How to Achieve Fast and Secure Continuous Delivery of Cloud-Native Applications
How to get fast and secure continuous delivery of native cloud applications
Tuesday, 07/05/2022 – 16:11
What is continuous delivery?
Continuous delivery is the ability to introduce software changes of all kinds, including new features, configuration changes, and bug fixes, into production safely and quickly in a sustainable manner. Continuous delivery is critical to successfully reaching the full potential of DevOps throughout your organization.
Continuous delivery aims to reduce the time between the time the code is written and the time it is deployed, while maintaining high quality and reducing risk. It’s a crucial part of the software development process, as it allows teams to publish new features continuously, allowing them to be tested and changes quickly.
According to research conducted by the Continuous Delivery Foundation, adopting a continuous delivery approach to software development offers many advantages. For example, at the organizational level, it accelerates the delivery of new features, increases the ability to respond to external events, and helps build deeper relationships with product customers. At the process level, the approach helps decrease deployment pain while improving quality.
Security is a key challenge of continuous scale delivery
While the CD brings many benefits to the software development industry, 75% of organizations can still improve their processes in terms of frequency of deployment and time to deliver changes. The main challenges of the scale CD are:
Pipeline expansion has created many management inconsistencies. For example, pipes are not declared as code or are applied and spread over several generations. In addition, pipeline expansion among many development teams results in inconsistent CI / CD processes that create vulnerabilities.
The 12 Factor app is a set of principles that describes a way to create software that, when tracked, allows companies to create code that can be reliably released, scaled quickly, and maintained in a consistent and predictable manner. However, many developers are unable to apply these 12 factors, resulting in overly complicated applications and giant monoliths that slow down construction and deployment times.
In addition, an immature developmental life cycle will greatly damage the CD in scale. Improper use of version control, inefficient repository structure, and lack of code revisions will result in poor quality products and lack of scalable pipelines.
Security and visibility
Managing secrets and accessing environments is a critical factor in building trust between your CI / CD pipelines. Lack of good practice and security governance impairs your ability to audit and track changes to your software and greatly reduces the visibility of your environment.
Closely related to lack of visibility and security is having poor test coverage and lack of quality testing to measure all indicators of development performance.
Failure to address these challenges not only affects the marketing time of your applications, but also affects your software supply chain, leaving your organization (and your customers) open to attacks that seek to exploit vulnerabilities in your applications. As the attack on the SolarWinds supply chain demonstrated, the disruption can be devastating.
How to enable security in continuous delivery
When we talk about CDs, we need to understand that there are pipes running in the environment and to secure the CD we need to protect those pipes. The basis of security on the CD is to have pipelines controlled by versions as code. A pipeline as a code file specifies the steps, jobs, and actions a pipeline must perform. Because the file is versioned, changes to the pipeline code can be tested on the branches with the corresponding application version.
Pipelines as code are the first step in managing fast and secure continuous delivery to scale. When you have pipelines as code, you can parameterize, reuse, and expand them to meet your business needs. Most importantly, you can integrate security and compliance policies to simplify access to approved, secure, and reliable pipelines for your development teams.
Because your IC / CD is a critical component of your software supply chain, you want to make sure your IC / CD is as secure as possible by static or dynamic testing so that your devices are trusted. To achieve this, the following important aspects must be taken into account:
- Use secure credential storage and turn keys frequently
- Inspect the output of your compilation and make sure you are not leaking secrets or other sensitive information
- Code all your artifacts with code and incorporate runtime checks to ensure integrity
As a system becomes more complex, it is critical to have checks and best practices to ensure the integrity of the artifact, that the source code you trust is the code you actually use. If you want to develop and offer software that is as robust as possible, you can take advantage of a security framework like SLSA (Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts, pronounced like sauce), which includes a checklist of standards and controls to prevent manipulation. improve the integrity and secure packages and infrastructure of your business.
Venafi can help
Automating the identity of the native cloud machine provides developers with a consistent, high-grade deployment process with integrated workload security. With Venafi Jetstack Secure you can automate best security practices and enhance the developer experience. Jetstack Secure provides vital visibility and control of X.509 certificates and their configuration status to Kubernetes and OpenShift clusters.
To learn how your organization can securely automate native cloud workloads, talk to an expert.