Software Development

What’s the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps?





Software Development


What’s the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps?

Published: 2024/03/28

7 min read

When exploring the landscape of modern software development, one of the most important questions is: what is DevSecOps, and does it contrast with traditional DevOps? While DevOps and DevSecOps diverge significantly in their focal points and methodologies, they share a common foundation in enhancing software development and delivery processes.

The DevSecOps vs DevOps debate often arises among teams looking to enhance their development practices. Understanding the fundamental differences between DevOps and DevSecOps takes work. At Software Mind, our insights on the value of DevOps can provide a deeper understanding of this transition.

Let’s delve deeper and take a closer look at the two approaches:

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a collaborative and automated approach to software development and IT operations that shortens the development lifecycle and ensures continuous delivery with high software quality.

It encompasses a set of practices that foster collaboration between development and operations teams, break down silos and improve efficiency. Key components of DevOps include continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), automated testing, and proactive monitoring to ensure reliability and faster deployment of updates and features. DevOps roles are diverse, covering a range of responsibilities from coding and testing to infrastructure management and security, all aimed at enhancing team agility and product quality.

DevOps practices, such as continuous integration and delivery, facilitate a seamless flow from development to deployment, emphasizing the importance of automation and monitoring in achieving operational excellence. Our DevOps outsourcing services reflect how external expertise can augment these capabilities, while enhancing the agility and responsiveness of development teams.

In the realm of DevOps, the focus is squarely on efficiency and speed, with security often addressed in the latter stages of development. This approach has led many to ask, what is the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps, and how can you compare DevSecOps vs DevOps?

Read more:  What is DevOps Observability?

What is DevSecOps?

What is DevSecOps? DevSecOps is an extension of DevOps principles that includes security. Nevertheless, understanding the foundation of DevOps is crucial as the latter seeks to integrate security from the outset. The evolution from DevOps to DevSecOps signifies a shift in priorities, where security becomes as critical as operational efficiency. Understanding this evolution is essential for organizations looking to adapt to the changing landscape of software development, where security must be noticed.

DevOps, which emphasizes efficiency, streamlines the collaboration between development and operations teams to accelerate the software development lifecycle and facilitate continuous delivery. DevSecOps extends DevOps by integrating security practices at every stage of the development process, prioritizing the minimization of vulnerabilities alongside maintaining agility in development and deployment.

This fundamental shift from treating security as a final checkpoint to embedding it as a continuous concern throughout the development lifecycle marks a pivotal difference between the two approaches. DevSecOps revolves around integrating security practices throughout the software development lifecycle, a key distinction in the DevOps vs DevSecOps debate. This fundamental difference underscores the importance of security in today’s fast-paced development environments, where vulnerabilities can have significant consequences.

DevSecOps, standing for development, security, and operations, builds upon the principles of DevOps by integrating security measures throughout the software development and delivery process. The approach aims for a ‘security as code’ culture, with continuous, flexible, and automated security integrated at each step of the development lifecycle. This ensures security is a shared responsibility among all team members and facilitates early detection and mitigation of vulnerabilities, thereby enhancing overall security posture without compromising the speed and efficiency of development cycles. DevSecOps emphasizes collaboration across development, security, and operations teams, leveraging automated security tools to maintain agility and security in software delivery​​.

The transition from DevOps to DevSecOps represents a cultural shift within organizations, emphasizing the importance of security in an increasingly digital world. For teams curious about making this shift, our Dedicated Development Team Services provide a comprehensive overview of effectively integrating DevSecOps principles.

Difference between DevOps and DevSecOps

There are stark differences between these two approaches. DevOps vs. DevSecOps further complicates the matter, introducing variations in how security is integrated. However, the core idea remains the same: shifting from DevOps to DevSecOps involves embedding security into every phase of the development process. With that said, what does DevSecOps stand for besides security? It signifies taking a proactive approach toward changing the culture and mindset of the development team. DevSecOps is not just about adding security tasks to the development pipeline; it’s about fostering an organizational culture that values security as a fundamental aspect of software development. This cultural shift is crucial for understanding DevSecOps and how it impacts the broader objectives of software projects.

