What is DevSecOps?
Key Benefits and Best Practices

Cody Queen - June 11, 2024

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a philosophical framework that combines aspects of software development, security, and operations into a cohesive whole.

As the software development life cycle speeds up and scales out into the global marketplace, organizations must adapt their processes to become more efficient while providing a high-quality user experience that is secure and compliant. DevSecOps allows organizations to combine previously separate teams and processes into a single unit to demolish silos and embrace a “shift left” approach to security.

With DevSecOps, developers are more aware of and responsible for maintaining security best practices within their code. It also means operations and security teams implement tools and policies that provide regular security checks throughout the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.

Take DevSecOps to the Next Level

Join CrowdStrike CTO Mike Sentonas as he examines DevSecOps trends and provides an overview of the CrowdStrike approach to cloud security. Learn about the different approaches to securing the cloud and how CrowdStrike’s cloud-native solution provides end-to-end protection from the host to the cloud and everything in between.

Download Now

What is the DevSecOps methodology?

The following features characterize the DevSecOps methodology:

  • Shift Left Security: Traditional development pipelines place security checks near or after deployment. Shifting security processes left reduces the likelihood of data exposure or security breaches while decreasing security-related bottlenecks.
  • Automation: Relying on automated processes speeds up routine development and testing tasks and minimizes the risk of introducing human error into the product.
  • Collaboration and Communication: Teams work together to apply best practices throughout the development processes and address vulnerabilities as they arise.
  • A Culture of Shared Responsibility: Developers, security, and operations teams are all responsible for the quality of the final product. This sense of ownership leads to developer autonomy and improves collaboration. Rather than focusing on shifting blame when things go wrong, DevSecOps reframes regular constructive feedback as a positive outcome designed to iterate on and improve processes.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Feedback: Regular monitoring of development pipelines ensures teams catch vulnerabilities quickly and flag them for remediation.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: DevSecOps applies best practices that allow developers to maintain high levels of security, even when they scale up their products to a global audience of millions of users.
  • Integration of Security Into Development Pipelines: Rather than placing security checks at or near the end of the CI/CD pipeline, DevSecOps shifts them left and places them at regular intervals to catch vulnerabilities before they enter production.
  • Risk-Based Approach: Effective risk assessment and remediation processes allow teams to work more efficiently, targeting vulnerabilities that immediately impact business risk.
  • Compliance and Governance: DevSecOps treats compliance as a core part of development rather than an afterthought through regular automated checks against robust control sets.

How DevSecOps fits into the development pipeline

Before applying DevSecOps

Traditionally, CI/CD pipelines place security checks at the end of the process, which works well as long as everything runs smoothly. But the moment security teams discover a vulnerability, development bottlenecks rapidly begin to form. The security team reports the vulnerability to the development team, who is likely already working on the next update. Now, the developers must drop what they’re doing and address this vulnerability along with the other work piling up on their already busy schedules.

In addition to negatively impacting development workflows, putting security checks at the end of the pipeline increases the likelihood of security flaws finding their way into production, making bottlenecks all but inevitable.

This approach made more sense before the advent of microservices and the need for rapid, daily updates. Now, development infrastructure is far more complex and attack surfaces are much larger, so organizations need a more robust approach that aligns developers, security, and operations toward a unified goal.

After applying DevSecOps

With a DevSecOps philosophy, organizations develop and foster cross-team collaboration throughout the CI/CD pipeline. The security team is no longer a separate entity — it is now embedded into development and operations processes, working with everyone to optimize the organization’s security posture.

DevSecOps shifts security responsibilities to developers, who must implement best practices while they work. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of security vulnerabilities entering the CI/CD pipeline in the first place.

However, even the best developer can’t catch everything. A DevSecOps approach also incorporates security checks into the build, test, deliver, and deploy phases of the CI/CD pipeline, relying on automated tools to monitor and analyze code against security and compliance control sets. As these checks discover new vulnerabilities, developers can prioritize and remediate these issues to avoid introducing potential security risks into production.

