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Building a strong DevSecOps culture in a hybrid and multi-cloud environment

December 26, 2023
Written by
Vishnu Prasad K

Table of Contents:

  1. How DevSecOps can address the challenges in hybrid and multi-cloud environment
  2. How to build a secure DevSecOps culture
  3. Collaboration and communication in DevSecOps
  4. Best practices for DevSecOps in hybrid and multi-cloud
  5. Inside the Team
  6. DevSecOps in the hybrid and multi-cloud era with AppSecEngineer

Prioritizing security throughout the entire development cycle—that’s DevSecOps.

The challenge is: a secure DevSecOps culture is more than just using security tools. In the past, integrating security within the SDLC meant slower production time and delayed release dates. Security was a nuisance. But with DevSecOps, security will be prioritized from day one, accelerating software delivery and transforming how your teams work together.

Regardless of their size, organizations are slowly migrating their business to the cloud. It has become the center of software development. However, this shift introduces a new set of security challenges that cannot be ignored. Previous attacks like Equifax in 2017 and Capital One in 2019 highlighted the importance of awareness of cloud security risks and mitigation techniques.

No one is bulletproof. Fortifying your DevSecOps posture for the hybrid and multi-cloud adoptions is a critical task. Read on to learn more.

How DevSecOps can address the challenges in hybrid and multi-cloud environment

A report shows that the DevSecOps market will be valued at $23.42 billion in 2028 with a CAGR of 32.2% within 2020-2028.

Another report shows that 45% of data breaches involve the cloud.

In a hybrid and multi-cloud environment, organizations utilize both on-premises infrastructure and multiple cloud providers. Setups like these introduce unique security challenges. Here's how DevSecOps can address challenges like broader attack surfaces and complex environments:

Continuous security integration

With DevSecOps, security is integrated into the code, and security testing is continuously conducted throughout the development pipeline. Practices like this ensure that security is prioritized across various platforms.

Consistency across cloud environments

Hybrid and multi-cloud environments usually employ different cloud providers that have their own sets of security tools and practices. DevSecOps establishes a standardized set of security measures and protocols that can be applied across all cloud environments.

Automated compliance

DevSecOps makes automation of compliance checks and reporting easier, as well as demonstrating that your organization adheres to necessary regulations. This is especially crucial when data and applications span multiple cloud environments with different compliance requirements.

Rapid detection and response

DevSecOps integrates real-time monitoring and incident response into the development process for the rapid detection of security incidents, like unauthorized access or data breaches, across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. With automated incident response mechanisms in place, DevSecOps ensures that security threats are addressed as quickly as possible to limit potential damage.

Security as Code

In DevSecOps, security configurations are treated as code to allow security policies to be version-controlled and managed alongside the application code. Organizations can track and manage changes to security settings with this approach to guarantee that security remains a priority as the cloud environment evolves.

Collaboration and communication

DevSecOps helps organizations to develop a culture of collaboration among development, security, and operations teams. In the context of hybrid and multi-cloud environments, this collaboration is essential for sharing insights and addressing security concerns in a holistic manner.

Scalability and adaptability

In a dynamic multi-cloud environment, the ability to scale security measures up or down as needed is of utmost priority. DevSecOps promotes scalability and adaptability to help organizations adjust security measures in response to changing requirements or threats.

How to build a secure DevSecOps culture

DevSecOps culture means resilience and security of digital assets. This involves not just incorporating security measures but instilling a mindset that places security at the forefront of every decision and action.

Promoting a security-first mindset

A security-first mindset is the backbone of a successful DevSecOps culture. Two key strategies are through comprehensive training and awareness programs and the appointment of security champions within the organization:

Training and awareness programs

Effective training and awareness programs should be designed to educate everyone involved in the software development process, from developers and operations teams to management and executives.

Key components:

  • Communicate and teach the latest security best practices relevant to your organization's tech stack and development processes.
  • Provide insights about the current threat landscape and emphasize common vulnerabilities and attack vectors depending on the industry you're in.
  • Share real-world examples of security incidents and breaches and highlight the impact of inadequate security practices.
  • Ensure that teams are aware of and adhere to relevant industry regulations and compliance standards.

