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Achieving DevSecOps through PAM

by | Mar 21, 2022 | BLOG

DevsecOps is the abbreviation for development, security, and operations and has gained a lot of attention among the best methodologies for software development. According to Gartner, by the end of 2021, DevSecOps practices will be implemented in 60% of agile Development teams, compared to 20% in 2019. DevSecOps practices prioritize cooperation, collaboration, and responsibility-sharing among information security teams.

Privileged access management (Pam), on the other hand, obeys the principle of least privilege, avoiding cyberattacks carried out through privileged credentials, such as breaches and data leaks, and can help achieve DevSecOps throughout software development.

In this article, we cover these concepts and their implications more deeply. To make your understanding easier, our text is divided by topics:

    1. About DevSecOps
    2. Advantages of the DevSecOps Method
    3. About PAM
    4. The Importance of PAM to Organizations
    5. How PAM can Contribute to DevSecOps
    6. Conclusion

 Follow our text to the end!

  • About DevSecOps

DevSecOps is a way to integrate security practices into the DevOps process, which provides launch engineers and security teams working collaboratively through agile software development methodologies.

DevSecOps aims to develop new solutions for complex software development processes in an agile and secure way.

It is a solution to the old security methodologies in the continuous delivery pipeline nowadays, which aims to promote the fast and secure delivery of codes. In this case, silo thinking is replaced by a process that favors communication, cooperation, and sharing of security tasks during the stages of the delivery process.

In DevSecOps, it is possible to bring together two seemingly opposite purposes, secure code and speed of delivery, through a facilitated process.

Aligned with the mechanisms of Agile, security tests, in this case, are performed in iterations, avoiding delaying delivery. In this way, security problems can be solved as soon as they are identified, even before compromising the results.

  • Advantages of the DevSecOps Method

In DevSecOps, it is possible to bring together two seemingly opposite purposes, secure code and speed of delivery, through a facilitated process. Thus, one can take advantage of the resources of agile methods and create secure codes.

According to an EMA report released in 2017, the two biggest advantages of security operations are improved operational efficiency in IT, including security, and improved ROI in security infrastructure.

The same study found another important benefit: the possibility of using 100% of cloud services. Other known advantages of DevOps that are inherited by DevSecOps:

  • Better communication and collaboration between teams;
  • More agile security teams;
  • Possibility of responding to demands and changes quickly; and
  • More opportunities to perform automated builds and quality testing.

  • About PAM

Privileged access management (Pam) has the function of protecting organizations against threats such as theft of credentials and misuse of privileges. 

It consists of an information security strategy that involves users, as well as processes and technology to monitor, protect, control, and audit the privileged activities in the IT structure of a company.

Also known as privileged access security (PAS) and privileged identity management (PIM), PAM considers the principle of least privilege, respected when users receive only the credentials necessary to perform their corporate tasks. 

This cybersecurity practice is of paramount importance for protecting privileged access to valuable data. With it, you can reduce the attack surface and minimize the risk of data breaches.

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  • The Importance of PAM to Organizations

One of the biggest vulnerabilities for IT structures is human action, including privileged users who go beyond their access level and invaders who appropriate these privileges to operate. 

In this sense, the importance of PAM for organizations is to enable the identification of malicious actions by security teams and ensure employees have only the required access to perform their work, as mentioned in the previous topic. 

Thus, companies that adopt PAM as a cybersecurity mechanism achieve several advantages, such as minimizing security risks, reducing their surface area of cyberattacks, reducing operating costs, and achieving compliance with strict data protection policies, such as the LGPD.

  • How PAM Can Contribute to DevSecOps

By reading the previous topics, you can see the importance of PAM for cybersecurity. Here’s how this approach can contribute to DevSecOps throughout the software development cycle:

  • PAM makes it possible to scan the secrets spread throughout the DevOps development pipeline, which is essential for companies to understand where information and credentials are being stored, and who is performing each action at which time. This visibility allows one to assess the security of the IT environment.
  • It also makes it possible to manage shared secrets and passwords embedded in codes, allowing one to trace actions in the IT environment. This is critical to software integrity and compliance with security policies. 
  • The adoption of its concepts involves providing individual users or specific service accounts with the number of privileges needed to perform their tasks. In this way, it is possible to ensure the environment as a whole is not compromised if an account or process is compromised.

  • Conclusion

In our article, you learned that:

  • DevSecOps integrates security practices into the DevOps process in a collaborative way, which favors communication and responsibility-sharing;
  • This approach makes it possible to gather secure codes and delivery speed, through a facilitated process;
  • In DevSecOps, security mechanisms are incorporated into the development process;
  • PAM aims to protect organizations against threats;
  • One of the greatest vulnerabilities for IT structures is human action, which justifies the application of PAM;
  • This tool allows the organization to comply with strict data protection policies; and
  • PAM contributes to DevSecOps in the software development cycle, allowing one to understand where information and credentials are stored, and who executes (and when). 

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