DevSecOps and Change Management: The Next Frontier for ITSM

A SANS Institute study performed in late 2015 and released earlier this year revealed IT security budgets have risen in a number of different industries including health care, government, financial services and technology. In terms of expenditure breakdowns, these organizations put their capital primarily on services and products capable of protecting data - both theirs and their clients' - keeping abreast of regulatory compliance and cutting back on breaches, in that order.

Additionally, respondents also indicated a need for dedicated IT professionals among their ranks with skills and experience in application security. In part, this represents yet another culture change in enterprise IT - perhaps not an outright change, but at least a large tweak - and a valuable opportunity for organizations that have previously embraced silo-smashing DevOps workflows for more agile enterprise IT.

You know DevOps. Now get ready for DevSecOps.

What is DevSecOps?
Like DevOps, DevSecOps represents the joining of once disparate enterprise IT factions. "Security" now finds a seat next to Development and IT Operations teams.

DevOps aims to preserve architectural functionality in software while boosting agility through a continuous delivery model, and the addition of security as a benchmark signifies a new standard of accountability in tech-minded industries. DevOps also focuses primarily on user-facing concerns, of which data and network security are still high. DevSecOps, however, takes the management of security matters to a whole new level, making a configuration's integrity as vital to a sound development process as speed and flexibility.

Although this augmentation of enterprise IT operations appears slight, adopting organizations may need to invest in tools and resources applicable to these expanded considerations for security during the DevOps workflow - unless they already integrated an advanced change management offering, such as ChangeGear, into the mix. What do DevOps-friendly change management suites have to offer burgeoning DevSecOps service management standards?

Centralized and Transparent Workflow
When change advisory boards approve a proposal for development, many different IT professionals will need to investigate workflow status during and performance metrics after the finalized change releases. Instead of scouring spreadsheets, customizable dashboards give DevSecOps teams the power to glean actionable information fast.

And because of the centralized pipeline created upon adopting advanced change management processes, security professionals will know exactly where to look the first time for the information they need, saving labor costs and potentially the sanctity of ITSM.

Curtailing Inside Threats
Security personnel are charged with not only monitoring the kinds of change enacted within a given network, but the actions undertaken to perform those changes effectively. Introducing new code or updates into a configuration could cause other areas to become vulnerable to breach.

As such, advanced change management technology allows change advisory boards and DevSecOps professionals to automate impact analysis using a CMDB. In this risk-free asset repository, technicians can check proposed changes against current configurations to ensure stability.

Next-Generation Documentation
Nothing beats a paper trail when it comes to auditing change workflow - except maybe a paperless paper trail.

ChangeGear change management software documents all steps performed along a given change process according to parameters set by the DevSecOps team. These logs help organizations stay compliant. Moreover, in a worst case scenario, these digital "bread crumbs" let change teams retrace their steps to resolve internal issues, as well as double check their actions to ensure uniformity and alignment with best practices.

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