• Vishal Masih

Transforming your DevOps Environment to DevSecOps using Open Source Tools


As more companies adopt the remote working paradigm, security concerns have skyrocketed. This is an issue in the healthcare and finance industries, which deal with sensitive information. Leaders in the security field warn that serious consequences will follow if corporations do not change their attitudes about data security.

Any effective Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) transition relies heavily on tools. These tools are useful at different stages of the SDLC and different periods. During the creation and build stages, SAST, Secret detection, and Dependency scanning are all useful, while DAST is only beneficial during the build stage.

Application Security Testing

Static Application Security Testing (SAST)

SAST is a static code generator that doesn't require any finished or running software (unlike DAST). By analyzing source code, SAST detects vulnerabilities and potential threats. Without running the underlying code, it enforces coding best practices and standards for security.

SAST tools are simple to integrate into a developer's integrated development environment (IDE), such as Eclipse. SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), remote code injection, open redirect, and OWASP Top 10 are some of the rules specified on the developer's IDE that can assist discover vulnerabilities and other issues in the SDLC. The SAST tool, in addition to IDE-based plugins, may be activated at the moment of code commit. As people evaluate, discuss, and iterate on the code changes, cooperation will be possible.

SonarQube, NodeJSScan, and GitGuardian are the top SAST tools for financial technology, according to us. SonarQube has a clear advantage over the other two. It is widely regarded as the greatest automatic code review tool available today.

It features hundreds of automatic Static Code Analysis rules that can help you save time and money. SonarQube also supports a wide range of languages, including a mix of current and heritage dialects. In "Pull Requests," SonarQube examines the repository branches and tells the tester immediately.

Talisman and Findbug are two more prominent SAST tools. These prevent potential secrets/sensitive information from leaving the developer's workstation, therefore reducing security risks.

According to the use case, SAST tools must be trained or aligned (in the configuration). To achieve maximum efficacy, a few cycles must be planned ahead of time to eliminate false positives, irrelevant checks, and so on, and to focus on zero-high severity concerns.

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)

DAST helps to detect vulnerabilities in running programs. Assists in the detection of common security flaws such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and the OWASP Top 10 list, among others. It can discover issues that static analysis misses, such as authentication and server setup flaws and vulnerabilities, which become visible when a known user signs in.

OWASP ZAP is a free and open-source DAST tool that contains automatic vulnerability detection and features to assist professional manual web app pen-testing. ZAP is capable of exploiting and detecting a wide range of flaws.

Secret Detection

According to the company last year, GitGuardian discovered almost two million “secrets” in public GitHub repositories. The developers' repositories held 85 percent of the secrets, which were out of company control. GitGuardian CEO Jeremy Thomas is concerned about the consequences of the results. "What's shocking is that a significant percentage of the secrets released on developers' public repositories are company secrets, not personal secrets," he explains.

Secrets or codes that developers leave in their remote repositories (sometimes) are undeniably a serious security risk. API keys, database credentials, security certificates, passwords, and other sensitive data are all vulnerable to accidental access.

Secret Detection solutions are appropriate for fixing this issue. Secret detection programs search source code, logs, and other files for secrets left behind by the developer, preventing unintended security violations. GitGuardian is a great example of a secret detecting tool. GitGuardian's code scans developers' repositories for verification of secrets and prevents hackers from using GitHub as a backdoor to the company. GitGuardian guards 300 different kinds of secrets, including keys, database attachment strings, SSL testaments, usernames, and passwords.

Dependency Scanning

Many software projects for Netflix, Spotify, and other titans were impacted when a popular NPM module, npm left-pad (a coding shortcut), was destroyed by an enraged developer. Because one of his scripts was not permitted to be named Kik because it was the name of a social network, the developer sought vengeance. If the action was not done quickly enough, the lack of a few lines of code may have resulted in a massive disaster. NPM decided to de-publish the code and hand it over to a new owner. It was important to settle the situation, even if it went against the ideas of intellectual property.

It goes without saying that if libraries/components aren't kept up to date, vulnerabilities will arise. Checking dependencies can have a cascading impact. If one card falls, the others will fall with it. Because components, such as libraries, frameworks, and other software modules, execute with the same rights as the program, there is a need for clarity and focus. Such an attack can result in catastrophic data loss or server takeover if a susceptible component is exploited. Applications and APIs that use components with known vulnerabilities may jeopardize application security and open the door to a variety of assaults and consequences.

Runtime Application Self Protection (RASP)

RASP (Runtime Application Self Safeguard) is server-side protection that kicks in when an application is launched. RASP protects the application from malicious requests or activities while monitoring application activity by tracking real-time threats. RASP provides runtime security by automatically detecting and mitigating assaults. Issues are quickly reported after mitigation for root cause analysis and remedies. Sqreen, for example, is a RAST solution that protects against all of the OWASP top 10 security flaws, including SQL injection, XSS, and SSRF. Sqreen's ability to leverage request execution logic to thwart attacks with fewer false positives makes it effective. It can adapt to the specific stack of your application, needing no redeployment or modification within your software, making setup simple and uncomplicated.


Thus, using the vast array of open source tools like Snyk, SonarQube, ZAP, Metasploit, and Nessus, etc. you can transform your existing DevOps environment into a DevSecOps setting by integrating security frameworks into your existing infrastructure.