cybersecurity, Digital, Tech

Evolving Past Penetration Tests by Embracing DevSecOps

We’ve done everything in terms of security, but we’re still facing many of the same problems while going through the motions of ticking compliance boxes. As a result, our companies are not becoming safer, and many of our strategies are not assisting us in learning new things. 

As security professionals or decision makers, adopting a collaborative culture can support us in developing current capabilities in our technology teams through DevSecOps and Purple Team Exercises while empowering our colleagues and businesses.

DevSecOps, or automating security, means ensuring that security automation is a part of the products we are developing and considering it from the very start, when designing new features. Shortly, it integrates security as a shared responsibility throughout the IT lifecycle.

To better understand how to automate security and how it can be implemented in your organization, you can also read our blog article on ‘ Automating Security in Building Software.’  

In security, some of our worst habits stem from always doing things the same way. Unfortunately, that culture is still pervasive in today’s security industry. Moreover, the current environment is quite challenging to operate in, but, with the help of modern methods, we can achieve better safety than ever before.

For example, exploring new methods for penetration testing in the light of DevOps values and practices through Purple Team Exercises is an excellent place to start, as we try to stay relevant in business and keep our assets and data safe. When we talk about keeping our assets and data secure, we frequently throw around risks without really knowing what they mean for our business. The definition of risk entails that you must have something valuable with a threat and a vulnerability. 

Therefore, to achieve better security, we strive to prevent data theft by implementing a security program and forming a blue team. The blue team notion in security refers to a group focused on developing defensive security skills. So, we put together this kind of team, which is responsible to build, implement, and is in charge of everything involving security. Unfortunately, most often than not, security is underfunded and tough to hire, so we do not have enough people on our blue team. 

However, all these people out there, such as our customers, our industry, and our regulators who say we need to do even more. So, we do more; we work on all of these compliance standards, check the boxes, and put the controls in place, but it is still not enough. They say we need a third-party review because they don’t trust us. They also say we need a penetration test to keep us accountable. But, as decision makers, we can accomplish better security on our own if the security program is robust and our team is large enough.

So, what we do is to form a red team with the goal to test the system’s defenses while posing as an adversary. The red team performs offensive security testing (commonly known as penetration testing), and we receive a slew of vulnerabilities. Ultimately, we are just getting this massive report and checking the box for compliance. Then we waste a lot of time fixing things we do not care about because they are just on a report. It may be mentioned in the report, but they don’t link with the context of our organization.

As a result, complying with the requirements is the primary focus of everything that we do, and the results of all of our audits and evaluations are satisfactory. On top of that, we assembled a formidable red team for the competition. On the other hand, the people with whom we work continue to behave unwisely; for instance, they continue to click on malicious links.

We are compliant, yet we waste time and resources on items with little value. And in the process, we let down our organizations, our colleagues, and, worst case scenario, our customers. Unfortunately, this is a frequent problem in the industry; a no from an external security group has a negative impact on an organization’s operations. 

What can we do to correct the situation? – We can implement Purple Team Exercises and other forms of DevOps culture and practices. Cooperation amongst departments and working toward a common goal is part of the game as well. However, many businesses stop here and don’t even consider adding security.

All of us face personal security threats every day, and our organizations face security risks & vulnerabilities as well if the tools at their disposal don’t enable them to make smart decisions that improve the security of their accounts and other assets. Therefore, embedding security within your business is something highly critical. You can’t make secure goods if you don’t address security concerns before development begins, and keep them in mind throughout the implementation process

Purple team exercises can be an alternative to traditional penetration testing that takes advantage of the culture and practices of DevOps. Therefore, we will still be doing a penetration test of our system but will do so in such a way as to foster a creative learning environment. 

Although we are well-versed in the process of developing a security program, we should pause to reflect on the paradigm within which we currently operate. We should always ask ourselves if we are facilitating or stifling our organization’s growth. And lastly, before deciding how to implement DevSecOps into our technology team, we should think about the culture and practices of DevOps.

So, if you would like to get to know more about how to adopt a culture of security in your organization, you can watch our on-demand webinar. Moreover, you can also check our Purple Team Exercises services here.

Watch our on-demand webinar

You can watch the whole presentation on ‘Evolving Past Penetration Tests by Embracing DevSecOps’ below:

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