It’s normal to feel like the security team is there to make your job tougher if you are a part of the DevOps team in an application development company. In the same way, if you are a security engineer, you may not be so favorable towards DevOps and feel that they don’t take security quite seriously. But the two teams should work together and in each other’s interests. As they establish and pursue shared goals, the security and DevOps teams of your organization strengthen and support each other’s success. Their working together is mutually beneficial, a few may call this DevSecOps. Shared ownership in each other’s success offers a common language in the form of shared metrics that DevOps and security teams can leverage to assess their progress towards accomplishing the collective goals of faster yet secure enterprise application development.
Shared Metrics for Security and DevOps Teams
The ideal goals and metrics that the security and DevOps teams of your enterprise application development organization should share vary depending on the kinds of software and applications you deliver and the way applications are hosted. But you can begin with these goals and metrics.
Though time-to-deploy is a metric that the DevOps team has been traditionally focusing on minimizing, the faster each release is deployed, the closer one gets to continuous delivery. But security benefits from reduced time-to-deploy too, as security issues can be resolved by a new release quite quickly. The security team helps to reduce time-to-deploy. It does so by automating its review processes for release candidates and working to shift security left. Security issues can thus be recognized earlier in the pipeline, where it is easy to solve them.
Less Total Security Tickets Opened
It is one of the most critical goals for the security team of your application development company to reduce the number of security tickets opened in a specified period. The DevOps team, however, benefits from minimizing security tickets. Security and DevOps teams can make efforts towards minimizing the total security tickets that are opened quarterly or monthly.
A security issue often implies a delay in software delivery or a rollback to an earlier release. This is a big challenge for the DevOps team’s goal of continuous release velocity. Besides, security tools that integrate into the CI/CD pipeline enable security teams to improve their review of vulnerabilities, while adding to DevOps efforts to find and fix security issues at the time of development and testing.
Figuring Out Preproduction Weaknesses
As we talk about shifting security left, the number of security weaknesses that are recognized before software goes into production improves the results of security as well as DevOps. For security, it implies lesser serious vulnerabilities making their way into production environments, where they can bring the greatest danger. For DevOps, it implies a lower risk of post-deployment security issues causing a rollback or serious disruption to the continuous delivery cycle. As the teams work in cohesion, they become responsible for each other’s success; recognizing bugs in the preproduction code.
Minimizing Failed Security Tests
This is another key shared metric for DevOps and security teams working towards enterprise application development. When a software release is rejected due to its failure to pass security tests, the security team becomes unhappy to find that DevOps tried to push out a release that contained weaknesses. Your DevOps team is also compelled to rewrite code and encounter delays in the delivery process. Besides, there may be tension between the two teams if DevOps feels that the security tests are strict for no valid reason or emphasize the wrong items.
However, as DevOps and security teams establish a shared goal of minimizing failed security tests, they achieve a sense of collective ownership over this metric. This way they will be more prone to working together to fox the issue, instead of wasting energy in blaming each other.
Rectifying security issues calls for collaboration between DevOps and security teams. Due to the shared responsibility inherent to this metric, tracking and reducing time-to-remediate collectively is an effective goal for DevOps and security teams. While security takes the charge in recognizing what went wrong, the DevOps team takes the lead in executing that fix.
Percentage of Successful Security Audits
If you are a part of the DevOps team, it may be lucrative for you to think of security audits as something you may have to muddle through but can ignore in the end. Though DevOps engineers may be criticized for issues in DevOps processes found during the security audit, security is primarily responsible for the failure of audits. This is how DevOps teams get tempted.
But the reality is that failed security audits put DevOps and security teams at risk. Repetitive security audit failures tarnish the reputation of the IT organization, ultimately causing an overhaul of both teams.
On the contrary, a steady record of successful security audits positively reflects on DevOps and security engineers the same way. Members of the two teams can take pride in being part of a team that showed great success in meeting security goals.
Do Your DevOps and Security Teams Work Together?
Though it isn’t easy to get security and DevOps teams to work collaboratively in practice, setting up goals and metrics that each team owns collectively, application development companies can mitigate the stress that tends to isolate security from DevOps and improve results. Build on the reputation of your IT organization with DevSecOps.