In today’s fast-changing world, businesses need a quick and efficient software development solution. It helps them to bring out new features and update quickly in the market. Moreover, quicker development optimizes the production budget by deploying the available resources at the right time and place. This need has fostered the popularity of DevOps methodology in software development.
In DevOps, teams work together to update software. But sometimes, this speed can make things vulnerable to cyber threats. So, making cybersecurity a big part of DevOps helps protect the software and the whole system. It’s like having a shield to keep everything safe while teams work quickly.
Phishing and supply chain pitfalls are two significant problems in DevOps. The blog explores how phishing attacks and supply chain weaknesses create problems in DevOps. Further, we will investigate how teams can tackle these challenges efficiently.
The DevOps And Cybersecurity Nexus
DevOps offers a rapid assembly line where teams collaborate and create software with lightning speed. But this speed can leave doors open for sneaky cyber threats. That’s where cybersecurity steps in like a shield safeguarding the entire process.
DevSecOps is like a security superhero for the software development world. It blends security into every stage of the SDLC. DevSecOps is like hiring a security team that’s always on duty. Thereby ensuring that the software remains safe while your team works on it.
But that’s not all. Continuous monitoring also plays a massive role in this security game. It’s like a team of vigilant watchdogs constantly scanning the software for any signs of trouble. In DevOps, continuous monitoring acts as an early warning system. It spots potential security issues immediately before they can cause actual harm.
DevSecOps and constant monitoring allow teams to create secure software swiftly. Teams can create software quickly while ensuring it stays safe from cyber threats. It’s not about making software fast; it’s about ensuring it’s shielded every step. This collaboration between DevOps and cybersecurity is crucial in today’s fast-paced digital world.
What Is Phishing?
It is among the most common cyberattacks that people encounter on a day-to-day basis. The main objective of this cyber attack is to steal people’s sensitive data. Phishing fraud is usually performed through emails and by installing malware into the system.
In the beginning, the victim receives a fraudulent email that usually talks about the victim’s financial benefit. Once the victim falls into the scam, they download malware into the system.
Types Of Phishing Attacks
Spear Phishing Attacks
These attacks target specific individuals. Attackers gather all sorts of public information related to the victim. This way, the attackers enhance the credibility of their message. Sometimes, spear phishing emails may contain references to co-workers or executives.
Email Phishing Attacks
One of the most famous phishing types of cyberattacks involves the attackers registering a fictitious domain. For example, The attacker may register a fake domain, Arnazon.com, in place of “Amazon.com ” so that the email’s recipient sees the word Amazon and considers it genuine. The attacker may also use emails like [email protected] to trap its victim.
These cyber-attacks primarily target senior executives at any organization. However, this attack’s email structure is unlike other attacks, where they ask the victim to download the software into the system. Instead, these attacks pretended to be busy bosses asking for favors from their employees.
Even though sometimes the employees suspect this email, they are too afraid to confront the sender.
Smishing and Vishing
They are pretty similar to the other cyber attacks we have already discussed. The only difference in this cyber attack is the change in the mode of communication. In smishing, the attackers send an SMS to the victim, while in a vishing cyber attack, they call the victim. These attacks create a sense of urgency in the victim by telling them to take immediate action. During these attacks, the attackers behave as a bank representative.
Studying Phishing Examples
Around the middle of 2022, a significant data breach hit the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. This breach compromised many customer information, including names, ID numbers, phone numbers, addresses, criminal records, and online documents. Shockingly, more than 23 terabytes of data from Alibaba’s cloud hosting service got into the wrong hands.
The breach came to light when a hacker announced it on online forums. They claimed to have accessed data from the Shanghai police force stored on Alibaba Cloud. This exposed a critical flaw on Alibaba’s servers, as they have no password protection. The developer and their employer received a three-year prison sentence.
What Is The Software Supply Chain?
The software supply chain is centered around the entire product journey. Modern-day software consists of various components and different teams assemble these components so that the final product is ready for the end users.
Companies nowadays include third-party and proprietary codes in their development process to provide faster value to the market.
As a result, this software becomes more prone to cyber-attacks. Exploiting just one weakness down the supply chain an attacker can access sensitive data. He can also take control of the system or even plant malware into the code.