Ongoing nature:

  • Given the dynamic nature of cybersecurity threats, training programs should be updated regularly to address new challenges and incorporate the latest security methodologies.
  • Conduct simulated security exercises or drills to test your team's response to security incidents.

Security champions

The concept of security champions involves appointing individuals within development teams who are passionate about security and serve as advocates for secure coding practices. They act as a bridge between the security team and the broader development community.


  • Security champions spread security knowledge and best practices to their respective teams to raise awareness and educate team members.
  • Actively participate in code reviews to concentrate on security aspects and ensure that secure coding guidelines are followed.
  • Facilitate communication between development teams and dedicated security experts to streamline the integration of security into the development process.


Collaboration and communication in DevSecOps

By breaking down silos between development, operations, and security teams, organizations can foster a collaborative environment that prioritizes security. Here are two key strategies for promoting collaboration and communication in DevSecOps:

Cross-functional teams

A traditional development model is when different teams often work in isolation, which sometimes leads to communication gaps and delays in addressing security concerns. DevSecOps advocates for the formation of cross-functional teams where individuals from development, operations, and security collaborate throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

Key features:

  • Cross-functional teams bring together individuals with diverse skill sets to ensure that the entire spectrum of expertise is represented.
  • Team members share the responsibility for both the development and security of applications to foster collective ownership of the end-to-end process.
  • Regular interaction means continuous feedback to enable swift adjustments to address security vulnerabilities and operational concerns.


  • Collaboration reduces the time it takes to identify and resolve security issues, as experts from multiple domains work together to find comprehensive solutions.
  • Developers gain a deeper understanding of security considerations, while security professionals gain insights into the development process that leads to more effective collaboration.

Transparent information sharing

Transparent information sharing involves open and accessible communication channels that allow teams to share information about security vulnerabilities, incidents, and best practices.

Key features:

  • Utilize collaborative tools and platforms that facilitate real-time communication and information sharing, including chat platforms, documentation systems, and project management tools.
  • Conduct regular meetings to discuss ongoing projects, security updates, and any emerging threats. These meetings provide a forum for teams to openly share insights and concerns.
  • Maintain comprehensive and accessible documentation that includes security policies, procedures, and incident response plans.


  • Transparent information sharing helps teams to respond rapidly to security incidents to minimize the impact on operations.
  • Teams can learn from each other's experiences, which promotes a culture of continuous improvement and knowledge transfer.
  • Increased visibility into security processes allows for better risk assessment and mitigation strategies.

Best practices for DevSecOps in hybrid and multi-cloud

In a hybrid and multi-cloud landscape, organizations with a mix of on-premises infrastructure and multiple cloud providers need robust security measures. DevSecOps makes sure that the security of applications and data across these complex environments is maintained. Let's take a look at the best practices to make use of DevSecOps in a hybrid and multi-cloud setting:

Implement strong access controls

  • Principle of least privilege: Adhere to the principle of least privilege by granting individuals and systems the minimum level of access necessary to perform their roles to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access and reduce the potential impact of security incidents.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Implement MFA across all access points to add an extra layer of security. This is particularly important in hybrid and multi-cloud environments where a compromise in one area could potentially lead to broader access.
  • Centralized identity management: Use centralized identity management solutions to streamline user access across different cloud platforms to ensure consistency and simplify the process of revoking or updating access privileges.

Data encryption and protection

  • End-to-end encryption: Implement end-to-end encryption for data both in transit and at rest. This is especially crucial in multi-cloud environments where data transits various networks and storage systems.
  • Key management: Use robust key management practices to safeguard encryption keys. Centralized key management solutions can enhance security and simplify the management of cryptographic keys across diverse cloud platforms.
  • Data classification and handling: Classify data based on sensitivity and implement appropriate protection measures accordingly, including encryption, access controls, and monitoring to prevent unauthorized access or data leakage.

Secure DevOps toolchain

  • Code repository security: Ensure the security of code repositories by implementing access controls, monitoring for unusual activities, and regularly scanning code for vulnerabilities.
  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) security: Integrate security checks into the CI/CD pipeline to identify and address vulnerabilities early in the development process. 
  • Container security: If you're using containers, implement container security best practices, including scanning container images for vulnerabilities, securing container orchestration platforms, and ensuring the principle of least privilege for containerized applications.

