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DevSecOps Tools: 11 Open-Source Tools By Use Case

Read on for a roundup of top open-source tools that are game-changers when it comes to securing your development and operations pipeline.

Wiz Experts Team
9 minutes read

DevSecOps: A refresher

DevSecOps stands for development, security, and operations. It's a collaborative approach to software development that integrates security considerations throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC), from ideation to deployment and beyond. This means security isn't just an afterthought bolted on at the end, but is woven into the fabric of the development process right from the start.

The ultimate goal of DevSecOps is to deliver secure software faster. This isn't just about ticking a security checkbox; it's about building software that is inherently resilient to threats and can withstand real-world attacks. By integrating security into every stage of the SDLC, DevSecOps helps to:

  • Prevent vulnerabilities: Early identification and patching of vulnerabilities reduces the risk of exploits and breaches.

  • Improve software quality: Secure software is more reliable and trustworthy, leading to fewer bugs and downtime.

  • Increase efficiency: Automating security tasks and tests streamlines the development process and saves time.

  • Reduce costs: Proactive security measures are cheaper than dealing with the aftermath of a security incident.

Current trends in DevSecOps

Now let’s turn our attention to four popular DevSecOps principles. 

1. The shift-left security approach

The shift-left security approach is a prominent trend in DevSecOps, emphasizing the integration of security practices early in the development process. By moving security measures closer to the beginning of the software development life cycle, organizations can proactively identify and mitigate vulnerabilities, reducing the likelihood of security issues surfacing later in the pipeline. Shifting left also aligns security objectives with business goals, giving you peace of mind that the final product is not only functional but also robust and resistant to potential cyber threats.

2. Policy as code and automated compliance

Policy as code (PaC) is gaining momentum as organizations seek efficient ways to manage and enforce security policies. This trend involves representing security policies in code, allowing for automated testing and enforcement. By incorporating automated compliance tools into the DevSecOps pipeline, organizations can be sure that applications adhere to predefined security policies, improving consistency and reducing manual efforts in compliance management.

3. AI and machine learning for security

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are increasingly utilized in DevSecOps for threat detection, anomaly analysis, and automated response. These technologies enhance your ability to identify patterns indicative of security threats, enabling faster and more accurate responses to potential risks. Integrating AI and ML into security processes contributes to the overall resilience of applications and infrastructure.

4. Emphasizing developer security training

Recognizing the pivotal role developers play in the security of applications, there’s a growing emphasis on comprehensive security training for developers. DevSecOps encourages an organizational culture that prioritizes security, and businesses are investing in training programs to be sure that developers gain the necessary knowledge and skills to write code with a strong focus on security. This trend helps ingrain security in developers’ minds from the outset.

Top open-source DevSecOps tools

Read on for a roundup of top open-source tools that are game-changers when it comes to securing your development and operations pipeline. Because there are many different types of DevSecOps tools—from vulnerability scanning to automated runtime security—there’s something for everyone who’s working toward a more secure and streamlined DevSecOps journey.

Infrastructure as code scanning

Infrastructure as code (IaC) scanning is a proactive security practice that involves the systematic analysis of code written for provisioning and managing IT infrastructure. This process scrutinizes infrastructure-as-code scripts and configurations to identify security vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and compliance issues. 

IaC scanning aligns seamlessly with the shift-left methodology, emphasizing the integration of security practices as early as possible in the development process. Let’s look at two IaC scanning tools:

1. Checkov

Checkov is a dynamic tool that goes beyond static code analysis, functioning as both an infrastructure as code (IaC) scrutinizer and a software composition analysis (SCA) tool for images and open-source packages.

Checkov's versatility extends to scanning a spectrum of cloud infrastructure provisions, including Terraform, CloudFormation, AWS SAM, Kubernetes, Helm charts, Kustomize, Dockerfile, serverless, Bicep, OpenAPI, and ARM Templates. Its strength lies in detecting security and compliance misconfigurations through graph-based scanning, offering a comprehensive approach to safeguarding cloud deployments.

In addition to IaC scrutiny, Checkov excels at software composition analysis (SCA), conducting thorough scans of open-source packages and images to unveil Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs).

Checkov drives Prisma Cloud Application Security, a developer-centric platform that revolutionizes cloud security throughout the development life cycle. This dynamic collaboration ensures the identification, remediation, and prevention of misconfigurations in both cloud resources and IaC files.