Why Supply Chain Security Matters?
Cyber attacks are at an all-time high on the software supply chain. According to a recent report in 2023, these attacks impacted around 64 percent of the companies worldwide. When an attacker manages to infiltrate into the supply chain. Then, he/she not only impacts the direct users; instead, it affects everything and everyone.
Starting from application development to coding to deployment, in fact, the people who wrote it or the source it comes from. Everything becomes vulnerable to the threat. Attackers may insert malicious code or malware that can compromise the associated supply chain.
Phishing’s Effects On The Software Supply Chain
Entry Point for More Serious Attacks
Attackers prefer to target the supply chain because it allows entry into the entire development cycle. By attacking the company, the attacker may get access to the company’s secret and open the door for other companies using the same software.
One of the most severe impacts of phishing attacks is information theft. When an attacker inflates the system, he can easily access the company’s valuable stuff, including employee details. Compromising such information is always a significant loss for an organization regarding money and faith. It can cause significant harm to a business’s reputation in the marketplace.
Disruption of Operations
Another significant impact of cyber attacks on the software supply chain is disrupting day-to-day operations. When an attacker gets into the system, he can mess up everything. Creating difficulties for employees and causing unnecessary delays. Companies may find themselves needing help to release upgrades or new items at that point.
Phishing attacks cause compliance risks for the business. Many industries have strict rules related to customer data and privacy. During cyberattacks, companies’ data, including customers’ personal details, are compromised, causing trust issues in the market.
DevOps’s Contribution To Strengthening Software Supply Chain Security
DevOps practices can help organizations in enhancing the software supply chain security. Concepts like shifting security left ensure security measures are integrated at the early stage of development. Let’s find out other ways how DevOps enhances software supply chain security.
One core feature of DevOps is improving collaboration between operations and development teams. However, businesses can extend this approach to the security team, providing a more holistic view of the security measures. Further, it helps teams explore the vulnerabilities within the development, thereby formulating more effective strategies.
It is another feature that makes DevOps popular among businesses. Businesses can leverage this feature to automate security checks throughout the supply chain. They can use several automated testing tools to find malicious code or perform scan checks.
DevOps helps organizations conquer the present world by offering continuous development. Businesses can leverage DevOps features to create codes in case of any software vulnerabilities.
How To Secure The DevOps Pipeline In A Practical Way?
Introducing Security Awareness Training
The first step to secure your DevOps pipeline from phishing attacks is creating employee awareness. The most effective action plan may be to teach staff members about the many kinds of phishing assaults through training. They also learn how to recognize these attacks in the initial stage. Further training equips them with the tools and techniques to respond to these phishing attempts.
Deploying Anti-Phishing Tools and Technologies
Training alone cannot provide 100% security to your system because humans can commit errors. It is precisely where you need anti-phishing tools and techniques within your workplace. This software detects phishing attacks and ensures that the intended target is safe. Various innovative anti-phishing tools are available with the development of AI and ML.
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Security Integration
As discussed above, ensuring that you have incorporated security measures into your SDLC is essential. Standard practice includes two-factor authentication at all stages, from planning to deployment. You must encourage your team to use secure coding practices to avoid code vulnerabilities. Another important measure is to conduct security audits regularly.
Regular Phishing Simulations and Drills
Creating awareness can play a crucial role in securing your system. Simulating phishing drills is the most efficient way to do it. These drills can help you see how your employees behave and respond. It can help you in exploring the vulnerabilities within the system. It can also provide critical information related to the required type of employee training. Phishing simulation is also effective in testing your existing anti-phishing tools.
Undoubtedly, DevOps is the core component of Agile development. However, business owners must recognize the increasing cyber security threat. It is concerning for any organization because of its implications. That raises the need to safeguard the DevOps pipeline by developing a culture within the workplace. Companies must focus on developing state-of-the-art anti-phishing measures at all the development stages.
About Us: Algoworks is a B2B IT firm providing end-to-end product development services. Operating chiefly from its California office, Algoworks is a leading DevOps consulting company which enables continuous delivery pipeline across the cloud platforms for faster time-to-market at reduced costs. The company’s key Salesforce Services include: Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine Services, Windows Azure, CI/CD Automation and Serverless Computing . For more information, contact us here.