Zero Trust in a DevOps Environment: An Indispensable Necessity
With 80% of CEOs making digital transformation their top priority and the global Public Cloud Services Market to hit the 397.4 b USD by 2022, security becomes a must on every business agenda.
While the world is seeking swift and efficient development processes with rapid deliveries, the global average data breach cost hit an all-time high in 2021 - 4.24 mn USD.
As the perils of cyberattacks intensify, companies across the world are implementing DevSecOps, by ingraining security measures in every phase of SDLCs.
Still, the majority of the CEOs are still keen on prioritizing the acceleration of business processes and deliveries!
In a speed and efficiency-obsessed world, that is cracking under the pressure of peer-to-peer competition and innovation race, security is assuming a more dire stance and is becoming of paramount importance.
If you are still skeptical, then take a look at the following visual and do a mental calculation of the resource wastage incurred because of paying no heed to security postures:
Before we move on to discuss the necessity of Zero Trust Security in DevOps, let us find out why it became such a buzzword recently.
Zero Trust Security: Where Does the Need Stem From?
DevOps became the darling of the CEOs globally with its speed and agility in making rapid deliveries, but:
- Security got undermined when speed took the priority
- Security became a sole responsibility of testers and security professionals
- Security was "assumed" because the companies followed the traditional "castle and moat" approach and considered themselves secure, as shown in the visual below:
Further, there were few remote or distributed system components, and little thought was given to the cross-endpoint security or API security.
But, COVID-19 changed the teams into remote teams, cloud gave birth to numerous security pitfalls, and sophisticated attacks delivered via RaaS brought many businesses down on their knees!
This is where Zero Trust makes an entry on the scene and calls for "Never Trust Always Verify" type of security.
Take a look at the following visual to understand remote access in a Zero Trust ecosystem:
Recently, a Forbes feature talked about the three core characteristics of DevOps that reflect the obvious integration of Zero Trust security design principles in every phase of SDLC, namely:
- Code Persistence
This is spurring mass incorporation of Zero Trust principles in DevOps to make every stage of development more secure, and every endpoint infallible to breaches or attacks.
By implementing this approach, the CIOs and CISOs can effectively close the gaps in the app security right at the endpoints and create a better security posture. Further, system security and data safety become a shared responsibility and get attention right from the start.
Experts suggest adopting the Zero Trust Security design principles right from the pilot discussion, which makes the initial gate reviews for software or apps more challenging to pass. This is a good thing because it helps uncover some of the most complex flaws, security gaps, and vulnerabilities in cross-endpoints and workflows. And, in most cases, these flaws and gaps are too complex to be tackled by the legacy trusted domain models.
Zero Trust Security: Inspecting the Core Elements
There are five pillars of Zero Trust Security, as shown in the following visual:
The IT administrator must:
- Know all the devices on the enterprise network
- Have an inventory with all the details on all the devices
- Have a solution to monitor, manage and control all the devices
- Interrogate the device posture to determine the device trust levels
- Check device compliance as per the enterprise security policies
- Safer endpoints
- Universal network node monitoring and tracking
- Conditional access to all the users
- Use dynamic and contextual data to decide access rules
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Dynamic risk scoring
- Less vulnerability to identity thefts
- Curbs Phishing attacks and password compromises
Adopt least-privilege access approach for:
- Only relevant resource access for every user
- Limited user access
- Minimum permissions required for work completion
- Only internal resources are accessed judiciously
- Not everyone is able to communicate with the back-end enterprise system
Empower employees and enterprise system via:
- Secure and seamless application access
- Modern user authentication
- Added protection in the form of isolation
- Zero Trust access and connection management
- Protect data against breaches and leaks via:
- Technologies such as DLP for data protection
- Managing data backups
- Data safety is never "assumed"
Zero Trust Security in DevOps: Need for Urgency
Data Privacy Rights: Crucial, Adamant, yet Not Standardized
Of late, customer data privacy rights are becoming more compelling, and people are becoming more adamant about the security of their personal data. But, GDPR and CCPA are just the two major policies CIOs and CISOs are grappling with currently.
While the burden of compliance is daunting for these policies only, adhering to the Zero Trust Policies right from the start of a software or app development lifecycle offers an easier way to protect data.
Replace "Assumed Trust" With "Always Verify" Approach
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic catapulted the rapidly proliferating endpoints to multiple remote locations, leaving CISOs and enterprises with endless security vulnerabilities. As a result, the trusted domains from legacy operating systems and the traditional "castle and moat" approach to enterprise security are sitting on a rapidly ticking time bomb.
Recognizing the unreliable nature of legacy security systems and the endless resource consumption during endpoint security, security professionals are looking for better alternatives.
Zero Trust security policy stems from the "Always Verify and Never Trust" approach, which enforces security at all levels, as discussed above.
Hence, it becomes a reliable security approach amidst all the endpoint and workflow-security-scare!
Add Security to DevOps Without Affecting App Performance or Deliveries
Agreed that security is important, but so are time-to-market and app performance, which are the core of DevOps. In the attempt to make DevOps more secure, or to facilitate the transition of DevOps into DevSecOps, it is important to keep the essence intact!
Hence, adopting the Zero Trust security framework emerges as the right solution.
The Highest Application Usability Improvement Standards
In the race to improve app usability, CIOs and CISOs are leveraging the insights from adoption data to determine the success or failure of Zero Trust policy adoption. Hence, there is a huge wave of setting the highest standards for app usability, and having transparency in the system is one of the compulsory requirements for such systems.
The Zero Trust security policy boosts the transparency in an enterprise network and empowers the CIOs and CISOs with actionable insights into various enterprise verticals related to security.
Zero Trust Adoption in DevOps: Current Stakes and Overcoming Them
While DevOps's integration with Zero Trust security policy will certainly boost the enterprise security posture, it doesn't come without any stakes involved, such as:
- Every phase of DevOps must be designed keeping the micro-segmentation and endpoint security requirements of an enterprise and the Zero Trust framework
- Automate compliance reporting and ensure the customer data safety
- Design automated audit reporting points
- Integrating Zero Trust with backward compatibility to ensure the current DevOps workflows stay uninterrupted
- Developing an adaptive cybersecurity framework to maintain the developers' efficiency and productivity during the adoption of Zero Trust in DevOps
While all these stakes and overheads might seem overwhelming at first, adopting Zero Trust Security becomes much easier and hassle-free when you join hands with the leading security providers, such as InstaSafe.
Offering granular access controls, threat intelligence, alerts, and impeccable network and authentication features, InstaSafe empowers enterprises with effortless adoption of Zero Trust security in their DevOps framework.
For more information and to take the first right step towards the adoption of Zero Trust, schedule a demo now!