In the rapidly evolving landscape of software development and cybersecurity, the integration of security planning earlier in the software development life cycle has become paramount. This practice, known as DevSecOps, has gained significant traction in recent years as businesses recognize its potential to bolster cyber defenses and ensure the security of their digital assets. As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, it is crucial to understand the key trends that will shape the future of DevSecOps. I wanted to take a few moments to discuss the emerging trends that will drive innovation and efficiency in the field of DevSecOps, including automation, tool consolidation, infrastructure as code, remediation, and the evolution of the software bill of materials (SBOMs).
Key Trends in 2024
Automation Underpinning Innovation
Automation is at the forefront of driving operational efficiency in the field of security. In 2024, we can expect to see further advancements in automation, coupled with artificial intelligence (AI), empowering companies to streamline decision-making processes and optimize resource allocation. By leveraging automation and AI, security teams can focus on strategic initiatives, leaving operational functions to automated systems. This shift will enable organizations to respond to security threats with greater precision and agility, ultimately enhancing their cyber defenses.
The concept of "secure-by-design" will also gain additional momentum in 2024. By establishing cybersecurity standards, detecting vulnerabilities, and addressing them at the outset, organizations can prevent risks before they manifest. This transformative approach will enable businesses to innovate without unforeseen impediments, ensuring that security is an integral part of the development process from the very beginning.
As organizations seek to incorporate security into their processes, the need for tool consolidation becomes apparent. Rather than accumulating an excessive number of tools, which can lead to inefficiencies and increased costs, businesses will opt for more streamlined security tool architectures and services. According to Gartner, 75% of organizations have already begun the process of consolidating their security tools. By merging tool-chain observability and monitoring into a single platform, companies can gain a comprehensive view of their security landscape and identify any potential blockages. This consolidation will create a more conducive environment for building and strengthening security processes.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
Traditional IT infrastructure management processes are often manual, resulting in increased costs and resource allocation. With the rapid growth of cloud computing and the constant release of new applications, infrastructure as code (IaC) emerges as a valuable tool. By utilizing configuration files, IaC allows for the automated management and oversight of today's ever-evolving infrastructure. This level of abstraction frees engineers from the burden of keeping up with constant changes, maximizing the potential of cloud computing and enabling developers to allocate their time more efficiently.
In response to the rising threat of cybercrime, organizations are shifting their focus from mere detection to proactive remediation. Rather than simply identifying security breaches, companies are increasingly investing in continuous monitoring and prompt remediation to eliminate threats. Gartner recommends that organizations be prepared to perform emergency remediation on key systems immediately following the release of security patches. To achieve this, companies must adopt intelligent and automated remediation approaches that are integrated into their processes. Prescriptive "best practices" alone will not suffice; automation is necessary to effectively address security issues in real-time.
The software bill of materials (SBOMs), an inventory of the codebase, has gained recognition as a game-changer in software transparency. However, in 2024, we can expect SBOMs to evolve further to meet industry standards and deliver on their promise. While SBOMs provide valuable insights into the software components used by an application, there are still obstacles to overcome. Many tools designed to automate SBOM generation lack consistency in data provision, hindering their adoption. Additionally, SBOMs have limited value in procurement decisions, as they require frequent updates to remain relevant. To establish a well-managed and secure software supply chain, additional tools such as software composition analysis and code signing will become essential. Achieving this will require industry-wide collaboration, defining best practices, and incentivizing vendors to prioritize transparency.
Security Remains Vital
Despite budget constraints and organizational restructuring, DevSecOps remains a critical area of focus for businesses. Cybersecurity risks continue to be a top concern, and DevSecOps strategies offer a cost-effective solution to mitigate these risks. However, organizations will optimize their budget allocations by investing in solutions that provide actionable results. In 2024, we can expect to see a greater emphasis on remediation, integration of security into the software development life cycle, and automation to streamline operational processes.
The future of DevSecOps is promising, with several key trends shaping the field in 2024 and beyond. Automation, tool consolidation, infrastructure as code, remediation, and the evolution of SBOMs will drive innovation and efficiency in the industry. As organizations strive to enhance their cyber defenses and navigate the evolving threat landscape, embracing these trends will be crucial. By staying ahead of the curve and implementing robust DevSecOps practices, businesses can ensure the security of their digital assets and maintain a competitive edge in the digital economy.