When Evaluating New Software Vendors, DevSecOps is Key
It’s no secret that managed services are a popular target for attack. Cybercriminals, ever profit-driven, are tempted by the sheer number of endpoints that could be exposed by one successful strike higher up in the supply chain. They frequently target managed service providers (MSPs) themselves, as well as the software vendors whose tech operations, cybersecurity and other functionality MSPs deliver as a service.
This trend has been hard to miss over the last couple of years. Individual vendor compromises have exposed sensitive data across federal agencies and global enterprises, and opened email servers up to additional malware delivery at tens of thousands of organizations.
Cybersecurity has become a basic need for every business. As a managed service provider, you are your clients’ lifeline in these turbulent digital times — and the services you deliver can easily make or break clients’ success. Careful evaluation of potential vendors is critical, and looking for vendors who practice DevSecOps is a great place to start.
DevSecOps stands for development, security, and operations. It describes a general approach to software creation that integrates IT security at every step of the way, right from the early stages of design.
That might sound like a no-brainer, but make no mistake: security in software development is not always handled this well. It has traditionally been almost an afterthought, managed towards the end of the development cycle by a separate team — and then QA tested by yet another team. Some organizations still function this way.
Throughout development, teams operating with a DevSecOps approach will continuously audit and test their code for potential security concerns. This extends into public-facing production systems — like solutions that are being used by MSPs already, but that are also being actively improved through new releases and patches.
Just a few of the ways that DevSecOps leads to more complete security include:
- Faster vulnerability mitigation — New vulnerabilities in popular software frameworks and libraries are constantly being identified. Since DevSecOps integrates vulnerability scanning and patching into the release cycle, these issues can be mitigated within the developer’s software before each new version is released, leaving cybercriminals a smaller window to take advantage of security gaps.
- Testing automation — When software developers make changes to their code, it’s important to run a battery of tests to verify that no key functionalities have been broken. DevSecOps ensures a smooth and automated approach to these tests, speeding up development and removing potential human error from the equation.
- Data privacy compliance — By automating relevant compliance checks, DevSecOps simplifies the often-daunting task of ensuring that solutions will effortlessly handle data in accordance with governmental or industry-standard regulations. Failure to do so can lead to financial penalties and serious reputational damage to MSPs or the clients they serve.
With best practices baked in from the genesis of a product or feature, the resulting software will have a much stronger cybersecurity and data protection posture: great news for service providers in an age of large-scale, rapidly evolving cybercrime.
Turn to vendors that embody full-cycle security
A holistic approach to security throughout the software development process is critical for protecting clients’ digital infrastructure — and your own. Supply chain attacks remain a major risk for MSPs, as cybercriminals attempt to compromise scores of your client organizations in one fell swoop.
Vendors that don’t sufficiently prioritize security in the development process are at significantly increased risk of falling victim to these attacks, passing the pain along to you in the form of security gaps or malware-infested updates.
You can mitigate the danger of software supply chain attacks by carefully evaluating potential vendors, preferring those that have taken a strong DevSecOps approach with the solutions they build. Vulnerabilities are less likely to arise if your vendors embody full-cycle security throughout the development process. Acronis, for instance, ensures the security and reliability of its products by following a Secure Software Development Life Cycle and enforcing strict internal policies governing infrastructure, networks and identity and access management.
The modern cyberthreat landscape is diverse and evolving rapidly. New and powerful cyberthreats emerge every day, while automation enables a constant onslaught of attacks. Legacy security tools and processes are simply unable to respond at the scale and speed that these threats demand.
Regardless of weaknesses elsewhere in your toolset, a comprehensive cyber protection offering — one that integrates cybersecurity with data protection — will enable unique capabilities and holistic security for all data and systems under your purview, helping you to defend against these risks and other cutting-edge cyberthreats.