Jan 10 2024

DevSecOps: 5 Tips for Developing Better, Safer Apps

Category: DevSecOpsdisc7 @ 8:48 am


According to the CrowdStrike 2023 Global Threat Report, there was a 95% increase in cloud exploits in 2022, with a three-fold increase in cases involving cloud-conscious threat actors. The cloud is rapidly becoming a major battleground for cyberattacks — and the cost of a breach has never been higher. The estimated average cost of a breach impacting multi-cloud environments is more than $4.75 million USD in 2023.1 The acceleration of cloud-focused threat activity and its effects has made security a key priority across organizations.

Security in the Cloud Is a Shared Responsibility

Security teams are accountable for protecting against risks, but they cannot be the only ones. Each team must try to communicate why their part of the development lifecycle is important to the other teams in the pipeline. With the growth of cloud-native applications and the demand for faster application delivery or continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), the use of containers is increasing widely. As businesses adopt containerized and serverless technologies and cloud-based services, more complex security issues arise.

Application developers have a tricky balance to maintain between speed and security. In DevOps, security used to be an issue addressed after development — but that’s changing. Now, developers who previously had to code right up to the last minute — leaving almost no time to find and fix vulnerabilities — are using tools like Infrastructure as code (IaC) scanning to validate they have fewer security vulnerabilities before they move to the next phase of development. 

When security is considered at every step in the pipeline, it ensures developers find and address issues early on and it streamlines the development process. DevSecOps helps developers find and remediate vulnerabilities earlier in the app development process. Vulnerabilities discovered and addressed during the development process are less expensive and faster to fix. By automating testing, remediation and delivery, DevSecOps ensures stronger software security without slowing development cycles. The goal is to make security a part of the software development workflow, instead of having to address more issues during runtime.

5 Tips to Develop Apps with Security and Efficiency

1. Automate security reviews and testing. Every DevSecOps pipeline should utilize a combination or variation of tools and features like those listed below. A good automated and unified solution will provide broad visibility and address those issues as they arise, while alerting, enforcing compliance and providing customized reports with relevant insights for the DevOps and security teams. 

  • SAST: Static application security testing to detect insecure code before it’s used (tools like GitHub, GitGuardian and Snyk, to name a few) 
  • SCA: Software composition analysis to detect library vulnerabilities before building (tools like GitHub and GitLab)
  • CSA: Container scanning analysis to detect Operating System Library vulnerabilities and mitigate risk (tools like CrowdStrike Falcon® Cloud Security and GitLab)

Figure 1. Dynamic container analysis in the Falcon platform (click to enlarge)

  • IaC scanning: Infrastructure-as-code scanning to detect vulnerabilities in infrastructure (tools like Falcon Cloud Security and GitLab)

Figure 2. Falcon infrastructure-as-code (IaC) scanning (click to enlarge)

  • ASPM: Application security posture management to detect application vulnerabilities and risks once deployed (such as Falcon Cloud Security)

Figure 3. Architecture view of apps, services, APIs and more in Falcon (click to enlarge)

2. Integrate with developer toolchains. Streamline and consolidate your toolchain so developers and security teams can focus their attention on a single interface and source of truth. The tighter the integration between security and app development, the earlier threats can be identified, and the faster delivery can be accelerated. By seamlessly integrating with Jenkins, Bamboo, GitLab and others, Falcon Cloud Security allows DevOps teams to respond to and remediate incidents faster within the toolsets they already use.  

3. Share security knowledge among teams. DevSecOps is a journey enabled by technology, but a process that starts with people. Your DevSecOps team should share lessons learned and mitigation steps after resolving the compromise. Some organizations even assign a security champion who helps introduce this sense of responsibility of security within the team. Be prepared to get your teams on board before changing the process, and ensure everyone understands the benefits of DevSecOps. Make security testing part of your project kickoffs and charters, and empower your teams with training, education and tools to make their jobs easier. 

4. Measure your security posture. Identify the software development pain points and security risks, create a plan that works well for your organization and your team, and drive execution. Make sure to track and measure results such as the time lost in dealing with vulnerabilities after code is merged. Then, look for patterns in the type or cause of those vulnerabilities, and make adjustments to detect and address them earlier. This introduces a shared plan with integration into the build and production phases. CrowdStrike offers a free comprehensive Cloud Security Risk Review and services to help you plan, execute and measure your plan.  

5. “Shift right” as well as “shift left.” Detection doesn’t always guarantee security. Shifting right and knowing how secure your applications and APIs are in production is just as important. By leveraging ASPM to uncover potential vulnerabilities in the application code once they are up and deployed, teams can find potential exposure in their application code that could allow backdoor access to other critical data and systems. 

