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DevOps Security – 8 Best Practices to Follow in 2022

Cyber attacks in recent years have grown exponentially. Hackers continually improve their methods, and even your most vigilant employees can fall victim to social engineering scams. In fact, as per Statista, the annual average cost of data breaches reached a whopping $4.24 Million globally.

DevOps Security

Source: Statista – Data Breach Worldwide

Integrating security into the software lifecycle is essential as part of the DevOps methodology. DevOps Security tests need to run early in the SDLC when issues can be identified and resolved more quickly.

DevOps teams everywhere have focused on security training to protect the businesses they work for and the customers who use their services. You must follow these ten DevOps security best practices in 2022 and beyond to do this successfully.

1. Encrypt Sensitive Data

Encrypting data at rest is critical for any company, regardless of size or industry. To ensure that your sensitive data remains protected, have a third-party encryption tool in place as part of your infrastructure.

It’s essential to understand how encryption works. Else, you can do more harm than good by trying to implement an encryption solution. Your developers should also be well versed in how these tools work and why they’re necessary.

Encrypt databases (and passwords), credit card information, personally identifiable information (PII), etc. Anything and everything that may cause financial or reputational damage if leaked or compromised must be encrypted to protect your business. 

2. Automate Password Resets

Automating password reset isn’t just a best practice; it’s a requirement. You can easily create an automated system that sends new passwords via email or SMS. Some services, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), even have tools built-in that make the password reset automation a snap.

That way, if any of your team members lose access to their account and can’t get into it, they can quickly get back into your network and start working again—without bothering you for help. Automating password resets also ensures that users follow best practices by creating strong passwords and changing them regularly.

It will also ensure that you never have to reset a password manually. You should set up an automated system as soon as possible so that every user on your team has a secure login process before they even log in for the first time. If you don’t have one already, create one today.

3. Limit Admin Access

When a developer needs access to an instance or two, and they only have admin rights on those instances (and not necessarily anywhere else), then that’s fine. But if developers are running as root across your entire infrastructure because you need them to do so for convenience, then you’re just asking for trouble.

Only grant admin rights where necessary; you should roll anything more than that into another user account with less-powerful privileges. Avoid granting complete admin rights to multiple users as much as possible.

If you have a team of eleven developers, it’s OK to give access to one in the team. However, avoid giving access to the entire team. 

4. Segment Applications by Users

Using user personas enables security teams to create a custom experience for each employee. This is especially useful if your company has hundreds or thousands of employees, as it allows security specialists to put themselves in their users’ shoes and understand their needs.

Segmenting applications and data may seem difficult; however, automation tools create a big difference here. For example, you can use AWS CloudTrail logs and Amazon Macie to achieve better visibility into who has access to what resources. It simultaneously helps them prioritize security measures based on these specific metrics.

Segmenting applications have also helped security teams more quickly identify sensitive data. For example, you can use Amazon Macie’s Data Categories feature to determine what data is most important for your business and monitor it accordingly. If a user’s access is compromised, you can take appropriate action.

Furthermore, segmenting applications also helps security teams proactively detect suspicious behavior from users. It enables security specialists to see if any unusual activity has occurred—such as someone trying to log into a system they don’t have permission for—and address it immediately before it causes damage or further compromise an account or network.

5. Leverage Secrets Management Tools

Rather than hard-coding passwords and secrets into your application, use a secret management tool. It ensures that all your secrets are stored safely and can only be accessed by those with permission. Such tools also simplify the usage of variables.

It makes it simple for someone new on a project to jump in and understand what’s happening because everything is accounted for from top-to-bottom and side to side.

Depending on how you plan on managing environments, a secret management tool like Vault or Hashicorp’s Consul. They have native support for Docker Secrets which reduces risk as well as helps reduce mistakes when running your app in different environments.

6. Conduct Security Audits Regularly

Information security is a method, not a product. It’s hard for anyone—even an experienced security professional—to detect new flaws or vulnerabilities and develop plans to patch them as they pop up. A well-designed auditing system will take some of that pressure off your team.

Use monitoring tools that can monitor your network 24/7 and notify you of any issues, but also audit its configuration. Ideally, your auditing tool should include a scripting language so you can customize it to work with your environments and applications.

This script doesn’t need to look at every component of your business every time it runs—it just needs to scan for specific configurations or events (like external access) that might indicate an issue has occurred.

7. Implement 2FA

DevOps Security

Source: Norton 2FA Explained

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is critical for any organization that wants to protect its infrastructure from potentially harmful threats. If your organization is still operating without 2FA, do yourself a favor and install it now.

For employees and customers alike, 2FA strengthens security through a method of verification that uses two forms of identification: something you know (like a password or PIN) and something you have (like an SMS message with a code).

It’s simple but effective. Rather than rely on just one form of identification, 2FA provides an additional layer of protection by requiring hackers to gain access to passwords and devices with cellular connectivity or physical security keys like Yubikeys.

8. Use IDPS for Additional Security

One of DevOps security’s greatest strengths is its automation capabilities. Because it brings so many moving parts together, it can also be a significant pain point for security teams trying to handle all that’s happening with applications and infrastructure.

A complete, centralized identity and access management system (IDPS) helps alleviate some of these issues by better integrating security processes into the operations teams’ workflows. IDPS helps IT admins easily share resources across different platforms and quickly locate anything that doesn’t belong.

In addition, an integrated threat management platform keeps tabs on threats within and outside your network to keep users safe no matter where they roam online.

Read Also: The 7 Best Chatbot Platforms to Build Powerful Chatbots in 2022

Final Tip: Use SSL Everywhere

An SSL certificate secures traffic between your website and end-users. If a user enters sensitive information on your sites, such as credit card numbers or passwords, an unsecured connection could allow attackers to intercept that data.

To keep that from happening, SSL is crucial. Additionally, Google has stated that HTTPS sites will rank higher than others. In short, you should be moving toward HTTPS on all your web properties ASAP! DevOps services companies in India can help you with it.

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