DevOps vs DevSecOps: Choosing the Best Fit for Your Organization

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DevOps vs DevSecOps_ Choosing the Best Fit for Your Organization

DevOps vs DevSecOps is becoming a popular buzzword in software development. These both are go-to approaches for following an SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle), as they are paramount in software development. Both approaches are underpinning factors for a strategic and organized software development process. 

Now, what is DevOps? DevOps is a continuous collaboration between the development and the operational team to meticulously develop and maintain harmony during the entire software development lifecycle. 

Conversely, DevSecOps is an extended collaboration emphasizing security integration in software development. 

In this blog, explore the key differences between DevOps and DevSecOps, their pros and cons, and which aligns as the right fit for your organization.

What is DevOps?

Conventionally, developers practiced the Waterfall Model, V-model, and Incremental model for software development. But the point is, that none of these models can cater to modern business requirements. With the evolving development, DevOps and DevSecOps created hype of being a go-to approach for SDLC. 

DevOps was coined in 2009 by Patrick Debois. It refers to a set of practices that the software development team and IT follow. The core focus here is to minimize the software development life cycle and ensure quality deliverables to the customers.

If your enterprise is struggling with DevOps integration, choosing the right DevOps consulting services can help to address your organizational issues.  

DevOps: Benefits and Challenges

Benefits of DevOps:-

1) It streamlines collaboration within cross-functional DevOps engineer teams and promotes enhanced communication.

2) CI and CD automate tedious processes, leading to rapid deployment and ensuring streamlined and automated processes.

3) It automates repetitive tasks by detecting updates & errors and optimizing resource utilization.

4) Continuous testing ensures early bug detection, leading to quality assurance.

5) It handles increased workload and adapts to changing requirements, improving scalability and flexibility.

6) Rapid feature delivery and quick response to feedback lead to enhanced customer satisfaction. 

7) It leads to resource optimization due to efficient infrastructure utilization and reduced operational costs.

Challenges of DevOps:-

1) Vulnerabilities and security breaches occur as they are assigned to particular people.

2) Investing in tools, training, and ongoing maintenance can incur expensive costs.

3) It demands a lot of time and resources. However, relying solely on automation can have unfavorable outcomes.

4) The learning curve is high due to the skill requirement and chances of internal challenges.

Principles of DevOps    

1) Collaboration

The underlying principle behind DevOps is collaboration. Development and operations teams function as single teams to communicate, share feedback, and collaborate.

2) Automation

Automation is a key element that allows developers to write code and develop features. The CI/CD pipeline mitigates human errors and improves overall team productivity, leading to continuous improvements, short iteration, and quick customer feedback. 

3) Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is a principle that focuses on experimentation, minimizes waste, and optimizes speed, costs, and ease of delivery. It allows teams to push updates that improve the efficiency of software systems. 

4) Customer-centric action

DevOps teams focus on customer feedback to develop products around customer-centric user needs. Real-time monitoring allows rapid collection and response to user feedback for swift development. This allows to get feedback and check for future improvements. 

5) Create with the end in mind

This principle allows us to understand customer needs and develop products or services. DevOps teams should better understand the root cause of the customer’s problem (product) from creation to implementation.

| BONUS READ: Top 5 DevOps trends

What is DevSecOps?

Traditionally, security practices have been considered lately in the software development lifecycle. However, due to the risk of rising cyber-attacks and data breaches, development teams are looking for shorter and more iterations for the applications. This resulted in software development lifecycle models that provide security.  

DevSecOps refers to development, security, and operations, enabling developers to integrate security practices in every development process to deliver reliable and secure software applications. 

DevSecOps: Benefits and Challenges 

Benefits of DevSecOps 

1) DevSecOps undertakes proactive steps to mitigate cyber security risks and ensures enhanced cyber security. 

2) Helps build a collaborative team to enhance the application’s overall security, streamline processes, and enhance collaboration. 

3) Ingrained security automates most of the security processes during the development cycle. This leads to streamlined reporting and ensures quick development cycles.

4) A streamlined development process ensures that there are limited security vulnerabilities. 

Challenges of DevSecOps

1) Lack of security assurance at the development levels. 

2) There are chances of imbalance in organizational collaboration, culture, or tooling. 

3) Lack of security because of developers’ skills.

4) Insufficient knowledge about security aspects, including resources, data, and standards. 

Principle of DevSecOps

1) Shift “LEFT” approach

This approach focuses on utmost security practices right from the beginning of the software development lifecycle. 