Benefits of DevSecOps

  • More Secure Environments: A proactive approach to security is less likely to introduce flawed code into production and is more likely to catch vulnerabilities when they arise.
  • More Efficient Processes: Development teams are less likely to drop everything to implement security fixes that security teams discover at the last minute, and a well-tuned machine can deploy quality code faster and more reliably.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Developers no longer view security requests as impediments to delivering code, so there’s less friction between teams. Security teams are more aware of development and operational needs, and developers and operations teams can implement security best practices into the infrastructure.
  • Better Use of Developer Time: With developers spending less time patching security vulnerabilities, they can spend more time adding value to the product.
  • Compliant Framework: Meet and enforce security and legal requirements more predictably by strategically placing automated compliance checks.

The Complete Guide to CNAPPs

Download CrowdStrike’s Complete Guide to CNAPPs to understand why Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms are a critical component of modern cloud security strategies and how to best integrate them to development lifecycles.

Download Now

DevSecOps best practices

Building DevSecOps processes won’t happen overnight. You must find ways to integrate its framework into all aspects of the development pipeline. To start your transition on the right foot, consider implementing the following best practices.

  • Shift Company Culture Toward DevSecOps: DevSecOps requires a fundamental change in how teams think about security. Rather than keeping security checks at the end of the CI/CD pipeline, you must break down the silos formed between teams and integrate security checks throughout development processes. Bring the security team into developer meetings, train IT employees on security processes, and encourage development and operations teams to contact the security team for insight.
  • Automate Security Processes: The CI/CD pipeline already uses automated testing, building, and deployment processes to maximize developer efficiency and speed up deployment times. Likewise, you should lean on automated security tools to detect vulnerabilities as code moves through the pipeline.
  • Continuously Monitor the Pipeline: Employ monitoring and automation tools to detect issues and improve process efficiencies. Tools like CrowdStrike Falcon® Cloud Security regularly scan your entire infrastructure for blind spots or misconfigurations that could lead to security risks, making them essential for speeding up deployment times without sacrificing quality.
  • Regularly Evaluate and Iterate Processes: Adopting a DevSecOps approach isn’t a one-and-done process. Malicious actors continuously evolve their tactics, and security teams are constantly discovering new vulnerabilities. As a result, your organization should analyze its own processes regularly and adapt them based on what works for your team and your product.
  • Use Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to Enhance Security: IaC makes infrastructure provisioning more manageable by automating and systematizing configuration. Likewise, IaC offers similar benefits to managing security configurations and compliance policies, ensuring everyone in your organization works from a similar foundation.

DevSecOps tools

CrowdStrike Falcon® PlatformThe CrowdStrike Falcon platform is a cloud-native endpoint security platform that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to protect some of the world’s largest digital infrastructures from cyber threats. Learn more here.
JenkinsJenkins is an open-source automation server widely used for building, testing, and deploying software. It supports DevSecOps practices through integrations with various security plugins and tools for code analysis, static code scanning, and more.
OWASP ZAPOWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) is a popular open-source web application security scanner designed to find vulnerabilities in web applications during the development and testing phases. It helps identify security issues early in the software development life cycle.
SonarQubeSonarQube is an open-source platform for continuous inspection of code quality. It provides static code analysis, code coverage, and code security analysis capabilities to help teams identify and fix security vulnerabilities and code smells.
TrivyTrivy is an open-source vulnerability scanner for containers and other artifacts. It scans container images for package vulnerabilities, configuration issues, and more, enabling DevSecOps teams to identify and remediate security risks in their containerized environments.
SnortSnort is an open-source network intrusion detection system (NIDS) that can detect and prevent security threats in real time. It helps secure networks by analyzing network traffic and alerting administrators about suspicious activities.
GauntltGauntlt is an open-source security testing framework that allows DevSecOps teams to automate security testing within their CI/CD pipelines. It integrates with various security tools and frameworks, enabling the execution of security tests as part of the development process.
Kali LinuxKali Linux is an open-source Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. It provides a wide range of tools for security testing, including vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, and ethical hacking.
OsqueryOsquery is an open-source endpoint security tool that allows organizations to collect and query data from their devices in real time. It provides visibility into system activity, enabling security teams to detect and investigate security incidents effectively.

Get started with CrowdStrike

A successful shift to a DevSecOps framework requires a solid foundation. Learn how CrowdStrike Falcon Cloud Security enables this approach with robust workload protection, container security, posture management, and automated compliance tools.

Explore CrowdStrike Falcon Cloud Security


Cody Queen is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Cloud Security at CrowdStrike.