Essential Tools for an Agile DevSecOps Team

For many years, security didn’t include the development and release process. Organisations didn’t carry out protection validation as they didn’t understand the potential risks or the added value.

But as more valuable data became computerised, the need to protect it was highlighted, based on the growing number of cyber threats coming from various directions. Nowadays, security considerations start from the beginning, cover the development stage, and follow through to operations.

DevSecOps primary role is integrating security approaches into the DevOps cycle. This practice has become an industry standard, and most savvy companies are relentlessly getting the most out of the strategy.

DevSecOps have hundreds of tools to enhance efficiency and security at all stages of development. You need reliable tools for risk mitigation from potential breach paths and policy violations to secure your cloud-native infrastructure. Knowledge of the most crucial ones will help you find what you need and apply the tools promptly.

Alerts Tools – Notifications in Case of Anomalies

During the app development process, there’s a high likelihood of missing security vulnerabilities. As such, it would help if you had the right tools to alert and notify you about potential defects and security anomalies to be fixed before they get so far. 

Popular resources for the tasks include:

Alerta

The open-source tool has reliable features for consolidating and duplicating alerts from several sources to offer quick visualization. You can integrate the tool with Riemann, Prometheus, Cloudwatch, Nagios, or any other management/monitoring service for developers. One excellent advantage of this tool is that you can customize it to your needs via an alert API.

Contrast Assess

Contrast Assess falls in the category of IAST (interactive application security testing) tools. Once you’ve integrated it into your apps, it’ll constantly work in the background. Its primary function involves monitoring code and alerting you whenever it detects a security flaw. 

Contrast Protect

Just like Control Assess, this RASP (runtime application self-protection) tool also uses the embedded agent. Its job is to identify unknown threats and exploits within the production environment and reporting them to the SIEM (security information and event management) console, the firewall, or any other security solution.

ElastAlert

This is another open-source tool that offers a framework for real-time alerts on any security glitches, spikes, and other database patterns.

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Automation Tools – Identifying and Remediating Flaws

Most tools used by DevSecOps teams have their specific levels of automation. Those under this category can automatically scan, identify, and correct any security defects. 

They include:

CodeAI

This essential resource can automatically find and remediate any source code security vulnerabilities. It leverages deep learning technology to do this job. Instead of merely providing a list of security problems, the tool goes ahead to offer the most practical solutions to consider as well.

Parasoft tool suite

This is a collection of automated resources for application development security testing. They include:

  • Parasoft C/C++test – This can effectively identify defects in their early stages of development.
  • Parasoft Insure++ – It’s excellent in identifying memory-access errors and erratic programming
  • Parasoft Jtest – A Java software development testing tool
  • Parasoft dotTEST – For complimenting advanced coverage and in-depth static analysis with Visual Studio tools.

Red Hat Ansible Automation

This DevSecOps resource comprises three modules – Red Hat Ansible Network Automation, Ansible Engine, and Ansible Tower. All these can work together or individually to serve the role of agentless automation technology. The tool doesn’t serve a direct security purpose, but you can use it to define the guidelines determining the things you deem secure for your projects.

Dashboard Solutions – Offering Visibility into the Entire Process

Several DevSecOps-dedicated dashboard tools can be used to view and share security data from the early stages of development through operations. Notably, you can also count on DevSecOps apps like Parasoft and ThreatModeler that have dashboards.

The tools below are the most popular for offering a graphical view of all projects.

Grafana

If you need a tool that allows for creating custom dashboards aggregating any relevant information for visualizing security data, this is the tool for you. If you don’t wish to create your own dashboard, you have the option of checking the website for the available community-built dashboards.

Kibana

If you’re an Elasticsearch user, you’ll find this open-source tool useful. It integrates vast long entries into a single graphical view of time series analytics, application monitoring, operational data, and much more.

Threat Modeling Tools – Identifying and Prioritizing Application Risk

Agile DevSecOps teams also need threat modeling resources to predict, identify, and define threats to come up with proactive security resolutions. Some of these solutions create threat models from the data offered by users about their applications and systems. They also offer a visual interface to simplify the job of exploring threats and their impacts.

Here are the tools that you can use for identifying and prioritizing risks:

IriusRisk

This Continuum Security solution can be on-premise or cloud-based. It uses a questionnaire-based interface to design technical security requirements and threat models and automate risk and requirement analyses. The DevSecOps tool also allows you to manage the security-testing and code-building levels.

ThreatModeler

You can use either the cloud or AppSec editions of this automated threat molding system. Once you’ve provided your systems’ or applications’ functional data, the tool will automatically analyze the information to find potential threats according to the updated threat intelligence.

OWASP Threat Dragon

This is another excellent resource for DevSecOps teams offering seamless integration with a range of SDLC (software development lifecycle) tools and a straightforward, easy-to-use interface. The solution provides a rules engine and system diagramming, allowing for automatic modeling and threat mitigation.

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Testing Tools – Identifying Security Flaws Before Going Live

Among the crucial elements of DevSecOps involves testing the applications for potential vulnerabilities. This process helps you learn of the available security weaknesses before malicious individuals exploit them.

Here are some of the most popular tools with effective security testing capabilities:

BDD-Security

This is another solution from Continuum Security for a responsive DevSecOps team. With this, you can test the non-functional and functional security contexts written in BDD (Behavior-Driven Development) language for agility throughout the development process.

This security framework’s security features don’t rely on an application-specific navigation approach. This allows them to apply the same security requirements to multiple applications.  

Chef InSpec

The open-source tool’s job is to automate security tests to ensure security, compliance, and other policy requirements running alongside traditional servers and other cloud APIs and containers during development.

Fortify

This Micro Focus solution offers end-to-end application security that allows you to test on-demand and on-premise throughout the entire development cycle. You can use it to integrate dynamic, static, and mobile security testing with constant monitoring of web-based apps.

The Bottom Line

Achieving an agile DevSecOps team isn’t a one-time process. An organisation must see a change of attitude, which cuts across the people, processes, and tools used. Integrating the above tools into your DevOps pipeline will help you ensure continuous security handling all through the development lifecycle.

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About the Author

Kris

Developer advocate & freelance content creator with a passion for elegant code and clean, scalable, secure cloud infrastructure.
Find out more about @bitdotdash

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