5 Things Security Can Learn From Operations’ Transition Into DevOps

Over the past couple of years, a discussion has been brewing in the Security community about the future of its work. On one hand, the need for security is more urgent than ever as all areas of business and personal computing are being impacted by cyber threats. On the other hand, the process of delivering software has changed: We have significantly streamlined the development process by reducing organizational silos through various implementations of a DevOps culture.

So here’s the question: Faced with this changing landscape, how can Security transform the way it does business in order to contribute its full value — without negatively impacting development schedules and operational procedures?Security needs to adjust to the rapid and agile world of the cloud, but the transition doesn’t have to be difficult. The Ops community faced a similar transition when it integrated with Dev, and there’s much that Security can learn from their experience.

To help out, I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned over the past few years as I witnessed Ops being integrated into Dev, along with some observations on how Security might use these lessons to transition into the DevOps world.
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What Is Monitoring as a Service (MaaS) ?

Monitoring-as-a-Service is an outsourced service to provide security mainly to platforms that are run on the Internet for conducting business. Maas became highly popular in the last decade. Since the advent of Cloud hosting, its popularity has increased even more. Safe monitoring involves protecting a company or other institution / organization from cyber threats, in which a team prepared is crucial to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and access to IT assets. However, time and resources constrain the limits of security operations and their effectiveness for the vast majority of companies. With this, it is vital to continue vigilance on security infrastructure and information.

Many regulations of various industry sectors that require organizations to monitor their environments, dedicated servers and other information, ensure the integrity of these systems. However, conducting an efficient process of monitoring can be a daunting task because it requires advanced technology, skilled security experts, and scalable processes, and none of it is cheap to acquire. The security monitoring services are offered today on Maas in real time, responding immediately to an incident via a secure infrastructure and protect assets and customer information. Until the advent of electronic security systems, the monitoring and the responses were performed with the capacities and human resources, depended strictly on human. The adoption of information technology security systems within the last two decades, and the ability to be connected to security operations centers (SOCs) via corporate networks, significantly changed this scenario.

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DevOpsCon 2016: Our mission statement. This is how we interpret modern DevOps – Sebastian Meyen

Modern DevOps: Connecting business and IT

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Bringing teams from different fields together in a good way is rarely easy, when those teams are involved in the same business processes but do not work together directly. That’s why a group of people led by Patrick Debois suggested a new concept back in 2009: DevOps. They offered a solution to tackle the problem which exists in both development (Devs) and administrative (Ops) level. The DevOps movement developed substantially and made fundamental changes to basic concepts in IT and their roles in organizations.

Business-driven DevOps

Originating from the idea of making processes in conventional IT settings – classic on-premise-server, separated dev- and ops-departments – smoother, the DevOps movement is now mostly concerned with consistent digitalisation and areas with a high pressure to innovate.

Powered by the internet, many industries are subjected to an increasing pressure to change. While some are still looking back half-heartedly at their losses in traditional market shares, others are already making steps toward an open, hard-to-plan future. Consistent digitalisation and high-performance IT-structures are imperative – as demonstrated by renowned companies such as Netflix, Spotify, and Uber.

What exactly are the driving forces in business towards a DevOps culture? Allow me to start by naming some (although certainly not all) buzzwords:

  • Globalization results in increased competition in almost all industries.
  • The internet is more than just a modern marketing and sales platform for traditional fields of business. It has the power to transform classic business models, modify them or make them obsolete altogether.
  • Disruption is not an exception, but will be the norm in most markets. The ability to innovate will, therefore become the key to success for companies.
  • Therefore, markets cannot be perceived as stable, making long-term planning obsolete. Iterative strategies and many changes will become essential for companies’ success.
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