Last updated at Fri, 07 May 2021 18:05:31 GMT

DevOps has long been a key tool in helping organizations reliably and rapidly deliver systems into production. While in the past, IT and software development teams suffered from lengthy processes and struggled to resolve incompatible priorities, now DevOps allows for easier collaboration, as well as a more streamlined and efficient way to organize and manage operations.

The DevOps approach breaks down the development, QA, and operations silos, with testing and deployment processes being built directly into the app. Developers can provision infrastructures on their own in order to build consistent dev/test and production environments. Feedback and deployment loops are dramatically shortened through continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), with as much automation as possible built into these processes.

The need for updated security solutions

As the popularity and usage of DevOps grew, so did the need to extend its capabilities to cover more than just development and improved processes. Indeed, organizations are under increasing pressure to quickly bring applications to market, but without compromising rigorous security standards. Smart and agile decision-makers are increasingly turning the question on its head: It’s not a matter of preventing compromised security in the pursuit of digital speed and agility, it’s a matter of improving digital security as part and parcel of the DevOps push. If in the past, security had only been a final step, teams now must embrace a shift-left approach that makes app security an integral part of app design and deployment from the very start.

From DevOps to DevSecOps—improving security, not just speed

Naturally, DevOps has evolved into DevSecOps, placing security in the center stage of application design and deployment. Moreover, because the DevSecOps approach tightly integrates the infrastructure and app layers, it makes single-pane monitoring and control possible for real-time troubleshooting and dealing with security issues, whether for container security or microservices. According to The DevOps Institute, 42% of global enterprises are applying DevOps at the project or multiple project level, and the latest report from DevSecOps Market shows DevSecOps will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 32.05% between 2021 and 2028.

Going into 2021, DevOps engineers are clearly sought-after, with 634,600 open positions available in North America based on an analysis from Burning Glass Technologies. The position of DevOps engineer has also ranked at No. 5 on Glassdoor’s 50 best jobs in 2020, for both the U.S. and the U.K.

Future-forward organizations are bending over backwards to incorporate security into their agile processes and Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) earlier. The problem is that upon turning to the standard box of DevOps tools, it quickly becomes clear that older tools designed for other purposes are more likely to impede than enhance your visibility and control.

To make this model work — and successfully apply DevOps principles and practices to the realm of security — organizations need to transition to a technology-led solution that checks all of the following boxes:

  • Delivers control by providing satellite, big-picture views as well as a granular drill-down into specific activities, processes, and events
  • Takes a holistic approach, as opposed to one that only targets individual issues
  • Serves multi-cloud, multi-account, and multi-data center environments
  • Speaks the language of both hardware and software ,  not one instead of the other
  • Is compatible with all cloud, virtualization, and orchestration technologies
  • Is designed to work with modern containers and orchestration systems to provide adequate container security solutions
  • Allows DevOps (and other development stakeholders) to focus on their specific needs while maintaining unified and consistent organizational policies that are implemented into the firewall

DevSecOps and cloud-native security: A logical union

DevSecOps and hybrid cloud are two compelling technology trends that are transforming the contemporary data center. Hybrid clouds combine private and public clouds to create an optimally flexible infrastructure. Sensitive and/or high-volume workloads benefit from the security and low latency of on-premises/private cloud deployments. Other workloads benefit from the agility and cost savings of the public cloud’s on-demand compute and storage services. In a well-orchestrated hybrid environment, enterprises can easily shift workloads between private and public infrastructures to cater to changing business needs. They can also implement cost-effective yet highly robust disaster recovery and business continuity strategies.

According to the 2020 CNCF Survey Report, 82% of respondents use CI/CD pipelines and 30% of respondents use serverless technologies in production. Hybrid is the most popular approach for release cycles as chosen by 46% of respondents, up from 41% last year and just 25% in 2018. And Mordor Intelligence reports that the hybrid cloud market was valued at $52 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $145 billion by 2026.

At the same time, a growing number of cyber-threats and the need for added security measures and improved cloud security has substantially propelled the DevSecOps market. Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021, and according to Verified Market Research, the Global DevSecOps Market was valued at nearly $2 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $15.9 billion by 2027.

Combining hybrid cloud and DevSecOps for optimization

It’s clear to see that DevSecOps and hybrid cloud are two rising stars in the software development world, with no sign of decreasing popularity. It might seem they are in conflict with each other, but a closer look reveals that there is a great synergy between them—a synergy that further amplifies their positive impact on business outcomes and operational security.

Four pillars hold the key to an optimized and efficient organization: flexibility, agility, cost reduction, and operational efficiency. By working simultaneously and implementing practices such as diverse infrastructures, automation, reduced delivery costs, and single-pane monitoring, DevSecOps and hybrid cloud are able to greatly contribute to core business needs and help businesses reach desired goals.

The bottom line

By giving DevOps the tools they need, organizations enable and empower them to truly collaborate with security teams early in the development cycle . In other words, instead of sending (often heated) emails back and forth, playing the blame game, and engaging in damage control, security professionals can truly connect with their development and operations colleagues to pool knowledge, share resources, and generally team up.

With complex apps deployed across complex infrastructures, attack surfaces have become bigger than ever, and the network perimeters that have traditionally been protected by security tools have all but disappeared. Highly decentralized data management makes it very difficult for enterprises to effectively track, protect, and ensure the compliance of their data assets within a modern data center operation. Both hybrid cloud and DevSecOps require a new security mindset. The DevSecOps team must ensure that each code component, microservice, and container integrated into an app meets an overarching security strategy.

Only by integrating this new security mindset into your operations can you expect to achieve what matters most: applications that do not just meet all required business objectives, but comprehensively succeed in improving digital security.