What Is DevSecOps And Why It Matters In Business

DevSecOps is a set of disciplines combining development, security, and operations. It is a philosophy that helps software development businesses deliver innovative products quickly without sacrificing security. This allows potential security issues to be identified during the development process – and not after the product has been released in line with the emergence of continuous software development practices.

Understanding DevSecOps

DevSecOps is an integrative approach to coherent and effective software delivery. 

In the past, software developers would typically update their products every few months or years.

This gave the company enough time to test its code for potential security breaches by employing specialist contracted teams.

In the past decade, however, the rising prevalence of cloud and microservice models has resulted in rolling releases and thus a more agile market.

Rapidity is now the name of the game, with many processes now automated and shared information readily available.

In some cases, security has not been able to keep up with the rapid pace of development.

This is where the DevSecOps approach is vital. 

By building security into every stage of development, the business can significantly reduce the costs associated with security flaws.

In this sense, DevSecOps is a pro-active strategy because it anticipates security breaches before they occur.

Advantages of the DevSecOps approach

Businesses who engage in the DevSecOps approach can expect several benefits, including:

Reduced costs

Security issues that are rectified in the development process is more cost-effective than addressing the same issues after the product has gone to market.

This also reduces costs by shortening product delivery times.

Avoids bad publicity

Security issues that are detected in-house cannot cause the product or the business negative publicity.

Creates a positive company culture

A core tenet of the DevSecOps approach is that every member of the development team is responsible for security.

This encourages a cohesive and transparent workplace culture that drives better outcomes.

Higher overall security

Software developed via the DevSecOps approach is more robust.

In other words, the strategy reduces general vulnerabilities and insecure defaults.

It also increases code coverage and automation through robust infrastructure.

DevSecOps best practices

To ensure that the process runs smoothly, development teams should first realize that there is nothing wrong with automation – so long as automated security controls are also part of the software development cycle.

Teams should also employ tools that efficiently scan code as it is written for potential security issues.

If issues are detected, then it is important to run threat-modeling scenarios to identify and then build protection against issues deemed a significant threat.

DevSecOps examples

DevSecOps is fast becoming accepted practice across multiple industries. To illustrate its real-world application, here are a few examples.


PayPal makes money primarily by processing customer transactions on the Payments Platform and from other value-added services. Thus, the revenues streams are divided into transaction revenues based on the volume of activity or total payments volume. And value-added services, such as interest and fees earned on loans and interest receivable. As of 2020 PayPal generated over $21.5 billion in net revenues with a 25% operating margin. 

Since the primary motivation for cybercrime is financial gain, it could be argued that PayPal, as a payments processor, was more exposed than some other companies.

To reduce the chances of introducing security flaws into its products, PayPal wanted a way to build proactive and repeatable security processes into the product development lifecycle.

The first required a shift in the corporate mindset, with security considered an equal priority alongside other project requirements.

To manage this mindset change and effectively incentivize security, the company assigned personnel to work across the organization and help teams manage the transition. 

Automated security tools for the development team were introduced and security standards were phrased in development language instead of security language.

With so-called “Change Champions” and “Transformation Team Members” making the change as smooth as possible, PayPal could adopt DevSecOps in less than twelve months.

This enabled it to build new products based on a secure foundation quickly.

Fannie Mae

To improve its customer experience, mortgage provider Fannie Mae was directed towards a DevSecOps strategy that ultimately saw the company recognized at the Information Week Excellence Awards.

Like many other companies in a similar situation, teams performed late-stage security checks that frequently caused delays and buggy releases. There was also limited integration of important customer feedback.

Realizing there was an opportunity to accelerate development and incorporate better security practices simultaneously, Fannie Mae decided to adopt DevSecOps.

A rapid, iterative development process with security checks at each step was achieved from the integration of development, operations, and security. 

The results of the company’s strategy were impressive.

Fannie Mae doubled the speed of its update releases with enhanced security processes to increase customer satisfaction and trust and allow the company to adapt more quickly.

Pokémon Go

While many adults would admit to playing Pokémon Go, the mobile-based game is also popular with children.

Recognizing that data about children is extremely sensitive, owner of The Pokémon Company wanted to create a cultural shift where security became its utmost priority.