Regular security testing and audits

  • Automated security testing: Enforce automated security testing tools that regularly scan code, dependencies, and configurations for vulnerabilities for early identification and remediation of security issues.
  • Penetration testing: Regular penetration testing simulates real-world attacks and identifies potential weaknesses in the system to help organizations stay ahead of evolving security threats.
  • Continuous monitoring: Establish continuous monitoring practices to detect anomalies and potential security incidents, including monitoring logs, network traffic, and system behavior to identify and respond to security events promptly.

Incident response and recovery plans

  • Develop comprehensive incident response plans: Create and regularly update incident response plans tailored to the specifics of a hybrid and multi-cloud environment. Clearly define roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and steps for containment, eradication, and recovery.
  • Tabletop exercises: Conduct tabletop exercises to test the effectiveness of incident response plans. These simulated scenarios help teams practice coordination and communication in the event of a security incident.
  • Backup and recovery: Implement robust backup and recovery strategies for data and applications across different cloud platforms. Regularly test the restoration process to ensure data integrity and availability during critical situations.

Inside the Team

The success of a DevSecOps team depends on its ability to continuously enhance skills, encourage collaboration, and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. Here are some vital components in cultivating a culture of innovation, learning, and excellence:

Boot Camp

A DevSecOps boot camp is more than just a training program; it is an experience designed to immerse team members in the latest tools, practices, and methodologies. This intensive training equips team members with hands-on experience that fosters a deep understanding of DevSecOps principles. Boot Camps not only serve as a platform for skill development but also cultivate a shared language and mindset within the team to enhance collaboration and efficiency in implementing security measures.

Brainstorming session for automation in DevSecOps

Regular brainstorming sessions dedicated to automation in DevSecOps provide the team with a forum to conceive ideas, share insights, and explore new avenues for improving security processes. These sessions encourage creativity and collaboration that allow team members to collectively address challenges, identify automation opportunities, and stay ahead of emerging threats. The result is a team that is not only adept at implementing current best practices but is also forward-thinking in its approach to security.

Conducting small challenges in DevSecOps best practices and automation

Small challenges, framed as targeted exercises or competitions, serve as a powerful mechanism for reinforcing DevSecOps best practices and automation skills. These challenges can range from identifying and mitigating specific security vulnerabilities to optimizing automated testing processes. By creating a competitive yet collaborative environment, small challenges motivate team members to continually refine their skills, explore innovative solutions, and share insights with their peers. 

DevSecOps in the hybrid and multi-cloud era with AppSecEngineer

The adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud environments is becoming the norm, and the role of DevSecOps in boosting security has never been more crucial. AppSecEngineer recognizes the unique challenges posed by this complex ecosystem, and our mission is to empower your teams with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the intersection of DevSecOps and hybrid and multi-cloud security.

With our DevSecOps learning path, you'll learn about:

  • analyzing an application’s static or dynamic security posture, and being proficient in AppSec automation
  • performing comprehensive security tests on an application’s source code (SAST) while running (DAST) and its open-source components
  • setting up a security automation pipeline with Continuous Integration (CI) as the app undergoes development

and more! Let's build a DevSecOps culture that not only meets but exceeds the demands of a hybrid and multi-cloud model.

Source for article
Vishnu Prasad K

Vishnu Prasad K

Vishnu Prasad is a DevSecOps Lead at we45. A DevSecOps and Security Automation wizard, he has implemented security in DevOps for numerous Fortune 500 companies. Vishnu has experience in Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery across various verticals, using tools like Jenkins, Selenium, Docker, and other DevOps tools. His role sees him automating SAST, DAST, and SCA security tools at every phase of the build pipeline. He commands knowledge of every major security tool out there, including ZAP, Burp, Findsecbugs, and npm audit, among many others. He's a tireless innovator, having Dockerized his entire security automation process for cross-platform support to build pipelines seamlessly. When AFK, he is either pouring over Investment journals or in the swimming pool.

Vishnu Prasad K


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