How to Take Control of Your Software Assets

April 24, 2020 Amy Johnston

Capturing audit evidence in a scalable, repeatable Software Chain of Custody is only one piece of the governance puzzle for technical software delivery processes. There are other impactful changes you can make to ensure that the lifecycle of your software assets is properly controlled, governed, and documented—without burdening DevOps teams with cumbersome checklists, sign offs, and other manual work that slows down software delivery processes.

Simplify the Compliance Framework

Many organizations require DevOps teams to provide input for audit reports and perform other compliance- related tasks that are based on outdated or poorly understood requirements, or that can be better satisfied by applying modern automation techniques. Simplifying and streamlining the compliance framework helps DevOps teams better understand what is required of them, so they can more quickly implement automated controls that ensure software delivery pipelines are compliant by default.

Shift Validations Left and Automate Them

Shifting security and compliance validations left means executing them as early as possible in the software development process—typically by implementing them in the automated test phase. There are many open source and commercial tools available that support automated security and compliance testing, such as Chef InSpec, SonarQube, Black Duck, Checkmarx SAST, and Fortify Static Code Analyzer.

When you shift security and compliance validations left:

  • DevOps teams can identify security and compliance problems earlier in the software delivery process, when there is time and capacity to fix them
  • Software developers become more cognizant of security and compliance requirements and the consequences of not meeting them
  • The results of automated security and compliance tests become an immutable part of the Software Chain of Custody
  • The feedback loop between development, operations, security, and audit teams becomes stronger

Build Continuous Verification into the Process

Continuous verification of the activities in the software delivery process helps ensure that all software assets go through the tests and checks that are required to ensure their quality and security. In Improving DevOps through Continuous Verification (January 21, 2020), David Jasso of VMware explains how you can build continuous verification into the technical software delivery pipeline by adding governance checks that perform functions such as:

  • Verifying the expected resource utilization and associated costs of those resources won't exceed authorized limits
  • Validating that the configurations of the IaaS and PaaS resources they're using meet specific security and compliance best practices
  • Ensuring that once deployed, an application can achieve specific performance thresholds

The results of these governance checks helps ensure the integrity of software assets as they move through the development, build, test, and deployment process - even when that process includes many different tools and people.

Collect and Store Governance Data Throughout the Process

In addition to the technical software delivery pipeline, there is a pipeline of governance activities that are required to prove that the work that is done in the technical pipeline satisfies industry and regulatory requirements.

The pipeline of required governance activities

It is crucial that governance data is automatically collected and stored throughout the software delivery process, because that data is the input required for reports and metrics that support the Software Chain of Custody.

Governance data is also a useful resource for DevOps teams that want to continuously improve their technical pipelines by automating time-consuming manual tasks, identifying and reducing rework, and locating and eliminating bottlenecks.

XebiaLabs Powers the Total Software Chain of Custody

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform powers the total Software Chain of Custody by integrating with tools throughout the DevOps tool landscape, orchestrating the technical software delivery process, and automatically collecting relevant data from the beginning to the end of the process. XebiaLabs’ industry-leading Release Orchestration capabilities allow DevOps teams and engineering leaders to make continuous security and compliance testing

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform powers the total Software Chain of Custody by integrating with tools throughout the DevOps tool landscape, orchestrating the technical software delivery process, and automatically collecting relevant data from the beginning to the end of the process. XebiaLabs' industry-leading Release Orchestration capabilities allow DevOps teams and engineering leaders to make continuous security and compliance testing a native part of the software delivery process.

As an end-to-end DevOps Toolchain Orchestration and Reporting platform, XebiaLabs is in the unique position to capture data across all tools, provide context for release activities, and tell the story of exactly what happens in each release. The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform doesn’t just trigger tests and verification checks in other tools; it also harvests the most relevant data from those tools and automatically builds an easy-to-understand picture of each and every software release. XebiaLabs combines portfolio and backlog planning information from Agile Management tools such as CollabNet VersionOne with technical data from build, test, deployment, and monitoring tools to create a context-rich Software Chain of Custody that benefits technical and business stakeholders alike.

With the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform:

  • Development leaders can build guardrails that ensure compliance and security tasks always happen as part of automated release processes
  • DevOps teams get instant, automated audit reporting so they can prove compliance, predict and mitigate release risk, and release better software, faster
  • Product owners, release managers, and engineers no longer waste hundreds or thousands of hours piecing together data and creating incomplete reports
  • InfoSec teams, auditors, and other business stakeholders get the information they need, in the format they need it, instantly
  • CIOs and CTOs can rest easy knowing that governance and security processes have been followed and compliance is easy to prove

To secure software assets, comply with governance requirements, preserve profitability, and protect brand reputation, organizational leaders in every industry need a Software Chain of Custody that covers the end-to-end software delivery process: from ideation and planning, to development and testing, to deployment and monitoring in production. A Software Chain of Custody gathers the evidence needed to prove the integrity of software assets and provides a foundation for Value Stream Management that enables continuous improvement of software delivery processes. The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform automatically delivers a comprehensive Software Chain of Custody that provides the platform you need for fast, secure, compliant software delivery. And you’ll be able to prove it. Learn more about taking control of your release processes and harnessing the power of automated audit reporting here and here.

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About the Author

Amy Johnston

Amy Johnston is the Director of Product Marketing at XebiaLabs.

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