DevSecOps and DLP: A Symbiotic Relationship for Security

Published on
29/08/2023 04:24 PM
devsecops

DevSecOps is the term used to describe the integration of security controls throughout the software development lifecycle. To provide secure software, development teams must collaborate with the security team. Organizational culture, processes, and technologies facilitate this collaboration.

DevSecOps, however, lacks a strong focus on securing data and intellectual property during operations and instead focuses exclusively on avoiding vulnerabilities from entering the product. With data protection being the goal of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions, it is no wonder that a symbiotic relationship between the two concepts is the best recipe for application and data security.

The Importance of DevSecOps and Data Protection

DevSecOps extends the DevOps approach that unites software development and operations teams. However, the DevOps model did not proactively approach security issues. As a result, security teams were often separated from the development cycle and identified security weaknesses too late. The accelerated transformation of brick-and-mortar businesses into software companies and the increasing number of attacks exploiting software vulnerabilities and security gaps meant that integrating security into DevOps was a one-way street.

DevSecOps is more than just technologies and processes. Although many tools support the concept (i.e., SAST, DAST, SCA, and SBOM), it is mostly about embedding security culture within the development teams. To implement DevSecOps, it is necessary to provide regular security training to the development team, appoint security champions to promote awareness, and utilize security tools that are easy for developers to use and integrate into the software lifecycle.

Data security, conversely, is the process of defending your organization's data against undesirable behaviors, including illegal access, data loss or leakage, and compromise. For digital, cloud-based businesses, there have never been more risks associated with secure data processing. These businesses are more vulnerable to data breaches and leaks as they store and process more sensitive and personal data in distributed cloud computing environments. Additionally, they risk facing harsh financial fines and negative publicity when violating data privacy laws like the CCPA and GDPR.

Security by Design vs. Privacy by Design

Security and privacy teams are jointly responsible for reducing the risks to data security. Security teams concentrate on technical security measures while focusing on security concerns, including broken access control and cryptographic failures. Data subject rights and data sharing with third parties are compliance concerns that fall under the purview of privacy teams. They are compelled to collaborate because they concentrate on the same resource—data. Actually, the privacy team frequently uses the security team as its operational arm when the former requires technical expertise about the products created by the engineering teams.

Similar to DevSecOps practices, which incorporate security by design concepts, privacy by design refers to integrating data privacy and data protection into the development lifecycle. Ultimately, the key is to safeguard data by reducing risks related to security or compliance while minimizing any negative impact on software delivery.

The Role of DLP in Software Development

During software development, the source code and data are the most critical assets. Companies need to protect these assets from being lost or stolen. By using effective Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions, companies can safely give access to source code and data without the risk of compromise or exfiltration.

Software development nowadays is a collaborative function. Long are the days when a developer was locked in a room typing thousands of lines of code. Today, applications are a collage of software components and code, with developers assembling open-source components with proprietary code. Developers also need secure access to data to train algorithms and models. Data and code integrity (i.e., privacy by design) become essential to secure-by-design (i.e., DevSecOps-driven) apps.

The DLP function is vital in facilitating collaboration that involves sharing confidential information. For instance, when internal or remote developers require access to sensitive data for tasks such as coding or research-based data exploration, the DLP function safeguards the data and the source code produced.

Besides the obvious benefit of data and code security, businesses can experience further advantages by bringing together DevSecOps and DLP:

- Hire remote or temporary developers.

- Enable developers to work on sensitive projects that require data and source code protection.

- Enforce data sovereignty and regulatory compliance.

- Foster collaboration between international organizations around coding or research when data must be secured.

The evolving threat landscape and the need for businesses to innovate securely while offering enhanced omnichannel user experience through apps require a comprehensive approach to code and data security. Security and privacy functions need to work in harmony to enable the development of secure software products that increase business growth and reduce potential threats.

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