5 Ways DevSecOps helps Counter Public Sector Cloud Migration Security Challenges

5 Ways DevSecOps helps Counter Public Sector Cloud Migration Security Challenges

DevSecOps is playing a growing role in cloud migrations in the public sector. Even before the Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity Executive Order, agencies had to face cloud migrations with an eye on security to ensure their cloud projects met FedRAMP compliance.

Here are some ways that DevSecOps can help your agency meet cloud migration challenges:

1. Improves Information Processing

When a DoD or other government program moves to the cloud and a DevSecOps model, it fundamentally transforms how they interact with data. DevSecOps gives government agency and DoD programs the tools, processes, and frameworks to develop applications quickly and capitalize on data to help them respond to data-intensive mission challenges such as big data data analysis, fraud detection, and trends data.

To say information is power now considering government responses to natural disasters, COVID-19, and other threats on the world stage. For example, DevSecOps gives development teams in the public sector a new ability to migrate legacy applications to the cloud securely to enable access so they can open them up a new hybrid workforce.

2. Provides Security by Design for New Cloud Projects

“Shift security left” is a common refrain about DevSecOps. More importantly, DevSecOps brings security by design to public sector cloud projects.

When you consider DevSecOps as part of your program’s cloud migration strategy, DevOps and security teams can collaborate on workload protection, secure landing zones, operating models, network segmentation, and the implementation of zero trust architecture (ZTA) because both teams get input and buy-in during the design phase in regards to functional requirements, data flows, and workstreams. 

DevSecOps, by its nature, also provides the feedback loops and collaboration channels that you don’t find in the public sector’s legacy model of long-term contracts, multiple vendors, and silos between developers, cybersecurity, stakeholders, and constituents.

3. Automation of Builds and Testing

Automation is becoming one of the keys to security and overall success with public sector cloud projects. Implementing a DevSecOps toolchain or upgrading your existing DevOps toolchain for DevSecOps provides the tools for automation of container security scanning and compliance checks.

With some government contracting pundits saying up to 80% of agency IT staff’s daily work is just keeping the lights on, moving technical staff to more mission-critical and strategic work will benefit the program. A cloud migration — by its very nature — requires some time for your teams to learn and harness the latest cloud services. Being able to retask team members from fairly rote tasks such as running software builds to critical tasks such as implementing new cloud services benefits government programs small and large and, in turn, the taxpayer.

4. Supports Secure Iteration of Cloud Applications

Following a DevSecOps methodology gives you a secure method for iterating on application features. For example, let’s say your agency is moving a legacy application to the cloud. Moving legacy agency applications to the cloud requires a process that secures the application and its data from inside the agency data into the cloud. If the choice is made to refactor your application, your users can use new cloud services that improve security and user experience (UX). 

DevSecOps adds a new layer of security over these everyday development tasks:

  • Adding new features using DevSecOps can help the project gain the delivery velocity of a consumer app store versus the quarterly or yearly feature releases common to public sector software development
  • Allowing applications to take advantage of containers and microservices architectures
  • Enabling application optimization using the cloud service provider’s infrastructure that wasn’t previously available in agency data centers

Another option is to rebuild a legacy application for the cloud. Moving to DevSecOps and containers brings with it significant code changes. Still, such an investment could be worth it depending on the purpose of the application, and the changing user and constituent landscape as remote and hybrid work grow in dominance.

5. Sets a Foundation for a Security Culture

DevSecOps and moving to the cloud require a cultural transformation for today’s public sector agencies to meet cloud migration security challenges. Bringing DevSecOps into your program’s cloud migration process is another step in making security part of everybody’s job.  When your cloud migration and development teams adopt DevSecOps, it opens up new opportunities for reporting that enable you to best communicate the progress and security status of your cloud migrations to your internal stakeholders. 

DevSecOps and Cloud Benefits in Full View

The DoD and the public sector are gradually realizing the benefits of DevSecOps and the cloud. Bringing DevSecOps into your cloud migration framework gives you new tools to maintain security and compliance of your legacy applications and data as they leave your agency data centers and make their journey to the cloud.

Download our Expert Guide to DevOps to DevSecOps Transformation to learn more about DevSecOps to help prepare for your next cloud migration security challenges!