Neil MacDonald

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Neil MacDonald
VP & Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
25 years IT industry

Neil MacDonald is a vice president, distinguished analyst and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research. Mr. MacDonald is a member of Gartner's information security and privacy research team, focusing on operating system and application-level security strategies. Specific research areas include Windows security…Read Full Bio

Coverage Areas:

DevOps Needs to Become DevOpsSec

by Neil MacDonald  |  January 17, 2012  |  Comments Off

DevOps seeks to bridge the development and operations divide through the establishment of a culture of trust and shared interest among individuals in these previously siloed organizations. However, this vision is incomplete without the incorporation of information security, which represents yet another silo in IT. Breakdowns in communications and processes across development, operations and security are the root cause of the vast majority of critical system downtime, including downtime caused by breaches in security. For example, Gartner research shows that 75% of successful attacks occur against previously known vulnerabilities for which a patch or secure configuration standard was already available (actually, this used to be about 90%, but advanced and targeted attacks have changed the equation).

Conventional wisdom believes the agile nature of the DevOps vision is fundamentally at odds with the historically static and cumbersome nature of information security. I disagree. I believe that security can support a unified vision of DevOpsSec, but to do this, information security must change in multiple ways including security infrastructure becoming more adaptive and programmable and making information security representation an integral part of DevOpsSec teams from the genesis of new applications and services.

I’ve just published a research note for clients DevOpsSec: Creating the Agile Triangle that makes the argument for DevOpsSec and outlines the major areas of change for information security to support a unified DevOpsSec vision. My colleague, Cameron Haight, from the IT Operations side of Gartner research joined me on the research note. He has pioneered much of the research on DevOps for Gartner and increasingly he is being asked how DevOps can be adopted without sacrificing security. Increasingly, I am being asked how to rationalize the agile nature of DevOps with the need for security testing. Together, we teamed up to deliver the first in a series of research notes on how to deliver DevOpsSec.

Development, operations and security are fundamentally intertwined. A well-designed, developed and managed system is the foundation of a secure system. DevOps must evolve to a new vision of DevOpsSec that balances the need for speed and agility of enterprise IT capabilities with the enterprise need to protect critical assets, applications and services.

Comments Off

Category: Application Security Next-generation Security Infrastructure     Tags: , , , , , ,