Our insights into DevOps outsourcing shed light on how external expertise can facilitate the adoption of DevSecOps practices, enhancing other aspects, such as:

Culture and Focus

While DevOps focuses on enhancing collaboration between development and operations to improve efficiency, DevSecOps incorporates a security-first approach, embedding security practices throughout the development lifecycle. This fundamental shift in focus from efficiency to security without sacrificing speed is a defining difference between the two​​.

Practices and Tools

DevOps practices are centered around automation, continuous integration, and delivery to streamline development and operations. DevSecOps extends these practices by integrating security tools and processes, such as automated security testing and threat modeling, at every CI/CD pipeline​​​​stage.

Timing of Security Integration

In traditional DevOps, security checks are often conducted towards the end of the development process. DevSecOps, however, integrates security from the outset and throughout the development process, ensuring that security considerations are embedded in every phase of the software lifecycle.

Enhanced Collaboration and Responsibility

DevSecOps promotes a collaborative environment where security becomes everyone’s responsibility, not just a task for a dedicated security team. This approach ensures that developers, operations staff, and security professionals work together from the beginning, leading to more secure and robust software solutions. By sharing the responsibility for security, teams can identify and mitigate risks more effectively and efficiently.

Continuous Security Feedback and Improvement

Implementing DevSecOps means adopting a cycle of continuous feedback and improvement for security measures. This involves regular security assessments, code analysis, and vulnerability testing integrated into the development process. This constant vigilance not only helps identify potential security issues early but also fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, enhancing the organization’s overall security posture.

Similarities between DevOps and DevSecOps

DevOps and DevSecOps are two popular software development methodologies that have become increasingly popular recently. Despite some key differences, both approaches share core principles that make them more similar than different.

At their core, DevOps and DevSecOps focus on the same underlying goal: to streamline software development and deployment processes while improving software quality. They do this by emphasizing automation, continuous monitoring, and a culture of collaboration that brings together development, operations, and security teams.

DevOps, in particular, emphasizes efficiency and speed, with a focus on automating as many processes as possible to accelerate software development and deployment. DevSecOps, on the other hand, takes a more security-centric approach, prioritizing the integration of security measures throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

Despite these differences, both approaches are committed to continuous improvement and ongoing collaboration between teams. By dismantling traditional barriers and promoting a collaborative work environment, both DevOps and DevSecOps can help organizations achieve faster, more efficient software development and deployment while also improving the overall quality and security of their software products.

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DevOps and DevSecOps – which one to pick?

The choice between DevOps and DevSecOps should be guided by an organization’s specific needs, regulatory requirements, and the sensitivity of the data and systems involved in the development process. For organizations where security is paramount, particularly those handling sensitive information or operating in heavily regulated industries, DevSecOps offers a comprehensive framework that integrates security measures throughout the development cycle.

This approach ensures compliance with stringent security standards and embeds a proactive security posture from the get-go, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities and breaches.

On the other hand, organizations prioritizing rapid development and deployment may lean towards a traditional DevOps approach, focusing on efficiency and speed while addressing security considerations later in the process. However, it’s important to note that the evolving digital landscape and increasing cybersecurity threats are making the integration of security practices within DevOps (thereby transitioning to DevSecOps) increasingly critical for most if not all, organizations.

Ultimately, the decision between DevOps and DevSecOps should not be seen as a binary choice but rather as a spectrum, where the level of security integration can be adjusted based on the organization’s specific needs, culture, and risk appetite. Adopting a DevSecOps approach does not mean sacrificing the agility and efficiency of DevOps; instead, it represents an evolution of DevOps practices to meet the demands of modern software development, where security is an integral component of the process. As organizations navigate this landscape, they must continuously assess their practices, ensuring they align with their strategic objectives while adequately protecting their assets and stakeholders in an ever-changing threat environment.

Incorporating DevSecOps practices can transform the way organizations approach software development, making security an integral part of the process rather than an afterthought. To learn more about implementing DevOps and DevSecOps in your company, get in touch with our experts by filling out this form.

About the authorSoftware Mind

Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world. 

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