Securing DevOps amid digital transformation

There are always new buzzwords/phrases being bandied about. In the late 1990s it was “long tail of the Internet” and “new paradigms”. Then there was this new thing referred to simply as “the cloud” in the late 2010s. Today, the hottest catchphrase in technology circles is “digital transformation,” referring to how organizations are rapidly moving away from traditional office-bound activities while moving towards digital business practices. When the pandemic hit, the rate of digital transformation began to skyrocket.

DevOps digital transformation

Digitally transformed organizations are projected to contribute to more than half of the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023, accounting for $53.3 trillion. 65% of the world’s GDP is predicted to be digitized by this year, and 70% of organizations either already had or were planning a digital transformation strategy three years ago.

DevOps and digital transformation: Ideal partners

By the time digital transformation was starting to grow from an idea to being implemented in the last several years, DevOps had long become popular for software development environments. DevOps – an all-encompassing term for automating and managing digital transformation – helps organizations succeed with digital transformation by shifting the cultural mindset of the business, breaking down silos and paving the way for continuous processes.

When you think about DevOps, it’s a cultural shift that requires vision, planning, executive buy-in, and tight collaboration to successfully establish a more integrated way of developing and delivering applications. With it, teams can improve their efficiency and develop a deeper understanding of their workflows, toolsets, and processes and empower the next generation of software creation, management, and security.

It just so happens that digital transformation also requires vision, planning but also – and especially – organizational cultural change. You can see why these two concepts are ideally suited for one another.

Ensuring your organization’s digital transformation and DevOps processes are secure

The march towards all this transformation (and speedier product delivery) comes at a time when businesses are on high alert for cyber-attacks.

2021 was a record-breaking year for data breaches. The Identity Theft Resource Center tracked attacks last year, and the total number of data breaches through September 30, 2021, exceeded the total number of events in 2020 by 17%, with 1,291 breaches in 2021 compared to 1,108 breaches in 2020.

While digital transformation doesn’t necessarily require security and trusted end points, given the heightened risk surrounding cyber security, an automated PKI solution is the ideal approach. The process of requesting a certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA), receiving it, binding it to an endpoint, and managing it is often slow and can become unwieldy without automation. This creates difficulties complying with regulatory PKI requirements and meeting corporate policies. Digital transformation empowered with PKI for DevOps allows for automation that helps companies manage today’s challenging cyber security environment.

With DevOps, you can demonstrate your proficiency in working with people, processes, and different technologies to continuously optimize your customers’ development operations, infrastructure, and deployment. The vision is a streamlined, integrated organization that facilitates an accelerated, secure PKI enabled application lifecycle.

It is said that DevOps simply refers to the adoption of automation tools. Many organizations claim to be “doing DevOps” just because some of their teams have automated elements of their software delivery pipeline. Automation is one component, albeit a significant element, companies also need to ensure culture and processes (such as inherent security practices) are equally adopted to ensure continuity through all phases.

The importance of digital certificates for DevOps and digital transformation

The process of requesting a certificate from a CA, receiving it, manually binding it to an endpoint, and self-managing it can be slow and lack visibility. Sometimes, DevOps teams avoid established quality practices by using less secure means of cryptography or issuing their own certificates from a self-created non-compliant PKI environment – putting their organizations at risk. However, PKI certificates from certified and accredited globally trusted CAs offer the best way for engineers to ensure security, identity and compliance of their containers and the code stored within them.

A certificate management platform, which is built to scale and manages large volumes of PKI certificates, is perfect for the DevOps ethos and their environments. Organizations can now automate the request and installation of compliant certificates within continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines and applications to secure DevOps practices and support digital transformation.

Outsourcing your PKI to a CA means developers have a single source to turn to for all certificate needs and are free to focus on core competencies. Users can also leverage a CA’s PKI offerings to ensure best practices and that audit requirements are met.

From whichever CA your company works with, your DevOps team should expect:

  • One standards-compliant, outsourced CA that can cover all certificate needs (e.g., private, public, flexible certificate templates, short-lived certificates)
  • A reduction in the complexity around certificate management, making it easy to meet corporate policy set by InfoSec teams, and
  • Your certificates and PKI components will be up-to-date with best practices and will meet regulatory frameworks, such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA and NIST.

If you are seeking a better way to manage your certificates, look for a platform that is built to scale and manages large volumes of PKI certificates. This is ideal for the DevOps ethos and their environments because it enables organizations to automate the request and installation of compliant certificates within CI/CD pipelines and applications to secure DevOps practices and support digital transformation. No longer do developers have to fear PKI. They are free to move onto other tasks with full confidence the outcome will be not only efficient delivery, but secure platforms.

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