2) Persistent automation 

Automation plays a vital role in DevSecOps; persistently, security checks and processes are automated. Automated testing ensures speed, consistency, and accuracy. 

3) Collaboration and communication 

DevSecOps emphasizes collaboration and communication, which are essential to maintain communication between the development, security, and operational teams. It nurtures a shared responsibility culture to ensure everyone is aligned toward common goals of addressing security concerns. 

4) Continuous monitoring

Continuous monitoring allows the developers to identify and respond to security threats. 

5) Regular risk assessments

Conducting regular risk assessments helps to identify potential threats and prioritize security measures. 

DevOps vs DevSecOps: What is the Difference Between Them?

1) Difference of Emphasis 

Both concepts are a part of software development methodologies. The key difference between DevOps vs DevSecOps is the emphasis they focus on.

DevOps strongly focuses on enhanced collaboration and communication between the Dev (Development) and Ops (Operational) teams. For example, this entails CI/CD tools which helps the DevOps team to automate, test, and build the deployment processes, thereby ensuring the quality of the software delivery. 

On the other hand, DevSecOps refers to seamless integration and maintenance of security practices. In this sense, for example, instead of considering security in the last phase of the development process, the DevSecOps team integrates the security parameters throughout the entire CI/CD pipeline. This includes code analysis, risk assessment, and vulnerability scanning.

2) Difference of Goals

DevOps is one of the contemporary software development approaches that primarily aims to streamline collaboration and automate the software development lifecycle. This helps organizations to achieve efficiency and facilitate faster delivery. For example, if deployment is automated, there are possibilities of fewer manual errors and an accelerated development process. 

On the other hand, DevSecOps aims to consider security as one of the important aspects of the software development process. This proactive approach ensures the mitigation of vulnerabilities, fostering a smoother and more secure development process. 

3) Difference in the Lifecycle stage

DevOps spans a short time from the planning to the development phases. This is primarily due to the extra layer of process in the latter. Consequently, it paves the way to faster and quicker development is possible with DevOps as the cycle revolves around CI/CD paradigm.

DevSecOps, on the other hand, extends security concerns to every stage of the software development lifecycle. Whether planning, designing, developing, testing, or deploying, considering security parameters is an integral part. Therefore, the lifecycle stage of DevSecOps is extended at every stage of the development lifecycle stages for enhanced security.

4) Difference of Major Aspects

The key aspects considered in DevOps are process automation, which includes IaC, monitoring, and feedback loops. These elements allow the development team to manage and provision the infrastructure. There are a few examples: Ansible or Terraform tools. 

DevSecOps plays prominence in security automation, risk assessment, vulnerability management, and threat modeling. For example, integrating such automation tools as OWASP ZAP and Snyk facilitates identifying and rectifying vulnerabilities. 

5) Difference of Controls & Responsibilities

The DevOps approach adheres to shared controls and responsibilities, commonly categorized into development, operational, and shared responsibility. It allows the developers to be responsible for writing high-quality code and ensures continuous updates of the features as and when required. Each type ensures the best security practices to detect potential threats and vulnerabilities. 

6) Difference of Tools

DevOps utilizes a toolkit of continuous integration, continuous deployment tools, and automation tools, along with different automation tools such as Jenkins, and Travis CI. 

On the other hand, DevSecOps relies on security scanning tools, including Veracode and Checkmarx. Additionally, it also integrates code analysis and security testing tools, including OWASP ZAP and Nessus to evaluate and enhance security measures in detail. 

DevOps vs DevSecOps: A Tabular Comparison

Parameters DevOps DevSecOps
Emphasis This approach focuses on development and requires optimal team collaboration to ensure speedy and high-quality output. The Dev (Development) and Ops (Operational) teams communicate. DevSecOps emphasizes security concerns or integrating security practices into the DevOps processes. 
Goals DevOps sets the goal of improving, streamlining, and automating the efficiency of the development cycle. This approach set the goal of ensuring the risk of mitigating the vulnerabilities. Security measures are a crucial aspect of the software development cycle. 
Lifecycle StageSpans a shorter development cycle from planning to deploying. It spans a longer period than DevOps, as security practices are followed at every development lifecycle stage. 
Major aspectsThe major aspects to be considered here are CI/CD, automation, monitoring, and feedback loops. DevOpsSec considers the major aspects of security automation, risk assessment, vulnerability assessment, and threat modeling. 
Controls & responsibilities It is a shared responsibility between the Dev /Development) and Ops (Operational) teams during the entire development lifecycle. It is a shared responsibility of the Dev (Development), Ops (Operational), and Sec (Security) teams during the whole development lifecycle. 
ToolsThe tools that are used by the DevOps teams are automation, monitoring, and CI/CD tools. The tools that are used by DevSecOps teams are security testing & scanning tools and code analysis tools.
Benefits The core benefits of DevOps are it ensures fast delivery, increased efficiency, and improved collaboration. The core benefits of DevSecOps are amplified security, proactive risk mitigation, and compliance assurance. 

