DevOps vs DevSecOps: Which Approach is Better?


DevOps vs DevSecOps — so much jargon. Understanding the difference and cross-section of both these terms is pivotal to your organization’s security protocols. To its environment and how it deals with data and breaches. In this article, we’ll delve deep into what DevOps is and what DevSecOps is, and which of the two is better for your organization, its products, and its platforms.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a development and operations methodology that seeks to unify software development – Dev- and software operation – Ops. Its main objective is to establish a culture, environment, and toolsets that enable the continuous delivery of valuable software products.

In DevOps, the organization’s culture is designed to foster collaboration between the two groups. The toolsets are designed to promote the automation of repeatable tasks, which in turn increases productivity. The environment is set up so that developers can quickly deploy code changes with fewer errors.

What is DevSecOps?

According to the DevSecOps definition, it is – to a point – the evolutionary leap of DevOps. It is a methodology that helps organizations build, deploy and maintain applications securely. It is a combination of DevOps and Security. Not all organizations need to add security features during a product’s lifecycle, but if the need arises, they must do it in conjunction with their software development teams and software operations teams.

This methodology is designed to help organizations identify, remediate and prevent security vulnerabilities in their applications. This includes both the development process as well as the deployment process.

DevSecOps was developed by Google in 2013 to address the growing number of security vulnerabilities in large-scale web applications.

DevOps vs DevSecOps

These are two approaches to the development of applications that, at first sight, might seem very similar. Nevertheless, there are some distinctive differences. And those differences, and which one is better for your company, come down to, well, your company. The unique nature of it. The way you want tools to impact IT efficiency, how you want to spearhead your business’ success, what you wish to achieve, what your goals are.

How you best differentiate between these two methods, and the type of insight you manage to glean from them will become key when it comes to your organization and its structure. Picking between one or another will increase your efficacy when it comes to complexity, agility, speed, and security.

What do DevOps and DevSecOps have in common?

In the world of DevOps, there is a trend to automate everything. This includes security. DevSecOps is a natural evolution of DevOps, adding security to the automation process. Security must be handled in a fluid way for it to be effective and scalable. The goal of DevSecOps is not just to automate security features, but also to integrate them seamlessly into the software development lifecycle, SDLC.

Some of the core components these two archetypes have in common are:

  • Collaborative Culture: a central theme when it comes to development, operations, and security, and one that repeats itself is that all teams and departments must work together. As the old saying goes: ‘there is no I in teamwork.’ All departments have to converge from day one of the product’s lifecycle.
  • Automation: DevOps and DevSecOps have the potential to utilize digital tools, such as AI, to automate a product development process. The more fluid, and with less human intrusion, the system is configured, the better. This is particularly beneficial since it reduces the risk of error, and creates an automatic, autonomous, continuous system that can proactively detect anomalies in a flash.
  • Active Monitoring: Development, Operations, and Security have one thing in common above everything else — they never end. They continually capture, and analyze new data and improve their methodologies based on these avant-garde trends. They have access to real-time data that helps them optimize and update their models, benchmark, and parameters.

What are the differences between DevOps and DevSecOps?

DevOps is a software development method that aims to create a culture of communication, collaboration, and continuous learning. It also improves the flow of work in the organization. DevSecOps is an extension of DevOps and focuses on security.

Read Also: 5 Tips to Successfully Implement DevOps

It involves automating security checks and ensuring that there are no vulnerabilities in the system. The main difference, in nutshell, between DevOps and DevSecOps is that while DevOps deals with the flow of work, DevSecOp deals with security aspects and making sure that there are no vulnerabilities in the system.

It all comes down to philosophy and the Why of each of these methodologies.

DevOps’s goal is to streamline apps, software, and products. While DevSecOps goals are similar they emphasize security. The latter tries to bring security and all those parameters closer to IT and the overall business objectives of a product’s lifecycle.

In a DevOp structure, code would follow continuous integration parameters. The most recent version would be readily available to developers. A developer writes the code, the new code is integrated into the build phase, feedback is gathered, software reaches the deployment phase, and if everything goes well it passes various tests – including security test – the product/app is launched. In case of a bug is found, the developers fix the bug and the chain starts again with a new and improved code.

Meanwhile, DevSecOp adds a stop between the code passing from the writers’ hand into the build phase. In this “pit stop,” security teams improve the quality of code and implement threat modeling. They employ automated security testing and create incident responses frameworks. This means that by the time the code does reach the testing phase, already linked into the product or app, it is more efficient, more secure, and has a better quality to it.

Which approach is better for you — DevOps or DevSecOps?

Depends on what your goals and products are. DevSecOps is a continuation, a sort of DevOps 2.0. DevSecOps aims to provide faster development and operations. Nothing is compromised when deploying code. If your software is not cloud-based, has no internet connection, then a DevOp approach should be enough for your company. Now, if your apps or products have a tangible, even the barest need for an internet connection then you’re at risk — don’t think twice, and add security to your DevOps methodology.


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