The battle against cyber threats and security breaches rages on, making cybersecurity a top priority for organizations. Within this landscape, the role of developers has evolved significantly. According to GitLab's 2022 Global DevSecOps survey, over half of developers now consider themselves "fully responsible" for security in their organizations—a 14% increase from the previous year. This shift signals the continued evolution of security practices towards the concept of "shifting left." 10 Tips for Shifting Left with GitLab Shifting left involves integrating security best practices from the outset of the software development life cycle (SDLC) to identify and resolve vulnerabilities early. This approach not only fortifies an organization's security posture but also streamlines development processes, allowing for faster software releases.

This article presents ten actionable tips to empower your teams to embrace DevSecOps practices and achieve greater efficiency.

1.      Measure Time: Start your DevSecOps journey by quantifying the time spent on remediating vulnerabilities post-code-merge. This data-driven approach will help you identify patterns in the types or sources of vulnerabilities, enabling continuous process improvement.

2.      Identify Bottlenecks: Efficiency in DevSecOps hinges on identifying and mitigating bottlenecks within your security protocols and processes. These bottlenecks can introduce significant delays in your development pipeline. Once identified, create and execute a plan to eliminate these bottlenecks for smoother operations and faster releases.

3.      Demonstrate Compliance: Unplanned and unscheduled work can hinder software releases. Automate and implement compliance frameworks to ensure consistency across development environments, teams, and applications while meeting compliance requirements efficiently.

4.      Ditch the Toolchain: Complex and fragmented toolchains can hinder productivity. Simplify and streamline your toolchain to provide employees with a unified interface—a single source of truth. This simplification fosters better collaboration among teams and enhances overall efficiency.

5.      Automate Scans: Manual vulnerability scans can slow down the detection and remediation process. Automate vulnerability scans and integrate them into your development pipeline. This approach streamlines the process and makes vulnerability findings easily accessible for developers to address.

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6.      Eliminate Waterfall: In some organizations, outdated waterfall-style security processes can lead to delays and complications in the SDLC. Consider eliminating or reducing these processes to enhance adaptability and responsiveness to evolving security needs. Embrace agile methodologies that align better with efficient DevSecOps practices.

7.      Security Reports: Empower your development teams by providing access to Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) reports. These tools enable developers to build secure coding practices and address vulnerabilities seamlessly within their workflow.

8.      Smarter Teams: Enhance your security team's efficiency by equipping them with security dashboards that display both resolved and unresolved vulnerabilities. These dashboards should include information on the vulnerability's location, creator, and status for remediation. Transparency ensures that the right issues receive the necessary attention.

9.      Start Small: Encourage developers to adopt an agile approach by making smaller, incremental code changes. Smaller changes are easier to review, secure, and deploy more quickly compared to large project overhauls. This agile approach promotes efficiency and reduces the risk of introducing critical vulnerabilities.

10.  Update Workflows: Fully integrate security scans into your developers' workflows. This proactive approach empowers developers to identify and rectify vulnerabilities before the code reaches production, reducing risks and enhancing efficiency.

Shift Left with GitLab:

To embark on a proactive security journey and detect vulnerabilities early in the SDLC, GitLab offers a comprehensive solution. Security and compliance are seamlessly integrated within The One DevOps Platform, providing an end-to-end DevSecOps workflow that empowers organizations to understand and manage risk effectively.

GitLab's automated vulnerability scanning on feature branches allows teams to remediate vulnerabilities before pushing code to production. This approach empowers organizations to innovate faster, scale seamlessly, and better serve their customers in today's competitive landscape.

In an era dominated by cybersecurity threats, adopting DevSecOps practices is essential for organizations. By implementing these ten strategies and embracing DevSecOps principles, your teams can enhance efficiency, reduce vulnerabilities, and create a more secure software development process. GitLab's DevSecOps capabilities offer a comprehensive solution to support this transformation, enabling organizations to protect themselves effectively in an increasingly challenging digital environment. Empower your teams to run faster and more efficiently while maintaining a robust security posture.

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