Shift Left Security: The Best Approach For Modernistic SDLC by@sarrahpitaliya

Shift Left Security: The Best Approach For Modernistic SDLC

Shift Left DevOps is a DevOps organizational pattern that integrates operations, security, and development. Shift left security incorporates security and testing as early as possible into the software development lifecycle. Shift Left Testing identifies and resolves the defects much sooner in the development cycle. This approach facilitates advancement to subsequent stages and deploys and streamlines development cycle while enhancing the overall quality. Technology Pushing Shift Left Security includes tools and technologies to bridge the divide and commission swift, streamlined security assessments. The technology helps to scan container images consistently before releasing them into production settings.
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In this fast-pacing world, where most organizations are focusing on acquiring advanced cutting-edge technologies and software to mark their presence in the global market, it has never been more critical to determine the level of progress.

However, have you ever wondered about the vulnerabilities and loopholes of these advancements? In addition, what about the security of deployed software? Deferring the fixing of software security breaches until it is too late can be exorbitant and expose businesses to vulnerable positions. Because of these factors, developing efficient software from the outset is essential. It is where shift-left security comes into action.

Let us explore this approach in the Software development lifecycle and several important thematic areas. Nevertheless, let's first comprehend the shift left security method a little more before moving on.

What's Shift Left DevOps?

The phrase 'shift left' alludes to a DevOps team's initiatives to ensure application security at the initial stages of Agile Software Development as a part of the DevSecOps organizational pattern that integrates operations, security, and development.

Representing the conventional linear of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), shift left involves transferring a process to the left. Furthermore, security and testing are two crucial subjects that this DevOps approach frequently covers.

Understanding Shift Left Security

  • Shift Left Testing - Before being delivered to security teams, application testing conduction occurs during the final developmental phases. I suppose the application did not perform adequately, did not meet regulatory standards, or in any other manner was unable to acknowledge the specified requirements; they would be directly sent off into development for further modifications.

    Thereby resulting in severe impediments in the overall SDLC and was incompatible with DevOps methodologies, which place a strong emphasis on development pace.

    On the other hand, all thanks to shift left testing that identifies and resolves the defects much sooner in the software development lifecycle. This approach facilitates advancement to subsequent stages and deploys and streamlines the development cycle while enhancing the overall quality.

  • Shift Left Security - A few years back, security testing was put to effect ultimately after the application testing in the development cycle. The security professional's team implemented different types of security assessments and analyses.

    Security testing would, however, either approve the application for deployment into production or reject and send it back to developers for rectification, causing delays in application development.

    Shift left security stepped in at this point to assist developers in establishing security measures across the whole development cycle. In a basic sense, shift left security incorporates security and testing as early as possible into the SDLC.

Technology Pushing Shift Left Security

An organization utilizing DevOps services understood the significance and advantages of shift security left in dodging various security vulnerabilities, designating this movement as DevSecOps. This approach employs different tools and technologies to bridge the divide and commission swift, streamlined security assessments.

Below I've shortlisted some of the significant technologies used to drive the shift left security -

  • Software Composition Analysis (SCA) - It helps to analyze and find the recognized software components, including third-party libraries and open-source libraries, and highlight any vulnerabilities related to those components.

  • Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) - It executes alongside the applications in operation to monitor activity, evaluate it, and warn or stop unauthorized or aberrant behaviors.

  • Container Image Scanning Tools - Talking about the container registries and CI/CD pipeline, the technology helps to scan the container images consistently before releasing them into production settings. Consequently, they can seamlessly identify complex components and vulnerabilities.

  • Static Application Security Testing (SAST) - Its exceptional work is to scan the source code for recognized fragilities and unsafe programming practices. Furthermore, incorporating it into developers' production settings helps acknowledge any security issue promptly.

  • Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) – Before implementation into production environments, DAST scans the application process, facilitating an outside-in strategy to evaluate applications for susceptible vulnerabilities.

  • Web Application Firewalls (WAF) - The technology helps track future attacks and the traffic at the application level. Even without addressing the core software flaws, WAFs' programming helps prevent specific potential conflict vectors.

  • Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) - CSPM services can prescribe or proactively execute the best security standards based on an organization's internal regulations or external security requirements.

Exploring the Most Noteworthy Shift Left Security Tools

A left shift procedure generally includes establishing modern-day technologies into the different pipelines and retiring technological approaches that are no longer used.

Curious, why do these processes need specific tools?

Tools play a significant part in DevOps and DevSecOps pipelines, abetting automation, integration, and encouraging the work done by different teams.

Moreover, opting for the relevant tools can lead to better security practices throughout the development lifecycle.

Below I’ve mentioned the crucial tools implemented to automate security.

  • Test Automation Tools - It assists in automating functional testing of applications, which may also encompass analysis for any risks.
  • Continuous Integration (CI) - It enables organizations to quickly transfer code to the production environment and perform automated tests via integration, including security checks.
  • Container image and server-less function scanning - They are frequently employed in DevOps and cloud-native application development.
  • Issue Tracking Tools - It provides an instant alert to the teams about security threats, allowing them to prioritize the problem and quicken repairs by providing key information.

Significance of Shift Left Security

Shift left security enables complete assurance to monitor new risks driven by cloud technologies and keep up with different Agile Software Development strategies. As one may understand, there are several merits to using this technique as a part of the SDLC. I’ve curated some of the most promising advantages of implementing shift-left security -

  • When incorporating the shift lest, for security in the development part, organizations can accomplish greater performance standards in producing more reliable and secure applications.
  • A simple point to understand is that incorporating security is a priority in the development environment; an organization can seamlessly keep the recognized vulnerabilities under check before deploying solutions.
  • It efficiently assists developers in creating an improved security understanding by educating themselves about their mistakes and accomplishing a healthy coding environment.
  • Lastly, with the assistance of the shift left security approach, an organization can maintain the expense of rectification to the bare minimum. It is quite cost-effective to tackle security vulnerabilities formerly in the development phase than after its deployment.

Seamless Approaches

Curious to know about the best practices for shift-left security?

Different approaches are accomplished to shift security to the left, and the best possibilities are mentioned below:

  • Conduct analysis on the creation of software
  • Discern and plan testing life cycle
  • Execution of security fixes throughout the code development
  • Integrating the development and project management process with testing
  • Motivate testers to code
  • Direct automation of security procedures
  • Specify quality standards and controls throughout the entire Software development lifecycle
  • Make sure to make the code visible for teams
  • Encourage a consistent feedback mechanism
  • Adopt test automation
  • Influence the developers to begin the code development with testability in mind

Wrapping Up!

Concisely, implementing penetration testing and vulnerability analysis after the product deployment leads to more time consumption and higher expense for any organization. Therefore, effective installation of shift-left security became essential to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration between programmers, security experts, and operation teams.

While considering the pace of development, it is preferable to incorporate security as a crucial part of the software development lifecycle and opt for state-of-the-art Software Development Services.

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