What is DevSecOps? A look into security and DevOps

DevSecOps, in short, is a fusion of development, security, and operations into a unified security strategy. Different from traditional software development methodologies — where security considerations often come as an afterthought — DevSecOps implements security practices right from the inception of development, allowing teams to ensure a secure, agile, and efficient software delivery process. Part of our comprehensive series on DevOps, this blog post explores DevSecOps, examines its influence on mobile software development, and emphasizes the importance of prioritizing security right from the beginning in mobile app creation.

What to expect in this series:

Join our webinar DevOps and Security Best Practices: Digital Banking Mobile Apps on March 6, 2024, at 8 AM PT/ 5 PM CET.

What is DevSecOps?

To understand what DevSecOps is, one first needs to understand what DevOps is. 

A definition of DevOps

DevOps reshape software development by tearing down team silos, introducing automation for day-to-day tasks like testing and deployment, and championing continuous innovation (CI) as teams roll out updates. At its core, DevOps is an approach that consists of a guiding DevOps philosophy, a DevOps platform for execution, and a suite of DevOps tools designed to enhance these processes. For a deeper dive into DevOps and the difference between DevOps and Mobile DevOps, jump to our in-depth blog post here

Source: "Mobile DevOps explained", in "What is DevOps? Or Mobile DevOps?". Available at: The Bitrise Blog.

A definition of DevSecOps

DevSecOps, or Development Security Operations, can be defined as an approach to software development that embeds security measures early—and into every stage—of the DevOps lifecycle. It uses automation to streamline security protocols, making the entire software development lifecycle faster and more secure. By implementing DevSecOps, organizations can ensure that security is not a standalone phase at the end of the development cycle (an afterthought, if you will) but a core aspect of development operations from the get-go. Because DevSecOps operates with DevOps at its core, it cements a secure, efficient, and effective software delivery process, enabling teams to deliver software that is high in quality and robust in security. 

DevSecOps vs. DevOps

While DevOps focuses on improving the collaboration between development and operations teams to speed up the software delivery process, DevSecOps focuses on security. Unlike traditional DevOps, which might treat security as a final step in the development cycle, DevSecOps advocates for shifting left with security. This means integrating security early in the development process, ensuring that every part of the software development and delivery process is secure from the start.

Characteristics of DevSecOps

To embed security as a core element throughout the development lifecycle, consider the following characteristics as a checklist for thoroughly implementing DevSecOps in your organization or mobile development team.

Pro-active security

Pro-active security in DevSecOps emphasizes identifying and mitigating potential security threats early in development to ensure that software is secure from the outset. In mobile development, proactive security measures lead to faster cycle times, fewer rollbacks, and a quicker time-to-market. 

DevOps automation

DevSecOps emphasizes the use of automation tools to integrate security checks and balances throughout the software development lifecycle, ensuring that vulnerabilities are identified and addressed as early as possible. This also frees up time for security teams to focus on other priority projects. 

Faster vulnerability patching

By embedding security into the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, DevSecOps enables development teams to respond quickly and patch vulnerabilities, significantly reducing the window of exposure. 

Container and microservice security

DevSecOps provides frameworks and practices specifically designed to secure containerized applications and microservices, addressing their unique challenges. 

CI/CD process security

Every stage of the CI/CD process is secured, from code commits to deployment, ensuring that each release is as secure as possible.

Data security

DevSecOps practices protect both the deployment environments and the data within them against breaches and unauthorized access.

DevOps tool security

DevOps tool security ensures the integrity and security of the tools and environments used in the DevOps pipeline, protecting the development and deployment processes from vulnerabilities.

Code security

Incorporating code security ensures stringent code analysis and review processes, which help in identifying and rectifying potential security flaws before they evolve into significant threats. By leveraging tools for SAST and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), teams can automate the scrutiny of code for vulnerabilities, ensuring that security considerations are an integral part of the development cycle. 

DevSecOps best practices

Shift-left testing

Integrating security and testing early in the development process identifies vulnerabilities sooner and facilitates smoother and more secure development operations. This practice is a cornerstone of the DevSecOps approach, promoting a proactive stance on security.

Internal security training and awareness

Cultivating a security-focused mindset within the development, operations, and security teams is crucial. Continuous education on the latest security trends and threats keeps everyone informed and aware.

Implementing a DevOps culture 

Successfully implementing DevSecOps requires a cultural shift that breaks down the silos between development, security, IT, and operations. This holistic approach fosters collaboration and shared responsibility for security, enhancing the overall security posture.

Choosing the right security testing methods

In his blog post, Moataz Nabil lists the following methods that teams can implement when they think about implementing security testing:

“Static Application Security Testing (SAST): Static Application Security Testing (SAST) involves examining an application's components without executing them by analyzing the source code either manually or automatically.
Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST): Runtime application analysis to look for vulnerabilities and involves examining the app during runtime.
Interactive application security (IAST): combines both SAST and DAST to use software instrumentation (active or passive) to monitor application performance.”

