Automation is one of the most important parts of DevOps. If you are implementing a DevOps-focused strategy, one of your goals should be to use automation for all repeatable or routine tasks – both to ensure consistency in the final product, and to allow your staff to turn their attention to more important tasks, and speed up the development process.
And security testing is an area where most development teams can improve. Much of the security testing done today is not done manually, but by teams of security professionals – near the end of the product development cycle.
By using automated methods to handle application security testing, you can speed up development – and avoid a number of common security pitfalls. Let’s discuss our top tips for using automated tools and DevOps for security testing now.
1. Use Automated Tools To Integrate Security From The Beginning Of The DevOps Lifecycle
First things first, application security testing should be integrated into your development cycle as soon as you begin a new project. This helps address one of the biggest application security pitfalls – namely, that your security team doesn’t have time to look into every single flaw or security issue.
By using automated tools to test your applications for common vulnerabilities from the beginning, most minor or well-known flaws can easily be identified automatically – reducing the amount of time that it takes for a security professional to assess and test an application.
The best tools to use depend on the software stack you’re using for development, but all major platforms will have automatic security and error-scanning tools that you can – and should – use all throughout the development process.
2. Combine Your Security Team With Your Development Team
Another common pitfall of application security is to see your security and development teams as separate entities – which are often in conflict with one another. This is an outdated approach.
You should do your best to combine your security team with your development team. In the short-term, this may mean simply assigning partnerships to your developers and QA/security testers – to keep them in close contact with one another.
And, in the long run, it could mean cross-training your security and development teams, or hiring team members who have both security and development expertise.
3. Don’t Start Relying Only On Automated Security Tools
While automated security tools are certainly useful and powerful, they are not adequate for all of your security testing needs. You should see them as a “filter” that helps you identify and solve the most basic bugs and known security vulnerabilities. However, for more in-depth testing, you’ll need to use manual testing platforms like Selenium or JUnit to do manual front and back-end tests.
By focusing on using automated tools to catch known vulnerabilities, your security team can manually test for latent vulnerabilities in your software, or even potentially identify serious, dangerous novel vulnerabilities.
Use Automation And Manual Testing And Follow DevOps Best Practices For Better Security!
By using the power of automation when you can – and ensuring that your security and development teams work closely to manually test for security vulnerabilities – you can ensure that you avoid common application security pitfalls, and release a more stable, safe, and secure product for your customers and clients. Think about how you can use these tips in your organization, and get started today!