Why a Common Security Toolset is Essential for DevSecOps


Doing DevSecOps means ensuring that developers, security admins and IT Ops engineers work together effectively.

To a large extent, achieving this goal requires hiring the right people and setting up the right processes. When your developers, security admins and IT Ops engineers embrace a culture of collaboration, and establish effective processes for communicating with each other, you’re already a large part of the way to doing DevSecOps.

But people and processes are not the whole equation. Achieving DevSecOps also requires having the right technology—specifically, technology that allows your development, security and IT Ops teams to collaborate around a shared set of tools.

Setting up a common toolset for each of these groups can be challenging. By default, developers, security admins and IT Ops rarely use the same tools.

That is why, if you want to do DevSecOps, it’s time to rethink the tools that each of your teams uses.

Disparate Toolsets

If you’re like most organizations, the tools that your developers use are different from those that IT Ops uses, which are in turn different from those of the security team.

This disparity dates from the days before DevOps and DevSecOps, when each team operated with a distinct set of tools, and collaboration between teams was minimal. Developers relied on IDEs and build automation tools to do their jobs. IT Ops used deployment automation and monitoring software for its work. Security engineers relied on old-fashioned SIEMs to detect security anomalies.

Why You Need a Common Security Toolset

Obviously, each team will always need some tools that others don’t use. The IT Ops and security teams have little reason to use an IDE, for example. Only developers need IDEs.

But when it comes to certain tools and certain needs, implementing a common toolset is essential in order to do DevSecOps effectively.

This is particularly true of your security tools. If your security team alone has access to the tools that help to secure your infrastructure and applications, you jeopardize the ability of developers and IT Ops admins to collaborate openly (and to maximum effect) around security issues.

This is why security strategies based around traditional SIEM tools are insufficient for DevSecOps. SIEMs are great for detecting anomalies and alerting the security team about them. But they do little to help developers improve the security of the code they write, or to keep IT Ops looped into security issues so that that team can help the security team in remediating security vulnerabilities in production.

Sure, you could try to shoehorn a SIEM into a DevSecOps strategy by doing things like sending the alerts it generates to developers as well as to the security team. But this approach will do little to help developers and IT Ops truly collaborate with the security team. Merely receiving alerts about specific security incidents doesn’t mean that each team has true visibility into overarching security trends and strategies.

A New Generation of Security Tools

If old-fashioned SIEMs don’t provide the common toolset that developers, IT Ops and security teams need to achieve DevSecOps, what should they use instead?

The answer is a next-generation, cloud-native security toolset like the Twistlock platform, with functionality that extends far beyond SIEM. By providing vulnerability analysis, dynamic firewall protectioncompliance reporting tools and other features, Twistlock enables everyone in your organization to assess security vulnerabilities and take action based on the insights it provides. It places developers in a position to write more secure code by identifying the vulnerabilities that exist within their applications, and it helps IT Ops determine which production applications need to be updated or rolled back in order to mitigate threats.

With a common security toolset at their disposal, developers, IT Ops and security admins alike can own security—which is precisely what DevSecOps is all about.

Chris Riley is a technologist and DevOps advocate for @Splunk who has spent 12 years helping organizations transition from traditional development practices to a modern set of culture, processes and tooling.


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