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rugged DevOps

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Rugged DevOps is an approach to software development that places a priority on ensuring that code is secure at all stages of the software development lifecycle. Rugged DevOps takes the lean thinking and Agile mindset that DevOps embraces and applies it to "ruggedizing" software and making sure that security is not a post-development consideration. Rugged DevOps is often used in software development for cloud environments.

The rugged approach requires programmers and operations team members to possess a high degree of security awareness and have the ability to automate testing throughout the software development lifecycle. Despite a large percentage of the IT industry adopting agile and DevOps processes, security testing cycles are still often based on the traditional waterfall approach. This means many organizations forget to do security qualifications tests, such as PCI DSS compliance checks and risk assessments, until it's almost too late.

To sync security with DevOps cycles, a rugged DevOps team must log integration and delivery processes at a very granular level, so security issues can be identified as they arise. The more granular the records are, the easier it becomes to identify security holes. Both Jira and Cucumber are popular tools for keeping logs in rugged DevOps environments. For automated DevOps and security testing, there's a large portfolio of product types, including static application security testing, dynamic application security testing, interactive application security testing and runtime application security testing. Vendors include Contrast Security, Fortify, Veracode and Waratek.

With the increasing use of continuous software development, more code is produced and used for longer than expected or in unintended ways. Rugged DevOps allows for secure code to be produced more reliably with fewer revisions.

Rugged DevOps is sometimes referred to as DevSecOps or Secure DevOps, but not everyone agrees the three terms are synonymous. All three value security as a component in continuous software development, but only the rugged DevOps approach makes "security first" a priority, pen tests throughout development and purposely seeks to produce a hardened end product.

This was last updated in November 2017

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