Software quality and security increase quality assurance in DevOps strategy
As part of DevOps initiatives, agile collaboration between different departments and teams can enrich and significantly accelerate software development. However, quality and safety should be kept in mind.
Companies on the topic
Quality and safety play an increasingly important role in DevOps processes.
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The topic of DevOps is not an important buzzword in software development. Actually, the philosophy is intended to strengthen the agile cooperation between the areas of development and operations and thus stimulate the process of software development. However, the DevOps approach also poses a major problem for many companies: the quality of the software may not always be guaranteed.
When at one end of the chain sales are spotting and at the other end developers are trying to incorporate many new features, it is not uncommon for the Operations department to suffer, which has to ensure IT operations. Above all, the (operational)safety of a product is sometimes neglected here, although the DevOps philosophy is actually intended to increase the quality.
The crucial question is how quality assurance can be directly integrated into the development process. Software development would not be software development if a buzzword had not already been invented for this: DevSecOps – or, depending on the manufacturer and location of security, SecDevOps and DevOpsSec – is a method to integrate quality assurance deeply into software development processes. This should avoid serious bugs and security problems from the outset.
DevSevOps: safety on the fly
The DevSecOps approach therefore consists of two pillars: on the one hand, security must be integrated in the form of code (Security as Code, SAC): the software is not seen as a whole, but as a series of snippets of code that are created or modified as required. Instead of testing the entire product for gaps and bugs, each developer and each team is encouraged to check the newly created code for such problems. In larger Teams, analysis tools automate this task.
The second pillar concerns infrastructure: Infrastructure as Code (IaC) ultimately describes that the environment in which the software runs should be software itself. Virtual machines or docker containers are one such approach. They allow fast and cost-effective scaling, can be secured more easily and can be quickly duplicated, reassembled or replaced if required. If an error occurs, a second version is already available in a file. This only needs to be booted up on the already existing server structure or cloud. In addition, one instance can be developed while the other is already running.
Two pillars, one goal
Together, both pillars of the DevSecOps idea ensure that the agile processes can be maintained while ensuring security in the ongoing process. If the infrastructure is properly established, a second instance of the product can be switched, which is changed by the developers.
At the same time, the current state of operation, perhaps with some older versions, is available as a file. Such server instances can be quickly switched or changed if required. Meanwhile, by checking the code lines, the development teams ensure that as few security problems as possible occur during code creation.
The corporate culture is important
In order to integrate these agile and at the same time solid processes, a little work is needed. This concerns, among other things, the organization of teams and the general culture in code creation. Only in an ambience that is open to DevSecOps can a corresponding system be deeply integrated into the work processes. Companies should, therefore,:
- Establish a culture of openness and learningin which even unconventional solutions are accepted. This also includes openness to criticism, for example when an employee points out bugs and security flaws, even though the budget and time frame are no longer sufficient for troubleshooting.
- Dynamic feedback loops ensuren to be able to transmit information as quickly as possible. Again, it is important that all parts of a DevOps process react positively to unwanted information.
- Security-do not slow down evangelistswho have written themselves the security of a software on the flags. Instead, their assessment should be relevant to ensure good quality.
- Promoting autonomyto give teams the opportunity to fix security issues and other errors in the running process independently and without long review processes.
Establishing SecDevOps in processes
It is also important to optimize the processes within Teams and companies, with a view to DevSecOps. This leads to a fundamental awareness of the importance of high-quality Codes. This can be ensured with the following measures::
- Regular Safety Checks performing ensures that code is specifically and regularly checked for problems. This allows a correction to be made at the earliest possible time.
- Progress and Performance every team leader has to keep up, but it makes sense, for example by precise targetsto keep an eye on where it is going well and where it is hooked. In this way, it can be ensured that occurring problems are detected as quickly as possible.
- Fixed procedures to be able to intervene quickly in the event of a case. If an error is detected in the ongoing process, there must be an “emergency brake” that is usable and traceable for all team members.
- Feedback Loops fixed installation can help to stay focused and fix errors as quickly as possible.
DevSecOps: Using tools
Additional technical measures and tools are also important to establish quality assurance firmly in the ongoing process. In many places, automation can be carried out by script or by means of an analysis tool in order to relieve employees and not permanently harass the team management with minor construction sites.
It also makes sense to introduce an error reporting system, with the help of which employees can not only report errors, but also prioritize them. In addition, the infrastructure on which the project runs as IaS should, of course, be as stable and reliable as possible in order to avoid security problems on the one hand and to avoid interactions on the other.