Nine key tactics to improve security without compromising time to market and innovation

Customers’ demands are constantly changing today, which compels businesses to spin their wheel of innovation and show off their adaptability to customer needs. Rolling out enhanced features frequently, they lead such innovations to drive major shift in market trends. Other companies in a similar market also feel the need to respond to these changes in order to remain relevant and competitive.

However, being innovative is not enough in itself. You need to make sure that your innovations get to your potential customers rapidly, or at least before, they become more mainstream. In today’s world of cutthroat competition, time to market (or speed to market) is one of the most important modes of differentiation for applications. It not only adds to customer satisfaction, but also helps in the growth of revenue and market share.

Companies need to balance their time to market and innovation level against another crucial factor – application security. Lack of this third factor can weaken your overall objective of delivering an enriched customer experience. The interaction between these three elements can actually determine your application’s success story in the market.

The quest for innovation and speed gives rise to unforeseen security threats. One myth we often come across is that security means sacrificing agility and innovation. In this blog post, we will counteract this thought and show how DevSecOps could be the perfect model to launch your innovative applications fast in this security as code era.

So how to leverage security with DevSecOps while supporting innovation and time to market requirements?

 

  • Shorten release cycles:

Incremental cycles will keep you up on the customers’ changing demands. Short and frequent release cycles will help analyze the code in smaller fragments, identify gaps, and deliver secure applications faster.

 

  • Design faster feedback loops:

There are innate risks to innovation. However, you can test your ideas on the market, fail faster, continuously monitor, and iteratively improve your application with customer feedback. Early feedback will assure a well-timed deployment.

 

  • Automate as much as possible:

You need to integrate security at several points in the CI/CD pipeline.  Manual security checks or configuration of security controls could be time intensive. The correct automation support will keep you from slowing down and ensure timely releases. When issues found by primary security testing tools like SAST, DAST, SCA, are overwhelming, you can combine them with cloud native application protection solutions to secure your applications faster. This way you can constantly detect and respond to threats while keeping your speed and level of innovation intact.

In addition, automated deployment of the application and its associated security solution will help you gain time, compared to the traditional model that took months to get to production.

 

  • Address issues earlier:

DevSecOps is an expansion to DevOps, where you just shift the emphasis on security to the earlier stages. The earlier you find a vulnerability, the easier and less costly it will be to correct it. Detecting and quickly patching a vulnerability, as and when you find it not only reduces your security risk, but also takes care of the overall speed of application delivery. Wondering how efficient virtual patching can improve your outcomes? The scenario cited below describes how our solution can help in this regard.

 

 

  • Manage vulnerabilities with bug bounty platforms:

Sometimes organizations are not able to detect certain kind of vulnerabilities in time for them to be fixed. Bug bounty platforms provide a good coverage because someone is continuously invading the system to hunt for vulnerabilities. Remember, early detection of vulnerabilities will slash the time to reduce risk later. Therefore, it is worth paying white hat hackers to find difficult bugs in the application now than being exploited by the malicious actors later.

 

  • Promote closer collaboration:

Apart from the change in culture and tools, reduced time to market also relies on the people factor in a DevSecOps team. Security champions bring synchronization and promote shared responsibility between the different cross-functional teams. There could be different approaches to integrating the teams. Such integrated efforts help in effortless deployment and rewarding time to market.

 

  • Adopt containers & micro services based infrastructure:

Breaking up a big monolithic application could be frustrating for the developers, thus slowing velocity. On the other hand, cloud native technologies are dynamic, easier to scale and maintain from a DevOps perspective. You could refactor one of your monolithic applications into a set of microservices without changing the communication API. When developers create more applications leveraging micro services, it helps them eliminate human errors, thus saving valuable time and increasing competitiveness.

 

  • Manage WAF false positives:

False positives cause major depletion of resources. You need to embed false positive management earlier, in the build process, instead of the beginning of run phase. This would bring down the security review time by increasing speed and quality of false positive identification.

 

  • Deploy in SaaS:

SaaS models create a win-win situation. Apart from improving time to market, they grant the ability to scale. Usually allowing applications to be hosted in the cloud, they eliminate the burden and time required for software management.

 

Security, time to market, innovation: its easy if you do it smart

Imagine that you manage to rush your application to the market, but it fails to meet the customers’ expectations in terms of innovation or security. This will open the door to triumph for your competitors regardless of being late to market.  Implementing a DevSecOps model can help you with this tough balancing act. Analyze the three mentioned aspects in your application delivery process right away, to find out how close your organization is to achieving the desired results.

Want to invest in a comprehensive and competitive solution for your cloud native apps? R&S®Trusted Application Factory offers reduced time to market infused with a high level of innovation and best in breed security. Contact us now to schedule a demo!

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