Spending Developers on Security - Part 2
July 11, 2018

Hillel Solow
Protego

How much are organizations investing in the shift to cloud native, how much is it getting them? ...

Start with Spending Developers on Security - Part 1

What's it Going to Cost Me?

Let's boil that into time spent. Let's assume a 50 person development organization, managing 500 functions, where each developer deploys a new version 3 times a week. Remember, in serverless, people tend to roll out changes more frequently, but then again the changes are often small (which is why the two-minute strategy can work in the first place).

So you're rolling out 3 ⨉ 50 = 150 versions a week across your teams, or 150 ⨉ 52 = 7,800 versions per year. From my experience, this is a low estimate. We have customers with considerably higher rates.

Let's assume that we measure how much time a developer or devop engineer spends on security per deploy, how frequently the permissions are missing which causes an exception during testing or production, and how much time is spent. Of course, these are just based on a small survey and you can play with numbers as you see fit.


As you can see, exceptions are pretty costly, as they are out of context. Also, as you read the impact of this, bear in mind that the level of security attained (as in, how well the security posture prevents future attacks and damages) varies drastically between the three strategies. Also, I've tried to estimate the yearly average rates. Exception rates are much higher for new functions, and drop much lower for mature functions, so this is just a simplification.

Here's how that adds up per year:


If we translate that into dollars, assuming a cost of $150k per engineer ($120k salary + $30k additional costs), you are spending:


Can I Improve on That?

You can, of course, try to make all your developers fundamentalists when it comes to security. There is no doubt that a little security awareness goes a long way. Having said that, it's a pretty expensive way to get the security you need.

Let's compare that to using tools to help you close the gaps. The idea is that if you have the right tools in place, within your deployment and monitoring workflows, then you catch things as early as possible, give developers detailed guidance on when, where and what to focus on, and keep security overhead to a minimum. You can achieve or even exceed the levels of the Fundamentalists, while spending less time than the Minimalists.

Let's add in the security tool strategy to the mix:


The main trick is to spend under a minute on average per deploy (mostly that's adding permissions you know you need, and handling build-time errors that come from wrong permissions). A side benefit is that the number of exceptions also drops significantly, since the security tools usually catch missing permissions as well, and you can fix that while the files are still open in your IDE.

How does this add up yearly?


So as you can see, while freeing up significant developer time, you can also improve your security, if you have the right tools in place.

Hillel Solow is CTO and Co-Founder of Protego

The Latest

July 19, 2018

Despite 95 percent of CIOs expecting cyberthreats to increase over the next three years, only 65 percent of their organizations currently have a cybersecurity expert, according to a survey from Gartner. The survey also reveals that skills challenges continue to plague organizations that undergo digitalization, with digital security staffing shortages considered a top inhibitor to innovation ...

July 17, 2018

In my first blog in this series, I highlighted some of the main challenges teams face with trying to scale mainframe DevOps. To get past these hurdles, the key is to develop an incremental approach that enables teams to capture value along each step of the journey ...

July 16, 2018

The key to mainframe DevOps success is in quickly identifying and removing major bottlenecks in the application delivery lifecycle. Major challenges include collaboration between mainframe and distributed teams, lack of visibility into the impact of software changes, and limited resource flexibility with scaling out necessary testing initiatives. Now let's take a closer look at some of these key challenges and how IT departments can address them ...

July 11, 2018

How much are organizations investing in the shift to cloud native, how much is it getting them? ...

July 10, 2018

In the shift to cloud native, many organizations have adopted a configuration-as-code approach. This helps drive up application deployment velocity by letting developers and DevOps teams reconfigure their deployments as their needs arise. Other organizations, particularly the more regulated ones, still have security people owning these tools, but that creates increased pressure on the security organization to keep up. How much are organizations investing in this process, and how much is it getting them? ...

June 28, 2018

More than a third of companies that use serverless functions are not employing any application security best practices and are not using any tools or standard security methodologies to secure them, according to the State of Serverless Security survey, conducted by PureSec ...

June 27, 2018

The popularity of social media platforms and applications is spurring enterprises to adopt "social business" models to better engage with employees and customers and improve collaboration, according to a new study published by ISG ...

June 25, 2018

The previous chapter in this WhiteHat Security series discussed Codebase as the first step of the Twelve-Factor App and defined a security best practice approach for ensuring a secure source control system. Considering the importance of applying security in a modern DevOps world, this next chapter examines the security component of step two of the Twelve-Factor methodology. Here follows some actionable advice from the WhiteHat Security Addendum Checklist, which developers and ops engineers can follow during the SaaS build and operations stages ...

June 21, 2018

DevSecOps is quickly gaining support and traction, within and beyond information security teams. In fact, 70% of respondents believe their culture can embrace the change needed to fuse Security and DevOps, according to a new survey of 80 security professionals by Aqua Security ...

June 20, 2018

The larger the company size, the higher the proportion of low IT performers, according to the State of DevOps: Market Segmentation Report from Puppet, based on the 2017 State of DevOps Survey data ...

Share this