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The CISO view on DevOps: How to protect privileged access in the cloud

CyberArk issued a new research report, “The CISO View: Protecting Privileged Access in DevOps and Cloud Environments.” Based on the direct experiences of a panel of Global 1000 CISOs, the report provides advice for security teams to help effectively assess risk, drive developer collaboration, and prioritise steps to protect DevOps processes while maintaining developer velocity.   

The report is part of The CISO View industry initiative and features contributions from executives at leading organisations who are adopting DevOps methodologies and tools, including American Express Company, American Financial Group, Asian Development Bank, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and CIBC. 

Sponsored by CyberArk, the initiative brings together leading CISOs for peer-to-peer information sharing to help security teams build effective cybersecurity programs.

While security strategies should address privileged access and the risk of unsecured secrets and credentials, they should also closely align with DevOps culture and methods to avoid negatively impacting developer velocity and slowing the release of new services.

 Despite this, 73% of organisations surveyed for the 2018 CyberArk Global Advanced Threat Landscape report have no strategy to address privileged access security for DevOps.

The report summarises five key recommendations based on the real-world experiences of participating CISOs, including:

1. Transform the security team into DevOps partners – Ensure security practitioners and developers have the right skills, make it easy for developers to do the right thing, encourage collaboration and adopt agile DevOps methods within security.

2. Prioritise securing DevOps tools and infrastructure – Set and enforce policies for tools selection and configuration, control access to DevOps tools, ensure least privilege and protect and monitor infrastructure.

3. Establish enterprise requirements for securing credentials and secrets – Mandate the centralised management of secrets, extend auditing and monitoring capabilities, eliminate credentials from tools and applications, and develop reusable code modules.

4. Adapt processes for application testing – Integrate automated testing of code, compel developers to fix security issues using a “break the build” approach and consider a bug bounty program.

5. Evaluate the results of DevOps security programs – Test secrets management solution deployments, measure and promote improvements and educate auditors.

This report is the third in The CISO View report series, which was developed in conjunction with independent research firm Robinson Insight and relies on the insights and guidance contributed by The CISO View panel of Global 1000 CISOs, members of the security community and other industry experts.

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