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Devops Security for Automation

IT security and vulnerability management wouldn’t be the same without automation. New software programs, such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and Jenkins, have changed the way companies manage and remediate vulnerabilities in their networks. These programs automatically identify and prioritize threats and weaknesses in the system, but your organization can’t act on this information unless you have a designated workflow in place.

The term “DevOps” has taken on a life of its own in the IT security industry, but it really comes down to having the right people in the right place at the right time. Learn more about DevOps security for automation and what it means for your organization.

What is DevOps Security for Automation?

DevOps, which combines development and operations, is defined as the combination of practices and tools designed to increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services faster than traditional software development processes.

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It speaks to the way your organization uses software to reach your goals. You need to find a way to integrate these programs into your workflows while maximizing efficiency.

When it comes to DevOps security for automation, your company needs to apply the same methodology to your security software. Most companies use some form of automation to identify and prioritize potential vulnerabilities. However, these programs can generate large volumes of data, which makes it difficult for some organizations to act on this information. Some threats may slip through the cracks, while others may get miscategorized by mistake.

Time is of the essence when it comes to vulnerability remediation. Hackers and cyber criminals will attack any vulnerability in the system. Every company must create a DevOps workflow for responding to and remediating each potential threat, so it gets addressed as soon as possible. The team should also verify the risk level of each threat, including whether the asset contains sensitive information, so they can focus on remediating the most pressing threats before a breach occurs.

These tools also come with a range of possible configurations and control settings. Companies need to learn how to best configure their software based on their security needs and operational workflows.

New vulnerabilities are popping up all the time. Various forms of malware are becoming more dangerous and prevalent with every passing year. Without a proper DevOps workflow in place, companies large and small increase their risk of falling prey to these attacks.

In many ways, you can’t have a vulnerability management system without a DevOps security workflow in place. You also can’t have a DevOps security workflow without reliable vulnerability management software. So, what came first: The chicken or the egg? Companies need to invest in both sides of the equation to protect their assets.

It Takes a Village: How to Create a Secure DevOps Automation System

DevOps for security automation includes all of the above. It refers to more than just a group of IT professionals. Every secure DevOps automation system starts at the top.

Corporate Culture

Many organizations struggle to properly utilize their vulnerability management software due to a lack of input from leadership. It’s the manager or CEO’s responsibility to instill a culture of security and efficiency among their employees. The entire workforce should be familiar with the latest malware and cyber threats with a clear system in place for reporting potential vulnerabilities.

Simply investing in the latest vulnerability management software isn’t enough when it comes to preventing an attack. This is only one part of the prevention process. Employees should also know how to protect themselves and sensitive information when using various assets online, especially in a remote work environment. The company should pride itself on its commitment to security and digital hygiene to keep everyone on the same page.

Reduce the Attack Surface

Interpreting automated vulnerability management reporting and data isn’t always easy. Companies often underestimate how time-consuming and overwhelming the process can be. When interpreting this data, it’s important to focus on reducing the overall attack surface. With few resources and limited budgets, companies may not be able to respond to each threat on a timely basis. That’s why it’s best to prioritize threats that can do the most damage to the company. Not all threats are created equal. Some workers may be tempted to remediate the simplest threats first without any regard for the threat’s risk level.

Refining the risk categorization and remediation process takes time. Companies should continue evaluating and adjusting this process to make sure they are reducing as much attack surface using the few resources they have. This also requires a great deal of visibility. Managers should be able to clearly understand and track any changes in the system while reporting how these changes affect efficiency and vulnerability management.

Building Bridges

Companies may also fail to prevent attacks due to a lack of communication. Far too often, the IT department is siloed away from the rest of the company, leaving employees little insight into the remediation process. Many IT departments use a ticketing process, which can help expedite the process. However, this will only work if employees have an open line of communication with the security team. This gives both parties a chance to discuss the nature of the attack, why it occurred, and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.

Security DevOps can mean different things to different organizations, but a successful workflow requires continuous collaboration, detailed reporting, and informed risk and asset prioritization. In today’s increasingly digital world, companies can’t afford to let critical information fall through the cracks.

Utilizing the latest vulnerability management tools is more complicated than flipping a switch. Download the full DevOps Security for Automation Guidebook from NopSec to learn how to create the ideal workflow for your organization, including dev tools to automate manual procedures and integrate frictionless remediation for maintenance, configuration management, or software delivery.

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