The bottom line is that while security and development used to be separate, the lines are now blurring to a point where security is becoming more and more integrated with the day-to-day job of developers. The benefit is that the modern practice brings together teams across the company to a common understanding, which then drives business growth. DevSecOps requires teams to collaborate and enables the organization to deliver safer applications to customers without compromising security.

How CrowdStrike Powers Your DevSecOps Journey

Security is not meant to be a red light on the road to your business goals or slow down your software development. It is meant to enable you to reach those goals safely with minimal risk. Falcon Cloud Security empowers DevSecOps teams to “shift left” in the application security paradigm, with tools including Infrastructure-as-Code Scanning, Image Assessment, and Kubernetes Admission Controller, all designed to ensure applications are secure earlier in application development and deployment. 

CrowdStrike Falcon Cloud Security lets DevOps and security teams join forces to build applications securely before deployment, monitor they are compliant once deployed, and ensure the code is secure during runtime using ASPM. With ASPM in a unified interface that’s easy to visualize and understand, customers can “shift right” to reduce risk and stop breaches from applications that are already deployed.

The DevSecOps Playbook: Deliver Continuous Security at Speed

 DevSecOps A leaders Guide

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Tags: DevOps, DevSecOps, The DevSecOps Playbook

Aug 15 2022

How to manage the intersection of Java, security and DevOps at a low complexity cost

Category: App SecurityDISC @ 8:44 am

In this Help Net Security video above, Erik Costlow, Senior Director of Product Management at Azul, talks about Java centric vulnerabilities and the headache they have become for developers everywhere.

He touches on the need for putting security back into DevOps and how developers can better navigate vulnerabilities that are taking up all of their efforts and keeping them from being able to focus on the task at hand.


Microservices Security in Action: Design secure network and API endpoint security for Microservices applications, with examples using Java, Kubernetes, and Istio

Tags: DevOps, Java Security

Aug 04 2022

GitHub blighted by “researcher” who created thousands of malicious projects

Category: App Security,MalwareDISC @ 10:46 am

Just over a year ago, we wrote about a “cybersecurity researcher” who posted almost 4000 pointlessly poisoned Python packages to the popular repository PyPI.

This person went by the curious nickname of Remind Supply Chain Risks, and the packages had project names that were generally similar to well-known projects, presumably in the hope that some of them would get installed by mistake, thanks to users using slightly incorrect search terms or making minor typing mistakes when typing in PyPI URLs.

These pointless packages weren’t overtly malicious, but they did call home to a server hosted in Japan, presumably so that the perpetrator could collect statistics on this “experiment” and write it up while pretending it counted as science.

A month after that, we wrote about a PhD student (who should have known better) and their supervisor (who is apparently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at a US university, and very definitely should have known better) who went out of their way to introduce numerous apparently legitimate but not-strictly-needed patches into the Linux kernel.

They called these patches hypocrite commits, and the idea was to show that two peculiar patches submitted at different times could, in theory, be combined later on to introduce a security hole, effectively each contributing a sort of “half-vulnerability” that wouldn’t be spotted as a bug on its own.

As you can imagine, the Linux kernel team did not take kindly to being experimented on in this way without permission, not least because they were faced with cleaning up the mess:

Please stop submitting known-invalid patches. Your professor is playing around with the review process in order to achieve a paper in some strange and bizarre way. This is not ok, it is wasting our time, and we will have to report this, AGAIN, to your university…

GitHub splattered with hostile code

Accelerate DevOps with GitHub: Enhance Software Delivery Performance with GitHub Issues, Projects, Actions, and Advanced Security

Tags: DevOps, DevSecOps, malicious projects

Apr 08 2022

Developers Remediate Less Than a Third of Vulnerabilities

Category: Security vulnerabilitiesDISC @ 8:28 am

Developers Remediate Less Than a Third of Vulnerabilities

Developers are regularly ignoring security issues as they deal with an onslaught of issues from security teams, even as they are expected to release software more frequently and faster than ever before.

In addition, developers fix just 32% of known vulnerabilities, and 42% of developers push vulnerable code once per month, according to Tromzo’s Voice of the Modern Developer Report.

The report, based on a survey of more than 400 U.S.-based developers who work at organizations where they currently have CI/CD tools in place, also found a third of respondents think developers and security are siloed.

Tromzo CTO and co-founder Harshit Chitalia pointed out the top security vulnerabilities of the past few years—Log4j, SolarWinds, Codecov—have all been supply chain attacks.

