Level Up Your GitOps Pipeline: It’s Time To Use DevSecOps For Secure Application Delivery

Level Up Your GitOps Pipeline- Featured image

Looking for a way out to secure your GitOps Pipeline? Indeed, securing your GitOps should be your top priority as it contains all confidential application configurations and file definitions in the Git repository. Therefore, organizations like yours need centralized security controls that protect DevOps workflows from security risks and data breaches.

“DevSecOps, the latest practice for Trusted Application Development, integrates security practices into GitOps and ensures continuous risk mitigation throughout the application lifecycle.”

DevSecOps is a DevOps extension that introduces various security controls in GitOps workflows. If you want to explore how to use DevSecOps for Trusted Application Development in GitOps, keep reading!

Briefing DevSecOps: Why To Use It with GitOps Pipeline?

The agile software development approach of DevSecOps focuses on incorporating mandatory security checks at each stage of the Software Development Lifecycle. This methodology’s core ethos revolves around fostering a collaborative development culture that eliminates all dependencies from traditional waterfall models.

The synergy between DevSecOps and GitOps equips organizations with the agility to swiftly adapt to evolving trends and requirements. Embedding DevSecOps within GitOps injects crucial practices such as code scanning, policy as a code, static code analysis, threat intelligence, and compliance validation into the SDLC. Hence, DevSecOps acts as an extension of DevOps-based development practices that relegate security to application development.

Key Benefits of DevSecOps Practices in GitOps

GitOps pipeline DevSecOps is a staunch security guardian throughout the application development process. The following benefits of DevSecOps with GitOps highlight how it drives perpetual enhancement cycles!

  • Strategic Vulnerability Mitigation: Early pinpointing security flaws in the SDLC establishes a strategic advantage against potential vulnerabilities.
  • Streamlined Compliance: DevSecOps constructs a compliance-centric environment by design that adheres to industry regulations.
  • Fortified Supply Chain: Secure software supply chains with GitOps to reduce the risk of compromise and eliminate malicious dependencies.
  • Minimized Attack Surface: Proactive security measures curtail potential avenues for attacks and maintain the software’s integrity.
  • Holistic Threat Visibility: Comprehensive insight into potential threats empowers timely and effective countermeasures.

DevSecOps Integration with GitOps CI/CD Pipelines

Integrating DevSecOps practices into the GitOps pipeline is a multi-dimensional endeavor. It involves the convergence of developers, administrators, and security teams to collaborate. All work together to define and automate security checks throughout the application lifecycle. This integration can be encapsulated through several DevSecOps practices and approaches:

Security by Design

In software development, the ‘Security by Design’ DevSecOps approach fortifies systems against vulnerabilities by embedding continuous testing, authentication measures, etc. ‘Security by design’ is pivotal to integrating security from the beginning of the SDLC phases in CI/CD pipelines.

Policy as Code

The Policy-as-code approach of DevSecOps is a must for enhancing the security prospects in GitOps CI/CD workflows. To secure Application delivery, developers can codify the following policies in GitOps:

  • Security Policies: These policies protect software from misconfigurations and data breaches.
  • Resilience Policies: These policies enhance the protection of Kubernetes clusters using fault-tolerant systems.
  • Coding Standards Policies: These policies eliminate programming inconsistency by detecting bugs and code defects during Continuous Development.

With policy-as-code, GitOps workflows encounter lesser implementation and development defects. These offer high-level language controls with automated policy management capabilities.

Pre-Commit Security Checks

DecSecOps practices focus on enforcing the suitable security practices that can enhance the security aspects of SDLC phases in GitOps. At the earliest stage, developers can embed security checks into the pre-commit phase of SDLC. It’s ideal for detecting system vulnerabilities, configuration mismatches, and compliance errors. So developers can use tools like static code analyzers and vulnerability scanners in the GitOps workflow and conduct pre-commit security checks.

Application Dependency Scanning

Most DevOps companies these days use Firewalls and Dependency Checkers when building applications. These tools help detect various third-party dependencies and fasten the development process.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Security

In the GitOps context, infrastructure is managed as code. DevSecOps practices extend to the infrastructure layer that leverages Infrastructure as Code tools and templates for secure infrastructure configurations. The suggested IaC tools for developers are Terraform, Sentinel, ARM templates, AWS Config Rules, etc. The usage of IaC ensures faster infrastructure deployments with reduced manual efforts.

Continuous Security Monitoring

Compliance requirements vary across GitOps CI/CD pipelines. DevSecOps necessitates continuous monitoring of deployed applications using a GitOps Pipeline. Plus, developers can incorporate compliance checks as code and automate regular auditing. Integrating tools like Prometheus or Grafana also help secure the pipelines by providing real-time application insights and security metrics.

