DevOps Security Definition

KZero Staff
Jul 27, 2023

What is DevOps Security?

DevOps (Development Operations) is a development approach focused on leveraging automation to enhance development cycles. DevOps uses automated pipelines to streamline the process of testing, integrating, and deploying code, enabling development teams to rapidly release new software.

DevOps Security or DevSecOps integrates security into these automated processes. By eliminating security operations, such as vulnerability testing, as a potential roadblock to development, DevSecOps increases the probability that security tasks will be completed and that vulnerabilities will be found and fixed before release.

Why is DevSecOps Important?

Vulnerable software in production is a major problem. In 2022, there were over 26,000 new Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) or newly discovered and reported vulnerabilities in software. Each year has more vulnerabilities than the last as more software reaches production without substantial improvements in vulnerability detection.

One of several potential reasons for this rise in vulnerable software is that security is often seen as a blocker for development. Security testing takes up time, and discovering a vulnerability could block an on-time release if it requires a large volume of redevelopment. Often, security is only considered at the end of the development lifecycle — when little time and resources are available to it — if at all.

DevSecOps is important because it has the potential to improve security by decreasing the potential burden it creates. DevSecOps integrates security earlier in the development lifecycle — reducing the potential impacts of a discovered vulnerability — and reduces load on developers by integrating automated security testing into development pipelines.

How Does DevSecOps Work?

The core concept of DevSecOps is that security should be integrated into every stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and should use the same tools and techniques as other development tasks. Some of the ways that this is accomplished include:

  • Security Requirements: During the Requirements phase of the SDLC, the team defines requirements for how the software should work. DevSecOps says that this list should also include requirements that ensure the software’s security.
  • Unit Testing: Unit tests are often written alongside code to verify that it meets requirements. Writing unit tests against security requirements can help to ensure that these requirements are met.
  • Automated Testing: DevOps pipelines commonly automate the process of building and testing release candidates from code. Integrating vulnerability scanning and security testing functionality into these automated pipelines enables a release candidate to be tested and rejected if it has known security issues.

In general, the goal of DevSecOps is to identify vulnerabilities and security risks in software as early in the development process as possible. If a developer can’t commit a piece of code with a known vulnerability, the issue is faster, easier, and cheaper to fix than if it is found during final testing or in production where a patch must be rapidly developed, issued, and tested.


DevOps Security is designed to build security into DevOps processes rather than bolting it on at the end. This helps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of security by allowing issues to be found and fixed early rather until waiting until they pose a major threat to the software and its users.

KZero Staff

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