Security as Code is an approach to software development where security policies, procedures, and controls are codified and integrated into the software development life cycle, particularly within DevOps and Agile environments. This means using code and automation to manage and enforce security throughout the development process instead of relying on manual processes.
There are several aspects to "Security as Code":
- Automated Testing: Security tests are written as code and integrated into the development pipeline. These automated tests can identify common security vulnerabilities, ensuring they're addressed as soon as they're introduced.
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Infrastructure is defined and managed using code, making it easy to audit for compliance with security policies.
- Policy as Code: Security policies are written as code that can be automatically enforced and audited. This ensures that every part of the system adheres to the defined security standards, and deviations can be caught and corrected immediately.
- Configuration Management: Security configurations can be managed as code, ensuring consistency across different environments and reducing the risk of misconfigurations that can lead to security vulnerabilities.
- Continuous Monitoring and Logging: Systems and applications are continuously monitored, and logs are collected and analyzed. This helps identify and respond to security threats in real time.
Here's a fun analogy: In the world of cooking, "Security as Code" would be like having a recipe that not only includes the ingredients and steps but also has built-in measures to ensure food safety standards, like automated reminders to wash hands, check ingredient freshness, and verify cooking temperatures. Similarly, "Security as Code" integrates safety (security) guidelines directly into the recipe of software development.
"Security as Code" offers several advantages, such as faster identification and remediation of security issues, more consistent enforcement of security policies, and the ability to scale security practices alongside the development process. It forms the foundation of a "Shift Left Security" approach, integrating security considerations from the earliest stages of the SDLC.