Harmonizing Security and DevOps: Navigating the Cloud Environment

Maor Idan
November 13, 2023
min. read
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In the dynamic pace of cloud computing, the environment functions like a living organ, constantly evolving and adapting. Drawing a parallel to Siamese twins, this organic cloud entity finds itself conjoined, shared by two distinct bodies—the vigilant security team and the agile DevOps team.

The security team is tasked with identifying potential security gaps, while the DevOps team focuses on minimizing downtime and refining processes. While the Siamese twins analogy holds in terms of connection, the two teams function independently, each possessing a specific set of responsibilities, operating across different platforms.

The security team's primary objective lies in detecting security vulnerabilities. Nonetheless, the resolution of these gaps mainly falls within the responsibilities of the DevOps team. As the security team works relentlessly to identify vulnerabilities, the DevOps team is committed to business continuity, ensuring that security fixes do not disrupt crucial services.

This divergence creates a challenge for the security team. Overwhelmed by alerts from diverse tools, they wrestle with prioritizing vulnerabilities, only to initiate a remediation request for the DevOps team that may stretch over weeks or months, leading to understandable frustration.

For the DevOps team, the challenge is equally severe. Each security gap uncovered requires tedious investigation to pinpoint its origin and to assess the potential impact of remediating it. These investigations, while time-intensive, are just one aspect of their responsibilities alongside their development tasks.

For security teams to achieve success, they must go beyond just identifying vulnerabilities. It's essential for them also to take ownership of simplifying the remediation process, collaborating with DevOps to streamline these efforts effectively. As such, security teams need to embrace a holistic mindset. They must convey contextual details with each remediation, pinpointing the change that led to the vulnerability and assessing the remediation's potential impact on production.

Illustrated by an example of initiating a remediation request for the DevOps team:

Issue: Exposure of an RDS instance on port 22 to the internet.
Root cause: The exposure emerged post-deployment of a new version, specifically at 11:12 a.m. on Oct 27th. The RDS server became associated with the "support team" security group.
Remediation Impact: The new configuration remained unused in terms of security group privileges.
Action: Detach the RDS instance from the "support team" security group.

In the dynamic landscape of the cloud, where security and operational continuity intersect, a harmonious partnership between the security and DevOps teams emerges as not just an operational tactic but a strategic necessity. It's a shared journey towards creating a secure, efficient, and resilient digital ecosystem.

This article is written by Stream Security, the leading platform for impact analysis investigation.  

Leveraging its real-time event-driven architecture, Stream enables security teams to conduct root-cause analysis and impact assessment for detected security gaps to collaborate with DevOps teams effectively.

For more details, book a demo

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