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Making Compliance a Continuous, Secure, and Integral Part of the Development Cycle with Rocket DevOps’ Test

Chris White

Developers must continuously improve software for fast delivery, in-demand features, and powerful functionality. However, the growing demand for more applications and faster workflows in complex environments has left IT governance and DevOps security and compliance gaps in the software development process. 

With DevOps practices, streamlined components, fast-changing agile methodologies, and cloud-native environments, businesses can support rapid development workflows but cannot fully manage software risk. Security and development teams are overwhelmed by modern development workflows’ speed, volume, and complexity.

Securing mainframe environments: the bottlenecks

Security is especially challenging in mainframe environments. In fact, according to a 2023 Rocket Software survey—The State of Mainframe Security—58% of IT leaders said their main challenge was balancing mainframe security with their organization’s performance requirements. Most organizations update mainframe hardware regularly, yet the mainframe software often includes add-on code modifications, features, and components that add complexity and are difficult to secure. Complicated software and the aging mainframe specialist workforce only exacerbate the security hurdles. 

DevSecOps makes continuous security an integral part of the software development lifecycle rather than a separate, standalone phase. With the birth of DevSecOps years ago, the software development world agreed that security must shift left, and developers began to learn about security practices. Despite the widespread need for DevSecOps, many organizations still struggle to integrate security tools and practices into their DevOps pipelines and workflows. 

The challenges are manifold, including:

  • Limited automation and integration. Developers and security teams report a lack of integration and incompatibility between legacy mainframe security tools and modern DevOps toolchains. 
  • Understaffed security departments. Security staff are overwhelmed. GitHub Security Lab estimates the ratio of software developers to security professionals to be around 500:1.  
  • Production slowdowns. Developers quickly become frustrated by unfamiliar, hard-to-use tools and cumbersome problem alerts, burdening them during production.
  • Complexity and friction. Steep learning curves and “false positive” results negatively impact IT budgets, efficiencies, and productivity. 

Other barriers include a lack of auditability of change and action tracking, resistance to change from traditional security practices, and lack of specialized skills and expertise in mainframe security among DevOps teams. 

Security as a continuous, integral part of the development lifecycle

Most can agree that the DevSecOps shift left principle of incorporating security into software development early on is now imperative. That’s why our customers have welcomed the release of Rocket® DevOps test 10.3.1, the integral testing component of the Rocket DevOps modernization platform for IBM® i and other multi-code environments. Rocket DevOps’ test component proactively identifies and remediates code quality and compliance issues early, ensuring that coding standards and security requirements are met. It also reduces friction and unites siloed development and security teams.

Rocket DevOps ensures that security is a continuous and integral part of the development lifecycle. Continuous security and automated compliance testing allow security issues to be identified and addressed as quickly as possible, reducing the risk of breaches while having a minimal impact on the speed and efficiency of software development. Security is further enhanced via integrations with SonarQube and other tools to proactively address code quality and security, aligning with DevSecOps principles.

With Rocket DevOps, security practices, including continuous monitoring of database changes, are embedded directly into Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, transforming potential vulnerabilities into fortified checkpoints. 

Learn how Rocket DevOps brings continuous security to DevOps.