Secure Code Warrior

The rise of DevSecOps – and what 'shifting left' really means for your organization.

How’s this for a sobering statistic? 60% of SMBs go out of business within six months of a successful cyber attack. Major corporations haemorrhage millions (or billions!) while brand reputations bleed out. As organizations increasingly embrace secure coding practices, a 'shift left' is taking place. With the rise of DevSecOps, secure code is becoming the focus right from the start of the SDLC.

How’s this for a sobering statistic? 60% of SMBs go out of business within six months of a successful cyber attack*. Major corporations haemorrhage millions (or billions!) while brand reputations bleed out. As organizations increasingly embrace secure coding practices, a 'shift left' is taking place. With the rise of DevSecOps, secure code is becoming the focus right from the start of the SDLC. To investigate the real-world impacts of this trend, Secure Code Warrior with Evans Data Corp*** commissioned a recent study on developers’ attitudes towards secure coding, secure code practices, and security operations. 

Shifting Left – a shift on many levels  

As companies realize it costs 30 times more to fix vulnerabilities after the fact, preemptive measures have become the new gold standard*. But for such measures to be effective, everyone in the SDLC must be security-aware, especially developers. 

Shift One  – so, who’s responsible now? 

With the rise of DevSecOps, organizations are embracing secure coding practices. As a result, one of the first shifts our research highlighted is a shift in responsibility for code security towards operational levels. 

When we asked developers and development managers, "who should have ultimate responsibility for code security?", 46% said the project/team lead –  almost twice as many as those  who said the responsibility should remain with the application security team. 

This is a clear indication of a shift in security responsibility away from traditional application security teams towards development team leads.

Shift Two – The Changing Roles of Managers  

The pressure to implement secure code training is landing on managers from several directions. 

41% reveal that the organizational imperative for secure code training comes from senior leadership. Increasing demands for regulatory compliance are also a factor. 

Managers play critical roles in assisting with the transition from traditional development to DevSecOps and are emerging as crucial decision-makers for training and tooling purchase decisions.

Shift Three – Developers Stepping Up

However, we also see the pressure for change bubbling up from below; 24% of managers reveal that they implement secure coding practices due to suggestions and recommendations from their developers. This point highlights the increasingly important role of developers as contributors to their companies’ security programs. The shift to DevSecOps, with its newfound emphasis on preventative secure coding practices, shifts developers into the role of the 'first line of defense’.

Shift Four – Improved Team Dynamics  

While implementing secure code practices has a material impact on software quality, it also changes the way teams work for the better. 60% of developers surveyed believe that employing secure code practices has increased their communication with other developers – but the gains don’t stop there. 

Half of all developers and managers surveyed agreed that secure coding practices led to more cooperation between developers and their leaders. 46% claimed more collaboration between developers and stakeholders. At the same time, 41% pointed to more cooperation between leaders and stakeholders.

DevSecOps brings teams, leaders, and stakeholders together in new ways, improving cooperation across different roles and stages of the software development life cycle. 

62% of managers surveyed claim that secure code practices help increase the velocity of code releases. This single fact combines with all these other shifts to highlight the clear benefits of moving to a DevOps approach. But, as stated earlier in this article, for such measures to be effective, everyone in the SDLC must be security-aware. This insight has critical implications for how organizations train their developers. Teams need to learn about recently identified vulnerabilities and learn in the specific language:frameworks in which they code. In short, they need to understand how to locate, identify and fix known vulnerabilities in code in the context they work in every day. Such training turns your teams from your first line of risk into your first line of defense.  

As champions of change in secure coding, Secure Code Warrior takes a human-led approach to help your organization' shift left' – and take your overall security approach from reactive to proactive.

If you’d like to know more about hands-on, highly engaging and proven secure code training that aligns the needs of managers, developers and the organization to achieve a DevSecOps future, book a demo now.


*60 Percent Of Small Companies Close Within 6 Months Of Being Hacked.
https://cybersecurityventures.com/60-percent-of-small-companies-close-within-6-months-of-being-hacked/

**IBM Software Group; Minimizing Code Defects to Improve Software Quality and Lower Development Costs.
https://docplayer.net/11413245-Minimizing-code-defects-to-improve-software-quality-and-lower-development-costs.html

***Shifting from reaction to prevention: The changing face of application security 2021. Secure Code Warrior and Evans Data Corp.
https://scw.buzz/3169uzS