DevSecOps vs DevOps: Similarities You Must Know

DevOps and DevSecOps are both relatively different, but there are a few similarities you must know. Here are common similarities of these two methodologies:- 

1) Follows the same mindset or culture

DevSecOps and DevOps both follow the same mindset and culture to bring both teams (development and IT teams) together to work on the same page. This allows them to maintain harmony and collaboration. 

2) Practices automation

Automation refers to executing tasks without human intervention. Automation in both approaches offers a CI/CD pipeline where software is continuously deployed and integrated. 

3) Performs active monitoring

Active monitoring is important for the software development process in the sense that it improves the existing code or modifications in the future.

Tools and Platforms Used in DevOps and DevSecOps

The tools and platforms used in DevOps and DevSecOps are similar and are standard tools for both processes. Indeed, a few additional tools incorporated fortify extra security layers for DevSecOps. Here is a breakdown of a few standard tools leveraged in these domains:-

1) CI and CD Tools 

Few tools are leveraged to adeptly implement CI/CI pipeline creatives in a loop of continuous integration and continuous deployment. A few CI and CD tools are as follows:- 

a) Travis CI: It is a CI/CD service tool for testing and building GitHub projects.

b) Jenkins: An open-source automation server used to build, deploy, and test.

c) GitLab CI/CD: GitLab CI/CD helps you realize the vision of software development that is iterative, tested, and always releasing.

2) Version Control Systems

These systems manage the changes in software, applications, websites, or any software program. One example of a Version control system is GitHub.

3) Infrastructure as Code (IaC) 

These tools manage and provision computing infrastructure through code rather than a manual process. A few examples of IaC (Infrastructure as Code) are Terraform and Ansible.

4) Containerization Platforms

These platforms are software solutions that allow the management of containerized applications. A few examples of containerization platforms are Docker and Kubernetes. 

DevOps vs DevSecOps: How to choose the best fit for your organization?

Well, both DevOps and DevSecOps potentially offer compelling benefits to the software development process. 

DevOps primarily focuses on providing seamless collaboration, streamlined automation, and continuous integration. This enables software development delivery at a faster pace. On the contrary, DevSecOps integrates the principle of security, which ensures security, as an essential part of the development process. 

The difference between DevOps and DevSecOps ideally depends on the company’s specific needs and priorities. Understanding these core fundamental differences and the benefits they offer can help you make wise decisions. This will help you make informed decisions and embrace the power of efficiency in software development. 

Wrap-up: DevOps vs DevSecOps

Picking anyone from DevOps and DevSecOps for software development depends on the unique requirements and priorities of the organization.

DevOps, indeed, emphasizes collaboration and efficiency to foster faster delivery with improved quality.

On the other hand, DevSecOps moves one step ahead to seamlessly integrate security throughout the development process to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities proactively.

Many companies and enterprises are looking forward to how to implement DevSecOps in their operations. If you are looking for expert help, talk to our experts. 

DevOps vs DevSecOps FAQs:

1. What is the primary difference between DevOps and DevSecOps?

The primary difference is DevOps focuses on increasing the speed and quality of the software development process. On the other hand, DevSecOps secures the software throughout the software development lifecycle. 

2. How does security integrate into the DevOps and DevSecOps methodologies?

DevSecOps introduces security to DevOps practice by integrating security assessments throughout the CI/CD process.

3. What role does automation play in DevOps vs DevSecOps?

Automation is the cornerstone for both DevOps and DevSecOps, as it enhances operational efficiency and streamlines the processes.

4. Will DevSecOps replace DevOps?

No, there is no chance of DevSecOps replacing DevOps. Because DevSecOps enhances and enriches DevOps by integrating security practices and processes. 

5. Can you provide examples of successful DevOps and DevSecOps implementations?

A few examples of successful implementation of DevOps are Amazon, Netflix, and Etsy. On the other hand, the successful implementation of DevSecOps is Microsoft, Google, and Capital One.

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Deepali Medchal
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Articulate & piquant content creator committed to her passion for writing.

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