Overcoming Asymmetry to Build a Collaborative DevSecOps Culture

Overcoming Asymmetry to Build a Collaborative DevSecOps Culture

Developers. Security. Operations. In the era of omnipresent cloud technology and containerized applications, the distance between these three departments continues to shrink. What initially flowed like a one-way street now needs reconceptualization due to current digital infrastructure limitations. The information silos and communication barriers produced by more traditional IT conceptualizations are unacceptable at the enterprise level. When developers, operations, and security professionals aren’t on the same page, catastrophes are bound to occur.

These kinds of issues aren’t exactly new to companies on the large enterprise level. All around the world, there are examples of multinational organizations experiencing issues with the updating, operating, and securing of their multi-cloud application environments. From the deployment of insecure products to mutations that disrupt the runtime environment, the traditional siloed approach to application rollout, management, and update is simply not effective given the scale of today’s projects. The integrated concept of DevSecOps comes hand in hand with the current state of IT, which requires continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD).

The Three Integral Pillars: DevSecOps

It’s helpful to have a clear understanding of the roles, incentives, and pain points that exist for each member of the DevSecOps team before CTOs, CIOs, and other leadership members can rectify these alignment issues within their tech teams.

Development—Tasked with developing, these professionals build digital infrastructure like applications, platforms, and policies, ensuring that the deliverables of software products are incorporated in the first iteration’s functionality. Major challenges for this tech department include ensuring delivery occurs on time and on budget while meeting final product expectations. Speed of delivery is key for development teams.

Operations—Operations make software applications, platforms, and policies reliable for end users. Everything from user experience and design to stabilizing production environments, these tech professionals are key to successful frequent product iterations. Major challenges for the operations team include reducing downtime to a minimum, catching bugs and errors before end-users, and keeping developers updated on product status. Maintaining functionality is key for operations teams.

Security—Traditionally, the security team is separate from the DevOps segment. While development and operations are busy working on the functionality and useability of the digital product, security team members are monitoring the system for any unauthorized usage and risk reduction. Security breaches are a growing concern in the era of containerized software products; even the most prominent of enterprises fall victim to the effects of hacking and malware. Risk and breach reduction are key for security teams.

While there are similarities between the alignment of these typically distinct teams, they are often siloed from one another in terms of data, communication, and incentives. This is causing what industry experts now refer to as The Asymmetry Issue.

The Asymmetry Issue

The differing incentives and lack of communication between the different DevSecOps segments create an information asymmetry that jeopardizes the entirety of the enterprise’s digital infrastructure. The development team is privy to the most information regarding the project due to their intimate knowledge of the system’s inner workings. A certain degree of the knowledge gap between Dev teams and the rest of the IT professionals is inevitable in many cases. Still, when development doesn’t actively communicate their information to the other two segments, the Asymmetry Issue arises.

Asymmetry forms as a result of the uneven distribution of information between development, operations, and security teams. More equal understanding between each IT department is necessary for fully collaborative operations. In the same way, structural, electrical, and systems engineers work together during large commercial construction projects, development, operations, and security teams need to be fully aligned in their approach to digital infrastructure. If the structural engineer, who has the most knowledge of the building, doesn’t share their knowledge with the other specialties, it’s impossible to optimize the development project.

Continuous software engineering cannot occur if two-thirds of the tech department is in the dark about what is going on. This means everything from CI/CD to data stewardship becomes more and more difficult to maintain until the point of failure is reached.

The Nirmata Advantage

Collaboration and observability across DevSecOps are critical for success in the era of cloud-native computing. Information and communication silos do more than just impede the optimization of IT departments; they represent an active risk to continuous service delivery. While there are certainly ways to foster a stronger DevSecOps culture within an enterprise, concrete systems are necessary to get the job done. Enabling the three pillars of your cloud services environment with comprehensive tools, Nirmata is changing how companies’ approach DevSecOps.

Specializing in solutions for Kubernetes environments, Nirmata helps development, operations, and security teams break through the traditional silos. Tools like Kyverno and Policy Manager for Kubernetes provide the connective tissue and neural structure for large, distributed organizations, allowing for more efficient communication. By creating customized, automated container management policies, security protocols can be upheld more easily. These tools also optimize DevSecOps collaboration to remove information asymmetry.

DevSecOps Collaboration and Observability

Nirmata’s Policy Manager for Kubernetes provides a platform where IT professionals from different departments can collaborate with one another through customizable reporting tools. This functionality allows for important information like CI/CD integrations, best practices, troubleshooting guidelines, and workload scorecards to be sent quickly between the different segments of DevSecOps. Kubernetes policy management also provides the added benefits of workload security enforcement, secure self-service, and the elimination of configuration errors.

One of the biggest contributions that Nirmata is making in the multi-cloud space is a vast improvement in collaboration and observability between development, operations, and security teams. The custom reporting features and fine-grained access controls that policy management tools like Kyverno afford to enterprise IT departments help circumvent the information asymmetry of traditional DevSecOps approaches. Without these key attributes, it becomes very difficult for companies to deliver secure and agile IT service management. Bottom line: Collaboration and observability are key to maintaining CI/CD safely and efficiently across all clusters in an enterprise system.

Interested in learning more about how policy management, Kubernetes-native applications like Kyverno, and other IT approaches can reduce the impact of information asymmetry across development, operations, and security teams? Reach out to the container software experts at Nirmata!


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image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/AkftcHujUmk

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