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Three in four IT leaders say COVID-19 is accelerating initiatives to secure software development process

New survey sponsored by Micro Focus underpins the importance of continuous security and automated testing throughout the software development cycle 

Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO; NYSE: MFGP) has released DevSecOps: A framework for digital innovation, an IDC InfoBrief featuring findings from the IDC Asia Pacific 2020 DevSecOps Survey. The survey reveals that the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has driven the demand for secure software development initiatives, according to 74 per cent of the respondents in Asia Pacific (APAC). The rise of DevSecOps comes at a time when IT leaders are faced with an increasingly active cyberthreat landscape, coupled with higher consumer expectations of digital offerings and application usage due to a sharp increase in online activities. However, a majority of APAC organisations are not equipped to tackle the issue at hand, with 55 per cent of the respondents ranking modest to low in terms of their DevSecOps maturity levels.     

Surveying close to 1,200 enterprise leaders across 14 APAC regions, the study looked at the state of organisational DevSecOps maturity, as well as DevSecOps activities, plans, challenges and processes. DevSecOps refers to a set of practices that add security to the software development supply chain from the planning stage to deployment, delivery and beyond. IDC’s survey found that while there is awareness of the benefits of engaging in DevSecOps practices amongst IT leaders, many obstacles remain on the path to the full adoption.  

Today’s businesses recognise that efficient software development, security threats, and business agility as the top drivers of DevSecOps initiatives in APAC. But on a regional scale, only four in ten APAC leaders say they have united their DevOps and security teams to improve software development. 

Stephen McNulty, president of Micro Focus Asia Pacific and Japan, said, “Moving new digital initiatives forward quickly, especially to optimise the online experience for consumers and employees who are increasingly interacting with organisations virtually today, calls for secure and efficient software development processes. This is a defining period for relationship and digital trust building, which means organisations will need to quickly speed up DevSecOps adoption through continuous and automated security testing to effectively respond to their stakeholders’ digital needs.” 

Today, an organisation’s DevSecOps maturity level is intricately linked to its people, processes and tools—looking at stakeholder buy-in, approach to secure DevOps, and the technology used in testing and automating processes. Findings from the study reveal that the top obstacles to DevSecOps adoption are spread across the following three pillars: budget issues (15 per cent), dearth of talent or skills (13 per cent) and difficulty automating across hybrid infrastructures (13 per cent). 

Overcoming these obstacles is a priority for APAC organisations as the need for software-powered innovation rises, which translates to a greater scrutiny on application digital risks. The notion of late-stage security testing in software development is proving to be outdated in the context of today’s digital economy, where secure applications, services and platforms are the cornerstone of digital innovation. 

Amongst APAC organisation, DevOps teams are still primarily responsible for application security testing, followed by security teams. The most common security tools currently in use are software composition analysis (24 per cent), followed by interactive application security testing (19 per cent) and static application security testing (18 per cent). 

Stephen McNulty said, “The most holistic approach to DevSecOps that will play a key role in increasing organisations’ maturity level involves making security an integral part of every software development project, striving for 100 per cent automated testing, and continuously analysing application performance for potential gaps.”  

Micro Focus Fortify helps organisations jumpstart and accelerate DevSecOps adoption by integrating and automating with existing tools, frameworks and technologies within the CI/CD processes. Fortify continues its drive towards more support of modern applications with container scanning, additional language support, API scanning, and deeper CI/CD integration, allowing DevSecOps teams to further automate and scale to build secure software fast.  

Gina Smith, IDC Asia/Pacific’s DevOps Research lead, said, “The pressure to fully embed security into the continuous delivery pipeline signals a major shift towards a stronger DevSecOps culture, characterised by the abandonment of siloed functional teams in favour of shared responsibilities between developers and security experts. This is a strong step in the right direction for organisations looking to adopt an end-to-end security approach and build better digital capabilities.”        

More information 

The full IDC InfoBrief, DevSecOps: A framework for digital innovation, is available today.  

Methodology 

IDC surveyed 1,178 enterprise leaders in 14 Asia/Pacific regions—India, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Japan and Korea—about their DevSecOps activities, plans, challenges, and processes. 

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About Micro Focus 

Micro Focus delivers enterprise software to empower our 40,000 customers worldwide to digitally transform. With a broad portfolio, underpinned by a robust analytics ecosystem, the company enables customers to address the four core pillars of digital transformation: Enterprise DevOpsHybrid IT ManagementPredictive Analytics and Security, Risk & Governance.  By design, these tools bridge the gap between existing and emerging technologies so customers can run and transform at the same time. 

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