Cloud Computing, DevOps

5 Mins Read

Rapid and Secure Code Delivery using DevSecOps


Today, almost all companies started using DevOps in their organization. DevOps is a culture where teams can collaborate and deliver software and updates faster. However, the security specialist must make sure that the best practices are been used at the end of the delivery pipeline. If security measures are not taken, it might create unnecessary overhead in the delivery process with unexpected issues frequently and the team loses time fixing these processes repeatedly. Ultimately making it inefficient and costly. security must be considered before the designing phase. This approach will lead to success for developers as they create a secure environment before developing the features. DevSecOps integrates security into DevOps as the component of the SDLC. The team can collaborate with a security specialist to implement a “security as a code” culture that encourages security as a software component of the SDLC pipeline.

What is DevSecOps?

The Development practice integrates every stage of the software development cycle to deliver robust and secure applications. It’s a culture where development and operation both take part in a shared responsibility for delivering secured software. DevSecOps integrates infrastructure and application security which addresses the issues as they grow and makes the application and infrastructure security a shared responsibility by automating the software delivery without slowing the lifecycle.

DevSecOps involves injecting the security best practices into the organization’s DevOps pipeline. It prioritizes the security requirements as part of the product backlog. It eliminates the silos between development, operations, and security. DevSecOps is a transformational shift that involves the security culture, tools, and practices of each phase of the DevOps processes.

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Why DevSecOps is Important?

  • Vulnerabilities Recognition in Early Stages

The team will check and identify the security vulnerabilities before the release of any application. As it saves time and is more cost-efficient before bringing up the application to the market.

  • Reduce manual efforts by automating

Automating the manual configuration of the security consoles will help minimize the workload, which helps to frame high-value tasks. The security functions like firewalling, identity management, scanning, and access control can be automated using DevOps.

  • Consistent Improvements

The security team is involved from the start of the development phase, repeatedly monitoring the success and failures of different matrices that can create a template to follow to avoid the issues.

  • Improves communication and collaboration

DevSecOps improve the company’s productivity by improving collaboration and communication between the teams. DevSecOps ensure that the security, development, and operation team is engaged at every phase of the development process. This brings a cultural shift in the working environment and improves overall performance. This will also help to get immediate feedback and increases efficiency by communicating effectively.

Implementing DevSecOps in AWS CI/CD pipeline with open-source SCA, SAST, and DAST tools

Building a secured DevSecOps pipeline is a part of the development strategy to maintain a successful deployment, which includes continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery and deployment (CD), testing, monitoring, logging, governance, and auditing.

Identifying vulnerabilities in the initial stage of software development can reduce the overall cost and it can integrate various services and tools with the DevSecOps pipeline.

AWS features that are required with the set of services and tools to analyze objectives and this provides flexibility to build a DevSecOps pipeline with AWS cloud Native or third-party tools. AWS has the services and tools which are necessary to provide flexibility for building DevSecOps pipelines with easy integration of AWS Cloud Native and Third-party tools.

Here is the DevSecOps pipeline architecture of AWS that involves best practices including SCA (Software composite analysis), SAST (Static Application Security Testing), and DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) finding the vulnerabilities and aggregating in a single pane of glass, this also addresses the security of the pipeline and security in the pipeline.

Architecture Diagram


*Source – AWS docs

In this architecture diagram, the user commits the code to the CodeCommit repository, and the event is generated in the CloudWatch which triggers CodePipeline. The Code Build packages the build and uploads the binary and other artifacts to S3.

The CodeBuild scans SCA tools and SAST tools that contain code, if there are no vulnerabilities the CodeBuild invokes the lambda function. The result will be parsed to AWS Security Finding Format (ASFF) and post it to the security hub. This helps to aggregate the vulnerability findings in a single place. The lambda function also uploads the scanning results to S3. If no vulnerabilities, CodeDeploy will deploy the code to the staging Elastic Beanstalk environment, once the deployment is successful CodeBuild triggers DAST scanning. Then the CodeBuild invokes the Lambda functions that parse the result to ASFF and post it to the security hub. once the approval stage is triggered the email will be sent for the approver’s action. Post approval, CodeDeploy will deploy the code in the Production Elastic Beanstalk environment. CloudTrail keeps track of all the API calls and sends notifications.

Security Challenges of DevSecOps

  • Maintaining the pace of DevOps

DevOps mainly focus on speed with short development cycles which may be longer to review the code rather than updates. Security is often sacrificed for speeding, allowing flaws, misconfigurations, unresolved vulnerabilities, and exposing the software to malfunctions and breaches.

  • Inadequate controls are the main reason for attacks

DevOps require controlled privileges to access and manage the secrets inputs like an API access token, and other credentials to maintain the account confidentially while working. If there is no adequate management of the secrete or you lose access control it might be an opening for the attackers to crawl into the data, disrupt the operations, and gain control over the entire infrastructure.

  • Risky Toolset

DevOps teams rely on the different toolsets for automation aspects to deliver software pipelines which might be open source and may contain flaws. Even if the tool itself is secured the team must implement the best practices for securing the pipelines. DevOps technology stack requires security concerns for visibility vulnerability scanning and automatic security control strategies.

  • Automation

The continuous automation tools for integration and development will boost security, compliance, and quality. Insist good code hygiene from the beginning of the development throughout the DevOps cycle.

  • Malicious repositories and container images

Public repositories like Docker Hub are major sources for container images and packages. Many containers image may contain vulnerabilities from public repos and might be malicious.

  • Security Policies

Governance and Security policies are crucial for managing security risk. The team must establish a clear set of understandable policies and procedures, configuration management, access control, security tools, and code reviews. The security team must ensure all these policies are aligned with these policies and need to make sure they are implemented.


DevSecOps introduce a better idea of thinking about security from the beginning. With a small change, the developers start catching the vulnerabilities before the code is committed to the repository. In an older approach, Development lifecycles no longer depended on collaborative fixes for vulnerabilities.

The DevOps approaches made the tasks possible to automate. When DevSecOps is implemented properly, the developers can be able to find and fix the vulnerabilities before the product is released. As the organization grows the automation will remain the same, and no additional staff cost for scaling the security services. It is important to implement the correct services and configure and integrate all these services.

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1. What is security as a code?

ANS: – Security as a code is a practice of implementing security into DevOps tools and identifying security checks and tests. SaC integrates security rules, tools, policies, and tests in CI/CD pipeline. Each of these provides developers to address and identify security issues.

2. What is AWS CodePipeline?

ANS: – AWS CodePipeline is a software release process with automatic continuous delivery pipelines for reliable and fast updates. This defines the stages of the release process using AWS CLI or AWS Console Management and rapidly releasing features, identifying bugs, and iterating on feedback, and testing each code change.


Deepika N works as a Research Associate - DevOps and holds a Master's in Computer Applications. She is interested in DevOps and technologies. She helps clients to deploy highly available and secured application in AWS. Her hobbies are singing and painting.



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