Working with AWS for DevSecOps in the Cloud

Many security leaders are understandably wary of using DevOps, despite its multiple benefits, such as faster software delivery and higher code quality. It makes no difference how fast your continuous delivery cycle is if you're deploying vulnerable software. Yet the one area where DevOps is severely lacking is cybersecurity.

DevSecOps is a development paradigm that puts security to the left side of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). The need of incorporating security checks at the earliest stages is emphasized by DevSecOps.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of incorporating security into DevOps, the primary hurdles of implementing DevSecOps, and best practices for implementing DevSecOps using Amazon services.

Why is DevOps Not Secure?

DevOps is a set of instruments, procedures, and cultural concepts that enables IT businesses to speed up the software development process. By removing the conventional barriers between development, testing, and operations, this is accomplished. All software development operations are automated and monitored using DevOps principles, which enables businesses to achieve continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). Blockchain, AI, embedded, mobile, and other types of technology can all be combined with DevOps.

Building an effective CI/CD pipeline may significantly accelerate development activities and product delivery, saving time and money for solution suppliers.

However, it is no longer sufficient for IT firms to use faster and more inventive software development methodologies. They must also consider cybersecurity. DevOps lacks security by design for a number of reasons −

  • Traditionally, information security is handled towards the end of the software development cycle, resulting in the detection of security defects that must be eliminated within stringent time constraints. Securing each release in the conventional manner would be too time-consuming for the DevOps methodology.

  • DevOps is frequently implemented using cloud-first architecture and containerization. Both of these result in a bigger attack surface and more new vulnerabilities.

  • For each iteration, security mechanisms must be updated or at the very least tested. Yet, release teams may disregard these suggestions in an effort to achieve delivery deadlines.

Fortunately, we have DevSecOps: a shift-left philosophy in which security is a shared responsibility, requiring both developers and IT operations specialists to consider security requirements. Let's examine how DevSecOps differs from DevOps and the advantages it provides.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps implements continuous and automated security methods early in the software development cycle and assures security throughout. Security is now an intrinsic component of a team's culture and procedures rather than being the responsibility of a distinct department.

Incorporating security within your DevOps team provides your firm with the following advantages −

Advantages of Using DevSecOps Methodology

With DevSecOps, you can spend more time providing value to customers and less time and money repairing vulnerabilities that are found after the fact or while the product is being used. But moving to the left has its restrictions. Let's examine the main difficulties you can encounter.

Difficulties of Implementing DevSecOps

Incorporating security into DevOps necessitates considerable changes in some firms' procedures. It has an impact on not only the organizational and business processes but also the cybersecurity system. It's best to get ready for these obstacles in advance because such shifts almost usually come with several. Let us look at four significant challenges.

Transforming the Existing Corporate Culture

The culture shift required to adopt DevSecOps is the problem that enterprises encounter most frequently. When transitioning to DevSecOps, your team will need to learn a lot about cybersecurity, be more open about work challenges, and incorporate security procedures into their daily routine.

Integrating DevSecOps and Agile

Another problem is that some companies try to replace an Agile workflow entirely with DevSecOps. As a result of their failure, they realize that DevSecOps is not the field for them. Finding the best way for your organization to mix Agile and DevSecOps is the true problem here.

Adherence to Government Regulations

Adopting DevSecOps is more difficult for firms in industries with stringent cybersecurity standards, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services. These industries' regulations are not flexible enough to let businesses fully use DevSecOps techniques.

Combining Conventional, DevOps, and DevSecOps Tools

Adopting DevSecOps also presents a technical hurdle. An organization's infrastructure must undergo major modifications in order to integrate DevOps, DevSecOps, and traditional security measures like firewalls and antivirus software into one system. You'll need to make CI/CD pipelines, binary libraries, static application security testing, software composition analysis, and many more technologies work together

Built-in SDKs

A completely managed solution for integrating and improving workflows and processes is offered by Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF). AWS Lambda, Amazon Workspaces, Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, AWS WMS, and more services are available through the SDK.

For the purpose of managing and implementing intricate, reoccurring, and reusable actions in code, AWS CodeSnippets is a symbolic language. Actions for functions, directives, and filters are included in the collection.

When Transitioning to DevSecOps, Which AWS Services Should You Use?

Developing a complete CI/CD pipeline with tools from several vendors is highly difficult since you must consider connectors, data collecting and compatibility, and safeguarding each tool's job. Each tool upgrade could also make your work load increase and harm your software infrastructure or automated procedures. That is why we prefer to secure DevOps with AWS tools and services that help us construct a consistent and secure pipeline. AWS virtual infrastructure contains a suite of tools for automating code testing and, in particular, performing security checks throughout the entire code development and quality assurance process.

AWS Service Catalog

AWS has an integrated service catalogue for its services such as Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda (AWS Lambda), and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

AWS includes a wide range of extra tools in addition to the catalogue services that are frequently integrated. The additional Amazon services you frequently utilize are as follows −

  • Amazon SNS

  • Amazon Connect

  • AWS Snowball Edge

  • AWS Security Hub

AWS Automation Command Line Interface (AWS Automation CLI) is a graphical interface for connecting to AWS Automation services. AWS Kinesis Firehose is a fully managed stream processing service that runs in the Amazon AWS Cloud and enables for the collection of data from sensors, the Internet of Things, log files, text and other files, cloud storage, and other sources. The maintenance of HTTP server volumes on Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud is one of the difficulties you may encounter (EC2). You can better control HTTP server volumes and read server logs with the aid of AWS Elasticache.

Constructing a Reliable CI/CD Pipeline

You may integrate security into the DevOps pipeline using the following AWS tools and services for automated code generation, deployment, and analysis −

  • Amazon CloudFormation – A service for automatically and securely specifying and provisioning infrastructure resources. DevSecOps professionals can build a safe template for the demo process using this service.

  • AWS Lambda – A serverless computing platform that runs your code automatically in response to detected triggers. For security groups within the scope, you can utilize it to conduct static code analysis and dynamic stack validation.

  • Amazon Systems Manager Parameter Store – A feature of AWS Systems Manager that allows you to securely save configurations and manage secrets. Amazon architecture is made transparent and manageable with Parameter Store.

  • AWS CodeBuild is a service for compiling source code, running tests, and preparing software packages for distribution.

  • AWS CodeCommit – A source control service for hosting secure Git-based repositories. Your DevSecOps team must set up their Git client to communicate with AWS CodeCommit repositories in order to use it.

  • Amazon CodeDeploy — A service for automating code deployment to AWS-based, on-premises, and third-party computing services.

  • AWS CodePipeline – A powerful CI/CD tool that enables DevOps developers to automate preventive and investigative security controls. AWS CodePipeline's DevSecOps implementation provides quick and secure software updates.


In conclusion, DevOps has transformed software development by enabling more rapid and effective product delivery. Security checks are typically conducted at the conclusion of the software development cycle, hence security has been the omitted element. A shift-left methodology called DevSecOps places a focus on integrating security into the development process from the beginning. It guarantees that developers and IT operations experts share responsibility for security, fostering a culture in which security is an integral part of the organization's daily operations.

Updated on: 27-Apr-2023


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