How DevSecOps Practices Ensure Trusted App Delivery in GitOps?

Trusted App Delivery highlights the benefits of codifying security policies and introducing guardrails to the SDLC. It protects the source code in Git Repos and performs code reviews throughout the SDLC. The following are the objectives of trusted app delivery:

  • Protects the application code from data breaches and security threats.
  • Verifies the authenticity of the application’s source code and its dependencies.
  • Ensures that the applications perform as expected after release.
  • Helps developers control the release cycles for seamless application delivery.
  • Extends GitOps CI/CD pipeline by integrating security and governance rules with policy-as-code.

It is a great way to configure and deploy applications error-free without human effort.

Creating a Trusted Delivery Cycle With DevSecOps

A typical GitOps workflow has multiple checkpoints that ensure trusted delivery. In a GitOps workflow, the developer commits the application’s source code to a dedicated Git repository. But how to build a trusted software delivery process by incorporating DevSecOps security practices? The following best practices demonstrate how to build a trusted software delivery with DevSecOps principles:

Integrate security checks right from the planning stage of the SDLC and identify the potential threats to the security of the GitOps Pipeline.

  • Monitor security vulnerabilities using various tools to identify defects before the application performance gets impacted.
  • Follow secure coding practices like static code analysis tools, conducting regular code reviews, and fixing security issues.
  • Scan container images with access controls in the cluster regularly to auto-detect and eliminate security vulnerabilities.
  • Focus on continuous compliance to ensure the software delivery meets the relevant application development standards for compliance requirements.
  • Foster a culture of team collaboration with efficient communication across different project teams, business owners, and delivery managers.

Hence, organizations should implement security guardrails in Git repositories, CI/CD pipeline workflows, configuration repositories, and Kubernetes clusters. With these DevSecOps practices, organizations can accelerate frequent releases with enhanced security in GitOps workflows.

Securing SDLC: Adapting DevSecOps in GitOps

GitOps Pipeline framework takes DevOps best practices for improving application delivery. Primary DevOps practices used in GitOps include version control, source code control IaC, release management, CI/CD pipeline, collaboration, and compliance. However, as organizations strive to optimize SDLC efficiency, the security prospect of SDLC phases is the top priority!

Now the question is; how to secure GitOps workflows to ensure trusted software delivery? The emerging solution is DevSecOps, the extended version of DevOps adding Security. This article highlights key DevSecOps approaches organizations can implement in their GitOps workflow. Further, the suggested DevSecOps implementation practices ensure top-notch security throughout the SDLC phases. These practices are crucial to ensure the security of GitOps workflows. Hence, the future of DevSecOps and GitOps is indeed bright!


#1 Is GitOps different than DevOps?

Yes, GitOps differs from DevOps. GitOps centralizes with Git. DevOps connects teams using chosen tools, and GitOps streamlines with Git for code changes. DevOps covers broader culture and automation. While GitOps speeds development and deployment for trusted app delivery, DevOps encompasses team collaboration and continuous delivery.

#2 What is Trusted Application Delivery?

Trusted app delivery incorporates security policies with policy-as-code in the GitOps software delivery pipelines. It ensures the integrity and reliability of application code once it’s deployed in production. Further, it blocks unauthorized access requests and stops data breach incidents from happening. It manages the source code and does version control to stop code tampering. Ultimately, Trusted App Delivery maintains application code security throughout the SDLC process in GitOps.

#3 What are the core concepts of DevSecOps?

DevSecOps combines security aspects in DevOps workflows using various approaches like security by design, the policy as code, source code control, access control, and application version control. DevSecOps has similar stages to the DevOps lifecycles. However, DecSecOps implements security practices at every stage of the DevOps lifecycle.

#4 How to adapt the “shifting left” approach with DevSecOps?

The “Shift left” approach in DevSecOps pushes the security tasks earlier in the SDLC. Organizations planning to incorporate DeSecOps in their existing workflows can utilize DevOps consulting services from reputed companies like Algoworks. The professional consultants will analyze the existing DevOps workflows to suggest how to employ enhanced security aspects in the CI/CD pipelines using the “shift left” approach.

#5 Why should developers use Git and DevSecOps together?

Developers who use Git Repositories for source code and version control should take the security aspects of application delivery seriously. For that, DevSecOps approaches like security by design, policy as a code, and infrastructure as code are easy to use. DevSecOps integrates security across the entire SDLC stages. It detects vulnerabilities early and automates security checks in Git pipelines. Hence, developers should use Git combined with DevSecOps practices.

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Co-Founder & Director, Business Management
BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.

About BDCC

BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.