Only half of CI/CD workflows include appsec testing elements

Only half of CI/CD workflows include application security testing elements despite respondents citing awareness of the importance and advantages of doing so, according to a new 451 Research report.

What are the most critical application security testing elements to add to CI/CD workflows?

CI/CD workflows

“While some DevOps teams are starting to incorporate application security into their CI/CD workflows, driven by factors such as improved software quality, compliance, and risk avoidance, there is ample room for improvement,” said Jay Lyman, principal DevOps analyst at 451 Research. “In many cases, security testing is not being integrated often or early enough in the process for organizations to fully benefit from reduced risk and rework headaches.”

DevOps teams today are working with large-scale infrastructures, releasing software faster, and doing so with significant code changes in each release. Sixty-three percent of respondents say they expect to deploy software at least four times faster in a DevOps model. Without a clear and informed strategy, this can make establishing and scaling application security testing within these processes complex and difficult.

While organizations cited a lack of automation and consistency, reduced speed, and the noise of false positives as the primary challenges of DevSecOps, the survey also showed that the use of automated tools integrated early in the software development life cycle can have a positive impact on both the speed and the overall quality and security of software.

The survey also revealed that software composition analysis (SCA), or the identification of open source software components affected by known vulnerabilities, is the most critical application security element that needs to be incorporated into CI/CD workflows. Interestingly, the survey also showed that nearly 40% of organizations either do not perform SCA or claim not to use any open source components.

When is security testing integrated with CI/CD?

CI/CD workflows

“DevSecOps presents an opportunity to make application security part of the cultural and technological fabric of modern, high-velocity development and deployment models,” said Andreas Kuehlmann, general manager of the Synopsys Software Integrity Group. “This study highlights many of the opportunities and challenges DevOps team face in adapting and applying application security tools and best practices.”

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Only half of CI/CD workflows include appsec testing elements