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RSA Panelists Reinforce that DevOps Boosts Application Security

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Smaller releases, automated testing, and a culture that embraces security are the reasons why panelists at the RSA 2013 conference say that DevOps can be a huge boon for application security.

Nick Galbreath, vice president of engineering for IPONWEB, has studied DevOps organizations. He finds it amazing that DevOps organizations have a culture that embraces security even though their high deploy rates of new code into production could jeopardize application security.

Josh Corman, director of security intelligence for Akamai Technologies, emphasizes that rapid deployments offer more opportunities to fix issues quickly. He even goes one step further claiming that complexity is the enemy of stability. A DevOps approach reduces complexity due to less code changes going live. And David Mortman, chief security architect for enStratus, adds that less code leads to less complexity and less security bugs.

Another way how DevOps supports application security is the possibility to add security unit tests and functional tests, said Mortman. This approach is not new: Nick Galbreath presented this idea at DevOpsDays Austin 2012 during his talk about "DevOpsSec: Appling DevOps Principles to Security".

In his book "The Phoenix Project" Gene Kim picks the integration of application security into a DevOps culture out as a central theme.

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