Security Testing (SAST):

SAST is the scanning of the source code that can happen at the time of compilation. If code is already going through a CI/CD pipelines, then it is mandatory to apply SAST to the source code. All these security tools are used to keep pace with the automated testing processes to analyze vulnerabilities. QA teams can also leverage automated build tools to run a vulnerability scan to the source code. These scans produce data and detailed reports that can be used to conduct an assessment of the application under test.

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST):

In a DAST, QA teams can run automated functional tests through an attack proxy. As QA experts run DAST as a part of their functional tests, it is automated. Implementing these tests frequently in an application, so that new attack methods can be utilized to test security aspects.

Software Composition Analysis (SCA):

SCA depends majorly on the SAST. in the SAST, the vulnerable database needs to be updated. There are a few tools used in the build process to analyze all the third-party dependencies. Whereas, other tools are a part of the CI/CD delivery pipeline to create an analysis as a normal build in process. These methods provide QA teams with vulnerability issues in an application and also highlight how much risk is involved in the third-party dependencies leveraged with the application.

Conclusion

Once QA teams have a proper strategy to implement security in their CI/CD pipeline, they need to ensure quality software releases in time. It is important to hire a security testing company and ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the risks involved in finding the issues in an application. The time that scanning requires at the end of the development cycle is worthwhile. QA teams should also leverage CI/CD resources already placed and also introduce security at an affordable cost. 

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