Source: Nabil, M. 2023. ‘DevSecOps: injecting security into the mobile CI/CD pipeline’. Available at: The Bitrise Blog.

DevSecOps and Bitrise

To eliminate developer stress when shipping code, Bitrise equips mobile development teams with a DevOps platform that provides testing and a high degree of testing automation to help them do things quickly, securely, and without error. What’s more, unlike standard CI/CD web solutions, Bitrise is focused on being mobile-specific, which includes supporting a mobile developer team’s mobile-specific testing needs.

Flaky test detection

Flaky tests? It’s frustrating when tests exhibit inconsistent outcomes and pass or fail when run multiple times under the same conditions without any code or test environment changes. It poses significant challenges for mobile developers and QA teams and slows down development. To help mitigate these inconsistent test results, mobile teams using Bitrise can utilize flaky test detection to help enhance testing reliability and overall code stability. Flaky test detection is available on the Bitrise Insights add-on.

Unit, UI and snapshot testing

To ensure that every part of a mobile app performs as it should, mobile development teams can use Bitrise’s comprehensive testing suite covering Unit, UI, and Snapshot testing. While Unit testing helps maintain code integrity and validates that each unit of the mobile app performs as it should, UI testing ensures the application meets user expectations and design specifications, and snapshot testing guards against unintended visual changes in the UI. Utilizing these testing methodologies, mobile developer teams can enhance app robustness and ship quality code. For more on test levels throughout the developer lifecycle, read this article on Testing Levels by New Line Technologies or refer to an insert by Nabil, M on the Bitrsie blog

Regression testing

Mobile development teams use regression testing in fast-paced development environments to ensure new code changes don't disrupt existing functionality. By re-running existing tests against updated code, teams can sense-check and confirm continued performance as well as catch any new bugs or issues that might have been introduced. Regression testing spans unit, integration, and system testing to match the scope of updates. Mobile development teams can utizilze Bitrise in regression testing. 

Integration testing

Mobile development teams can seamlessly automate static tests and tailor their testing environment with purpose-specific stacks that are equipped with the essential tools and dependencies for top-notch linting. This ensures that the different components of a mobile app work together as they should. Mobile development teams with a React Native app on Bitrise can, for example, run various tests, including unit tests, integration tests, or component tests. Using Jest, the team can write all their tests and then run them with either npm or Yarn during the build process.

Real device testing, emulator, and simulator support

With real device testing, emulator, and simulator support, mobile development teams can test their apps in real-world scenarios using Bitrise’s support for real devices, emulators, and simulators. It helps accurately represent how the mobile app will perform for end-users on their devices, which can vary widely in terms of operating systems, screen sizes, hardware specifications, and network conditions.

Test Optimization

Bitrise offers several features and strategies for mobile development teams to optimize their testing workflows, reduce testing time, and improve the quality and reliability of their mobile applications before they reach production. One of these features includes caching options for dependencies and build artifacts. By caching elements that don't change frequently between builds, Bitrise reduces build and test times, making the overall development process more efficient. 

Testing at scale

Mobile development teams on Bitrise can run tests in parallel instead of sequentially to shorten feedback loops. By using build pipelines, teams can organize tasks to run concurrently, utilizing strategies like test sharding to optimize efficiency. Additionally, it enables the creation of stages within the pipeline that can exchange data, streamlining the development process even further by eliminating redundant operations in pipeline structures. This improves workflow efficiency and ensures security checks in every stage of the DevOps lifecycle. Teams on Bitrise can use iOS- or Android recipes to run parallel tests by shards or devices.

Join our webinar DevOps and Security Best Practices: Digital Banking Mobile Apps on March 6, 2024, at 8 AM PT/ 5 PM CET.


Looking at DevSecOps, it becomes evident that it is not merely a trend but a transformative shift in how mobile development teams conceive software development and security. By embedding security measures at every stage of the development lifecycle, DevSecOps ensures that security and efficiency are not mutually exclusive but complementary forces driving the success of mobile apps. By embracing DevSecOps practices, teams can ensure faster, safer, and more efficient delivery of software, meeting the modern demands of software development without compromising on security.

Platforms like Bitrise play an instrumental role in DevSecOps for mobile developer teams, offering them the tools and automation necessary for seamless integration of security practices. As organizations embrace DevSecOps, they are more resilient against security threats and agile. Join organizations already building with Bitrise’s suite of mobile DevOps tools, and experience the difference mobile DevOps can make for your team. Start a free trial today.

Get Started for free

Start building now, choose a plan later.

Sign Up

Get started for free

Start building now, choose a plan later.