DevOps Security Best Practices for Building More Secure Software Apps
Continuous compliance is the process of continuous monitoring to comply with industry regulations and follow best cybersecurity practices. Establishing a consistent release management process can help you achieve ongoing compliance. Other steps include adding code base access controls, patching software libraries periodically, and having a repeatable approach to adding new software features that meet customer needs and meet relevant regulations.
Some of the recommended controls that support continuous compliance with DevOps include:
Multiple environments – It is essential to create multiple code environments; ideally, you should have separate environments for development, staging, and production. Multiple code environments with an approval workflow to move code between them provide a set of controls and balances.
Segregation of duties – clearly define the responsibilities of developers, approvers, administrators and managers, and not assign more than one role per person. One set of permissions per person allows for easy auditing of changes. Requiring multiple roles and approvals each time code moves between environments or is published to clients helps protect the code base.
Authentication – Implement strong authentication mechanisms, including multifactor authentication (MFA) and require developers to change their passwords regularly.
Quality control tests – Ensure that your quality assurance process includes testing and performing vulnerability scans when moving code between environments to detect cybersecurity risks as soon as possible. Many organizations have incorporated secure code reviews and application security testing at specific points in their development process.
Key management – Use software keys to provide access to the servers and set an expiration date for each.
Security protocols – Use the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol during DevOps. SSH is a network protocol that helps secure remote logins to a computer or server. SSH offers multiple options for strong authentication and protects the security and integrity of communications. Use a secure protocol such as SSH to protect any access to the software code.
Encryption – Provide user encryption keys to protect sensitive customer or business data.
SaaS applications reside in the cloud and typically experience a significant volume of internal and external user transactions. After launching the software, search for threats regularly to identify unusual behaviors and potentially malicious activities. Threat search includes static scanning, continuous tracking of logs of various aspects of the software infrastructure, and automated scanning.