Since security was often seen as a hindrance to development goals, the company decided to reframe it with a focus on business enablement.

In other words, security was reframed as an independent factor that could improve the reputation of the game among parents, reduce risk, and increase customer confidence.

The Pokémon Company’s initiatives have seen the whole organization now pay closer attention to security.

Once confined to the security team, analytics tool Sumo Logic is now used across the business – including DevOps teams. 

Sumo Logic also enabled security teams to streamline manual security programs and processes to deliver improved efficiency.

For example, teams released a new project classification automation program that cut a process with 11 touchpoints over 5-7 days to a much more manageable two touchpoints over five minutes.

DevSecOps vs. Agile

Agile started as a lightweight development method compared to heavyweight software development, which is the core paradigm of the previous decades of software development. By 2001 the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born as a set of principles that defined the new paradigm for software development as a continuous iteration. This would also influence the way of doing business.

Agile is a philosophy that encompasses the whole business.

Indeed, since its official inception in 2001, with the Agile Manifesto setting up the core principles of the discipline, Agile has become a core philosophy for many startups operating with constrained resources.

Whereas Agile has become a philosophy embracing the whole business, DevSecOps (for now) is primarily a workflow within organizations where tech processes have critical importance.

In these workflows, DevSecOps added security as a critical element to be combined early on within development and operations.

That was a fundamental revolution, as organizations and startups that tried to ship fast were – in part – sacrificing security.

Yet, security has now become embued into tech processes within most startups.

Key takeaways

  • DevSecOps stands for development, security, and operations. It is a pro-active and iterative approach to preventing security breaches during software development.
  • The DevSecOps allows software businesses to keep pace with both the rapidly advancing software market and the collaborative, more rapid way software is developed.
  • DevSecOps has many benefits for businesses, including reduced costs and enhanced company culture. The approach also allows development teams to identify issues that could potentially hurt brand image once the product is released.

What are the advantages of DevSecOps?

What is DevSecOps example?

Take the case of PayPal. To reduce the chances of introducing security flaws into its products, PayPal wanted a way to build proactive and repeatable security processes into the product development lifecycle. To manage this mindset change and effectively incentivize security, the company assigned personnel to work across the organization and help teams manage the transition. 

Is DevSecOps the same as Agile?

Whereas Agile emphasizes a philosophy where fast deployment, iteration, and shipping must be integrated within a company’s mindset. DevSecOps is a workflow that emphasizes security, combined with development and operations, to wreck the siloes and enable security to be imbued within these processes.

Connected Agile Frameworks


AIOps is the application of artificial intelligence to IT operations. It has become particularly useful for modern IT management in hybridized, distributed, and dynamic environments. AIOps has become a key operational component of modern digital-based organizations, built around software and algorithms.


AgileSHIFT is a framework that prepares individuals for transformational change by creating a culture of agility.

Agile Methodology

Agile started as a lightweight development method compared to heavyweight software development, which is the core paradigm of the previous decades of software development. By 2001 the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born as a set of principles that defined the new paradigm for software development as a continuous iteration. This would also influence the way of doing business.

Agile Program Management

Agile Program Management is a means of managing, planning, and coordinating interrelated work in such a way that value delivery is emphasized for all key stakeholders. Agile Program Management (AgilePgM) is a disciplined yet flexible agile approach to managing transformational change within an organization.

Agile Project Management

Agile project management (APM) is a strategy that breaks large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. In the APM methodology, each project is completed in small sections – often referred to as iterations. Each iteration is completed according to its project life cycle, beginning with the initial design and progressing to testing and then quality assurance.

Agile Modeling

Agile Modeling (AM) is a methodology for modeling and documenting software-based systems. Agile Modeling is critical to the rapid and continuous delivery of software. It is a collection of values, principles, and practices that guide effective, lightweight software modeling.

Agile Business Analysis

Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA) is certification in the form of guidance and training for business analysts seeking to work in agile environments. To support this shift, AgileBA also helps the business analyst relate Agile projects to a wider organizational mission or strategy. To ensure that analysts have the necessary skills and expertise, AgileBA certification was developed.

