Security and developer teams still failing to communicate says report

Report says internal communication falls short between security and developer teams in the move to DevOps.

Cybersecurity solutions company, Trend Micro, has announced survey results that show despite the enterprise benefits of adopting a DevOps culture, the majority of IT leaders polled believe communication between IT security and software development teams must improve greatly to achieve success.

Led by independent research specialist, Vanson Bourne, the company surveyed the attitudes toward DevOps held by 1,310 IT decision makers from within both enterprise and SMB organisations across the globe. Those surveyed are at various stages of DevOps implementation as they integrate their teams, application development, information technology operations and security, to shorten and secure the development lifecycle.

While three-quarters (74%) claimed such initiatives had become more important over the past year, an even higher percentage argued that communication within the IT department needed to improve.

Some 89% said software development and IT security teams needed to be in closer contact, while 77% said the same for developers, security and operations.

A third (34%) claimed that these silos are making it harder to create a DevOps culture in the organisation.

Respondents indicated the best ways to drive this cultural change include: fostering greater integration between teams (61%); setting common goals (58%); and sharing learning experiences across teams (50%). Yet over 78% of IT decision makers said improvement is needed in these areas.

Only a third (33%) of respondents said DevOps is a shared responsibility between software development and IT operations, which is another indication of the current communication breakdown between teams. It appears that each department feels responsibility or ownership to lead these projects.

Security and developer teams hinder DevOps change

Steve Quane, executive vice president of network defence and hybrid cloud security for Trend Micro, said: “History of software development shows that the biggest and best process improvements never happen quickly due to the most valuable variable, people, who have existing behavioural patterns and cultural components.

“Organisations implementing a DevOps structure are going in a strong direction, but security cannot be forgotten during this transition.

“Regardless of where an organisation is in their journey, there are new tools that bake security into the development process while automating rapid deployment of security at the same time as reducing risk and ensuring compliance.”

Part of the challenge is believed to be — despite enthusiasm for DevOps, which has seen 81% of organisations already implement or currently work on projects — nearly half of respondents (46%) have only partially developed their DevOps strategy. IT leaders polled confirmed that enhancing IT security is more of a priority (46%) in DevOps than any other factor.