How to configure DevSecOps in Azure DevOps

How to configure DevSecOps in Azure DevOps

A comprehensive guide on how to configure DevSecOps in Azure DevOps, combining the best practices and tools suggested:

Key Principles

  • Shift Left: Integrate security as early in the development process as possible.
  • Automation: Automate security testing and processes to increase efficiency and reduce human error.
  • Collaboration: Foster a culture of shared responsibility for security between developers, security teams, and operations.

Implementation Steps

  1. Secure Your Infrastructure as Code (IaC):
    • Templates: Use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates or tools like Terraform to define your infrastructure in a secure and repeatable way.
    • Scanning: Employ Microsoft Defender for Cloud’s IaC scanning capabilities to detect misconfigurations before they reach production.
    • Azure Policy: Apply Azure policies to enforce security standards and compliance across your deployments.
  2. Integrate Security Scanning into Your CI/CD Pipeline:
    • Static Application Security Testing (SAST):
      • Azure DevOps Security Code Analysis extension (free from Microsoft)
      • Third-party options like SonarQube, Checkmarx, or similar.
    • Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST):
      • OWASP ZAP
      • Commercial solutions like Burp Suite or Netsparker.
    • Software Composition Analysis (SCA):
      • OWASP Dependency-Check
      • WhiteSource
  3. Vulnerability Management:
    • Azure Security Center: Utilize Security Center’s built-in vulnerability assessments and recommendations.
    • Third-party Integrations: If you use additional vulnerability scanners, integrate their findings into Azure DevOps for centralized management.
  4. Secret Management:
    • Azure Key Vault: Store secrets, keys, and certificates securely.
    • Access Policies: Control access to your Key Vault using RBAC (Role-Based Access Control).
    • Integrate with Pipelines: Use Key Vault tasks in your pipelines for secure retrieval of secrets during deployment.
  5. Container Security:
    • Image Scanning:
      • Azure Container Registry’s integrated scanning.
      • Tools like Clair or Trivy
    • Azure Policy for Kubernetes: Enforce secure image sources and configurations in your AKS deployments.
  6. Threat Modeling:
    • Early Stages: Integrate threat modeling exercises during the design phase of your applications using tools like Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool.
  7. Incident Response:
    • Playbooks: Define clear incident response procedures within Azure DevOps.
    • Azure Sentinel: Leverage Azure Sentinel for security monitoring and automated responses.

Continuous Improvement

  • Metrics: Track key DevSecOps metrics (e.g., vulnerabilities found, time to fix) to measure progress.
  • Feedback: Establish feedback loops to adapt and improve your DevSecOps process.

Example Azure DevOps Pipeline Integration (Simplified)



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  • stage: 'SAST' jobs:

    • job: steps:
      • task: SAST Tool (e.g., SonarQube, Azure DevOps Security Code Analysis)
  • stage: 'DAST' jobs:

    • job: steps:
      • task: DAST Tool (e.g., OWASP ZAP)
  • stage: 'SCA' jobs:

    • job: steps:
      • task: SCA Tool (e.g., OWASP Dependency-Check)
  • stage: 'Deploy' jobs:

    • job: steps:
      • task: Azure Key Vault (to retrieve secrets for deployment)

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Important Considerations:

  • Tailor to Your Needs: Adapt the specific tools and processes based on your project requirements and organizational structure.
  • Cultural Change: DevSecOps is about a shift in mindset and collaborative effort. Training and clear roles and responsibilities are important.

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