A survey of 2,500 C-level executives published today by Palo Alto Networks found 81% of organizations have embedded cybersecurity professionals within their DevOps teams.
Despite the presence of those cybersecurity professionals, however, the survey also suggested there is much work to do in terms of optimizing DevSecOps workflows. A full 90% of organizations cannot detect, contain and resolve cybersecurity threats within an hour, the survey found.
Bob West, chief security officer for Palo Alto Networks, said most of the challenges associated with DevSecOps are directly related to persistent cloud security issues. More than three-quarters of organizations (78%) said they had distributed responsibility for cloud security, but almost half (47%) said a majority of their workforce still does not understand their security responsibilities.
In many cases, developers with little to no cybersecurity expertise are responsible for provisioning cloud infrastructure. As a result, misconfigurations that create security issues are commonplace, noted West. That’s especially problematic because three-quarters of organizations (75%) are deploying new or updated code to production weekly, with almost 40% committing new code daily, the survey found. Given that developers far outnumber cybersecurity professionals in most organizations, it remains challenging to ensure application code is secure, noted West.
In addition to improving the overall state of cloud security, organizations need to focus on fundamentals such as training developers to be more mindful of cybersecurity issues, he added. Most developers never had any formal cybersecurity training, so it’s up to organizations to make sure that particular skills gap is closed, he noted. In addition, organizations need to make sure they have a robust set of patch management processes in place alongside a capability to manage permissions and entitlements, added West.
Overall, the survey found organizations are using more than 30 security tools, on average, including six to 10 dedicated to cloud security. More than three-quarters of respondents (76%) said relying on multiple security tools created blind spots that affected their ability to prioritize risk and prevent threats. A full 80% said they would benefit from a centralized security solution that sits across all of their cloud accounts and services.
One way or another, a rising tide of regulations focused on improving the security of software supply chains will force organizations to improve cloud security, said West. The survey showed there is a strong commitment in terms of making cybersecurity professionals an integral part of a DevOps workflow. The issue is that there are still a raft of training and process issues that need to be addressed at a time when cybercriminals are becoming increasingly adept at compromising applications both as they are developed and after they are deployed.
Of course, training and modifying processes take time. DevSecOps is as much about changing culture as it is about acquiring new tools. DevOps teams are still highly committed to building and deploying applications as quickly as possible. The challenge is finding a way to insert a set of cybersecurity gates within those workflows without slowing down the pace at which applications are developed.