Agile Leadership

Agile leadership is the embodiment of agile manifesto principles by a manager or management team. Agile leadership impacts two important levels of a business. The structural level defines the roles, responsibilities, and key performance indicators. The behavioral level describes the actions leaders exhibit to others based on agile principles. 

Bimodal Portfolio Management

Bimodal Portfolio Management (BimodalPfM) helps an organization manage both agile and traditional portfolios concurrently. Bimodal Portfolio Management – sometimes referred to as bimodal development – was coined by research and advisory company Gartner. The firm argued that many agile organizations still needed to run some aspects of their operations using traditional delivery models.

Business Innovation Matrix

Business innovation is about creating new opportunities for an organization to reinvent its core offerings, revenue streams, and enhance the value proposition for existing or new customers, thus renewing its whole business model. Business innovation springs by understanding the structure of the market, thus adapting or anticipating those changes.

Business Model Innovation

Business model innovation is about increasing the success of an organization with existing products and technologies by crafting a compelling value proposition able to propel a new business model to scale up customers and create a lasting competitive advantage. And it all starts by mastering the key customers.

Constructive Disruption

A consumer brand company like Procter & Gamble (P&G) defines “Constructive Disruption” as: a willingness to change, adapt, and create new trends and technologies that will shape our industry for the future. According to P&G, it moves around four pillars: lean innovation, brand building, supply chain, and digitalization & data analytics.

Continuous Innovation

That is a process that requires a continuous feedback loop to develop a valuable product and build a viable business model. Continuous innovation is a mindset where products and services are designed and delivered to tune them around the customers’ problem and not the technical solution of its founders.

Design Sprint

A design sprint is a proven five-day process where critical business questions are answered through speedy design and prototyping, focusing on the end-user. A design sprint starts with a weekly challenge that should finish with a prototype, test at the end, and therefore a lesson learned to be iterated.

Design Thinking

Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO, defined design thinking as “a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Therefore, desirability, feasibility, and viability are balanced to solve critical problems.


DevOps refers to a series of practices performed to perform automated software development processes. It is a conjugation of the term “development” and “operations” to emphasize how functions integrate across IT teams. DevOps strategies promote seamless building, testing, and deployment of products. It aims to bridge a gap between development and operations teams to streamline the development altogether.

Dual Track Agile

Product discovery is a critical part of agile methodologies, as its aim is to ensure that products customers love are built. Product discovery involves learning through a raft of methods, including design thinking, lean start-up, and A/B testing to name a few. Dual Track Agile is an agile methodology containing two separate tracks: the “discovery” track and the “delivery” track.

Feature-Driven Development

Feature-Driven Development is a pragmatic software process that is client and architecture-centric. Feature-Driven Development (FDD) is an agile software development model that organizes workflow according to which features need to be developed next.

eXtreme Programming

eXtreme Programming was developed in the late 1990s by Ken Beck, Ron Jeffries, and Ward Cunningham. During this time, the trio was working on the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3) to help manage the company payroll system. eXtreme Programming (XP) is a software development methodology. It is designed to improve software quality and the ability of software to adapt to changing customer needs.

ICE Scoring

The ICE Scoring Model is an agile methodology that prioritizes features using data according to three components: impact, confidence, and ease of implementation. The ICE Scoring Model was initially created by author and growth expert Sean Ellis to help companies expand. Today, the model is broadly used to prioritize projects, features, initiatives, and rollouts. It is ideally suited for early-stage product development where there is a continuous flow of ideas and momentum must be maintained.

Innovation Funnel

An innovation funnel is a tool or process ensuring only the best ideas are executed. In a metaphorical sense, the funnel screens innovative ideas for viability so that only the best products, processes, or business models are launched to the market. An innovation funnel provides a framework for the screening and testing of innovative ideas for viability.

Innovation Matrix

According to how well defined is the problem and how well defined the domain, we have four main types of innovations: basic research (problem and domain or not well defined); breakthrough innovation (domain is not well defined, the problem is well defined); sustaining innovation (both problem and domain are well defined); and disruptive innovation (domain is well defined, the problem is not well defined).

Innovation Theory

The innovation loop is a methodology/framework derived from the Bell Labs, which produced innovation at scale throughout the 20th century. They learned how to leverage a hybrid innovation management model based on science, invention, engineering, and manufacturing at scale. By leveraging individual genius, creativity, and small/large groups.