“This has made AppSec an urgent and top priority for CISOs worldwide,” he said. “In addition, everything as code with Kubernetes, Terraform and so on have made all parts of the development stack part of AppSec.”

From his perspective, the only way this big attack surface can be overcome is with security and development teams working hand in hand to secure the application in every step of the development cycle.

He added developers ignoring security issues is one of the fundamental issues AppSec engineers have with security.

“Security teams put their blood, sweat and tears into finding different vulnerabilities in code through orchestrating scanners and manual testing,” he said. “After all the work, seeing the issue on Jira queue for months is disappointing and quite frustrating.”

Fighting Friction

On the other hand, he pointed to developers who are now asked not only to develop features and fix bugs but also look at DevOps, performance and security of their applications.

“This leads to friction in priorities and, if unresolved, leads to unhappy employees,” he said. “The C-suite is very much aware of this problem, but they are stuck with security tools which are not created for developers. As application security is going through a big transformation, we believe the tooling will also shift.”

He explained there were several concerning findings from the survey but that two, in particular, stood out.

The first thing Chitalia found deeply concerning was the fact that 62% of developers are using 11 or more application security tools.

He said application security has evolved in recent years with AppSec teams now responsible for source-code analysis, DAST, bug bounty, dependency, secrets scanning, cloud scanning and language-specific scanners.

“This means developers are constantly fed information from these tools without any context and they have to triage and prioritize the workload these tools generate for them,” he said. 

The second big worry was the fact that a third of vulnerabilities are noise.

“If someone told you that a third of the work you did needs to be thrown away every single day, how would you feel about that?” he asked. “But that’s the current state of application security.”

False Positives a Big Negative


Securing DevOps: Security in the Cloud

Tags: DevOps, DevSecOps, Securing DevOps

May 16 2021

DevOps didn’t kill WAF, because WAF will never truly die

Category: App Security,next generation firewallDISC @ 9:21 pm

You can only get rid of WAF if you fully implement security into your development process and audit the process via code reviews and annual tests. But DevSecOps can’t be realistically implemented for all web apps in the enterprise environment, so WAF will stick around because it still has a job to do.

The WAF is not dead, what’s left?

DevOps and the continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline provide an excellent opportunity to implement security, especially if your agile methodology includes security sprints. It allows for security to be built into the apps from the start, rather than taking the traditional route of applying it later, which is not only inefficient but – in the frenetic pace of CI/CD – can be overlooked, ignored, or forgotten.

Although security for all web apps should be built-in from the start, our experience shows that it is usually only applied to the “crown jewels,” like the company’s primary customer portal or client payment systems. In an enterprise environment, it’s not unusual for a company to be running old apps in which code is no longer maintained or apps integrated through acquisition.

Additionally, departments such as R&D and marketing frequently implement custom or third-party applications. This app proliferation can result in more than 50% of public-facing web applications in an organization being managed by DevOps or other disparate IT groups. These apps will need additional mitigation controls, which is where WAF comes in.

Tags: DevOps, SecDevOps

Apr 05 2021

Securing Dev Environments is Security Leaders’ Top Concern

Category: App SecurityDISC @ 12:27 pm

Tags: DevOps, SecDevOps

Mar 26 2021

70% of organizations recognize the importance of secure coding practices

Category: App SecurityDISC @ 10:03 am

A research from Secure Code Warrior has revealed an attitudinal shift in the software development industry, with organizations bucking traditional practices for DevOps and Secure DevOps.

secure coding practices

The global survey of professional developers and their managers found 70% of organizations recognize the importance of secure coding practices, with results indicating an industry-wide shift from reaction to prevention is underway.

Dr. Matias Madou, CTO at Secure Code Warrior, said, “We are seeing a fundamental shift in mindsets across the world, as the industry slowly moves from reactive, band-aid solutions rolled out after a breach, to the proactive and human-led practice of writing quality software that is intrinsically free from vulnerabilities right from the very first keystroke.”

“This research shows that ‘secure code’ is becoming synonymous with ‘quality code’ within software development, and security is becoming the responsibility of development teams and leaders—not just AppSec professionals,” he said.

Secure coding practices

Reactive practices like using tools on deployed applications and manually reviewing code for vulnerabilities were the top two practices respondents associated with coding securely.

However, a proactive shift in mindset was evidenced across the globe, with 55% of the developers surveyed also recognising secure coding as the active, ongoing practice of writing software protected from vulnerabilities.

More on: 70% of organizations recognize the importance of secure coding practices

Secure by Design teaches developers how to use design to drive security in software development. 

Tags: DevOps, SecDevOps, Secure Code