From rising customer demands to smarter cyber attacks to the no-contact, post-pandemic economy, the trends that forced the public sector to accelerate digital transformation aren't going away. As government agencies turn to low-code cloud platforms to address their digital needs, they often struggle to scale their app development without compromising security.
What’s the solution? How can agencies ramp up cloud transformation without ramping up the risk? They need to harness the power of low-code DevSecOps.
What Is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps — short for Development, Security and Operations — refers to the integration of security into the software development and IT operations processes. Traditionally, security and operations have been disparate and siloed from other stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC).
Programmers would write code and throw it over the wall to the infrastructure teams to deploy and manage in the production environments. Meanwhile, security wouldn’t find out about the new release until it was already in production. By the time security engineers had a chance to assess the code and environments for vulnerabilities, it was already out in the wild and exposed to anyone on the internet.
DevSecOps introduces security early on in the lifecycle — instead of saving it for the very end. You unlock it when you embed compliance, security and testing into the DevOps process.
Why Is Low-Code DevSecOps Important?
Unlike traditional DevSecOps platforms, low-code DevSecOps gives agencies a user-friendly experience – making it easy for non-technical admins to handle automated testing with built-in security and governance controls. This allows agencies to respond faster, achieve higher levels of software quality, deliver more digital services and scale to unprecedented demands — all while reducing the need for technical expertise.
Low-Code DevSecOps platforms help agencies realize their cloud platform potential and focus on building experiences that drive citizen trust and engagement.
Common DevSecOps Best Practices
- Shift Left: If you think of the SDLC process as a linear model from design to release, a Shift Left strategy tackles security, compliance and testing earlier in the pipeline. Identifying bugs sooner rather than later is a great way to eliminate issues before they become costly to fix and future-proof your production.
- Secure Coding: You need to build software that follows standards that shield it from vulnerabilities in the first place.
- Automation: DevSecOps relies on automating tasks like functional testing, security checks and deployments. Security checks and code testing need to match the pace of code delivery, especially in a fast-moving CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) environment. Automated security testing tools like Static Application Security Testing (SAST) are used to continually scan code and identify security issues early on.
- Robot Test Frameworks: Automate functional code tests and simulate patterns of human behavior to execute end-to-end testing.
“Agencies are beginning to realize they need a low-code DevOps platform to maximize the value of low-code/no-code SaaS,” says Sarvinder Sandhu, Salesforce Practice Director at Radiant Infotech. “We’re currently helping the CMS set up a Center of Excellence (COE) with a DevSecOps tool at the center of it to create consistency and enable their platforms to drive digital transformation projects”
With Copado, everything the team at CMS releases makes it into production. They never have to deal with missing features. And they spend a fraction of the time releasing new functionality. As a result, features are more likely to be adopted due to timely delivery, which leads to happier, more efficient employees.
What should public sector agencies look for in a DevSecOps solution?
- Choose a platform that orchestrates and enforces security, compliance and testing from a single vendor. Avoid creating one-off SDLC pipelines with lots of custom integrations from numerous vendors.
- Ensure your vendor understands and follows security framework best practices: FedRAMP, ISO/IEC 27017, ISO/IEC 27018, SOC2 and NIST frameworks. This can be done by requesting certifications, audits or checking the FedRAMP marketplace.
- Although all apps on the Salesforce AppExchange have passed a Salesforce AppExchange Security Review, they do not fall into the scope of Salesforce Government Cloud or Government Cloud Plus, which includes Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) authorizations.