Lean vs. Agile

The Agile methodology has been primarily thought of for software development (and other business disciplines have also adopted it). Lean thinking is a process improvement technique where teams prioritize the value streams to improve it continuously. Both methodologies look at the customer as the key driver to improvement and waste reduction. Both methodologies look at improvement as something continuous.

Lean Startup

A startup company is a high-tech business that tries to build a scalable business model in tech-driven industries. A startup company usually follows a lean methodology, where continuous innovation, driven by built-in viral loops is the rule. Thus, driving growth and building network effects as a consequence of this strategy.


Kanban is a lean manufacturing framework first developed by Toyota in the late 1940s. The Kanban framework is a means of visualizing work as it moves through identifying potential bottlenecks. It does that through a process called just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing to optimize engineering processes, speed up manufacturing products, and improve the go-to-market strategy.

Rapid Application Development

RAD was first introduced by author and consultant James Martin in 1991. Martin recognized and then took advantage of the endless malleability of software in designing development models. Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a methodology focusing on delivering rapidly through continuous feedback and frequent iterations.

Scaled Agile

Scaled Agile Lean Development (ScALeD) helps businesses discover a balanced approach to agile transition and scaling questions. The ScALed approach helps businesses successfully respond to change. Inspired by a combination of lean and agile values, ScALed is practitioner-based and can be completed through various agile frameworks and practices.

Spotify Model

The Spotify Model is an autonomous approach to scaling agile, focusing on culture communication, accountability, and quality. The Spotify model was first recognized in 2012 after Henrik Kniberg, and Anders Ivarsson released a white paper detailing how streaming company Spotify approached agility. Therefore, the Spotify model represents an evolution of agile.

Test-Driven Development

As the name suggests, TDD is a test-driven technique for delivering high-quality software rapidly and sustainably. It is an iterative approach based on the idea that a failing test should be written before any code for a feature or function is written. Test-Driven Development (TDD) is an approach to software development that relies on very short development cycles.


Timeboxing is a simple yet powerful time-management technique for improving productivity. Timeboxing describes the process of proactively scheduling a block of time to spend on a task in the future. It was first described by author James Martin in a book about agile software development.


Scrum is a methodology co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland for effective team collaboration on complex products. Scrum was primarily thought for software development projects to deliver new software capability every 2-4 weeks. It is a sub-group of agile also used in project management to improve startups’ productivity.


Scrumban is a project management framework that is a hybrid of two popular agile methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban is a popular approach to helping businesses focus on the right strategic tasks while simultaneously strengthening their processes.

Scrum Anti-Patterns

Scrum anti-patterns describe any attractive, easy-to-implement solution that ultimately makes a problem worse. Therefore, these are the practice not to follow to prevent issues from emerging. Some classic examples of scrum anti-patterns comprise absent product owners, pre-assigned tickets (making individuals work in isolation), and discounting retrospectives (where review meetings are not useful to really make improvements).

Scrum At Scale

Scrum at Scale (Scrum@Scale) is a framework that Scrum teams use to address complex problems and deliver high-value products. Scrum at Scale was created through a joint venture between the Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc. The joint venture was overseen by Jeff Sutherland, a co-creator of Scrum and one of the principal authors of the Agile Manifesto.

Stretch Objectives

Stretch objectives describe any task an agile team plans to complete without expressly committing to do so. Teams incorporate stretch objectives during a Sprint or Program Increment (PI) as part of Scaled Agile. They are used when the agile team is unsure of its capacity to attain an objective. Therefore, stretch objectives are instead outcomes that, while extremely desirable, are not the difference between the success or failure of each sprint.


The waterfall model was first described by Herbert D. Benington in 1956 during a presentation about the software used in radar imaging during the Cold War. Since there were no knowledge-based, creative software development strategies at the time, the waterfall method became standard practice. The waterfall model is a linear and sequential project management framework. 

Read Also: Business Models Guide, Sumo Logic Business Model, Snowflake

InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

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Read Also: Fastly Business Model, Snowflake Business Model, Sumo Logic Business Model

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