2. Terrascan

Terrascan is an open-source, static code analysis tool tailored for IaC configurations and tools like Terraform, delivering a robust approach to identifying security vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and best-practice violations in IaC scripts.

Operating under the paradigm of policy as code, Terrascan allows users to define and enforce security and compliance policies directly within their IaC codebase, ensuring consistent adherence to organizational standards. With an extensive rule library covering myriad security best practices and compliance standards, users can effortlessly customize or expand these rules to suit their specific requirements. 

Terrascan provides multi-cloud support, offering analysis capabilities for Terraform code across many cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Integration into continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines is seamless, enabling automated scans within the development workflow to catch issues early. Building on this flexibility, Terrascan's command-line interface (CLI) makes it easily accessible to developers and DevOps teams, delivering JSON and JUnit outputs for streamlined integration with reporting and analysis tools.

Conveniently, you can run Terrascan in your browser.

Dependency scanning

Dependency scanning involves a thorough analysis of external dependencies, such as libraries and frameworks, to identify potential vulnerabilities. This proactive process assesses risk factors, generates detailed reports, and integrates easily into the development workflow, aligning with DevSecOps principles. By addressing security issues early, dependency scanning enhances the overall security posture of software. Let’s look at two dependency scanning tools.

1. Dependency-Check

Dependency-Check is a strong software analysis tool that digs into a project's dependencies to find publicly known vulnerabilities. It does this by detecting Common Platform Enumeration (CPE) identifiers associated with the dependencies. Upon discovery, Dependency-Check generates a comprehensive report, linking to the associated Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) entries to provide a detailed overview of potential security risks.

2. Vuls

Vuls, an open-source security tool developed in Go, stands out for its focus on scanning and identifying vulnerabilities in Linux systems. Utilizing an extensive vulnerability database, including sources like the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), Vuls excels at pinpointing known vulnerabilities. It offers support for various Linux distributions and extends its capabilities to assess vulnerabilities in container images. 

Vuls also integrates seamlessly with other security tools and platforms, enhancing its versatility and adaptability. Designed for regular automated scans, Vuls ensures systems remain up to date with the latest security patches in order to provide organizations with timely insights into potential risks. Its detailed reports offer comprehensive information on identified vulnerabilities, including severity levels and recommended remediation actions.

Container scanning and vulnerability management

Container scanning involves the systematic analysis of container images to identify and assess potential security risks, vulnerabilities, and compliance issues. Crucial for ensuring the integrity and security of containerized applications from the early stages of development through deployment, container scanners can include vulnerability detection, configuration checks, base image security, and integration with CI/CD.

Here are three well-known open-source projects for container scanning:

1. Grype

Grype is a container image and filesystem vulnerability scanning tool developed by Anchore that’s seamlessly compatible with Syft (which we’ll discuss later). 

Leverage Grype to uncover known vulnerabilities by scanning the contents of container images and filesystems. You can also use Grype to identify vulnerabilities in prominent operating system packages and language-specific dependencies. Plus, Grype can take advantage of OpenVEX support for refining and enhancing scanning outcomes. Extending support to Docker, OCI, and Singularity image formats, Grype offers flexibility across diverse container environments.

2. Clair

Clair is a vulnerability analysis tool for containerized applications. Clair is a go-to for parsing image contents and flagging any vulnerabilities, all done through static analysis. You can refer to Clair’s documentation to learn its ins and outs.

3. Trivy

Developed by Aqua Security, Trivy is an open-source vulnerability scanner designed for container images that also supports the scanning of remote Git repositories, virtual machine images, Kubernetes, and filesystems.

Trivy's scanning features uncover a range of insights, including the identification of OS packages and software dependencies in use, detection of known vulnerabilities (CVEs), analysis of infrastructure as code (IaC) issues and misconfigurations, identification of sensitive information and secrets, and an analysis of software licenses. In essence, Trivy is a versatile tool for diverse environments.

Kubernetes and container runtime security

Securing Kubernetes and container runtimes keeps your containerized apps safe. Security strategies involve setting up defenses in Kubernetes and the runtime environment to ward off potential threats and vulnerabilities. This includes controlling access, securing configurations, and staying vigilant for anything out of the ordinary. Let’s look at two well-known open-source projects to secure Kubernetes and container runtime:

1. Falco

Falco is a cutting-edge cloud-native runtime security solution tailored for Linux operating systems that scans for abnormal behavior and instantaneously identifies security threats. 

Setting it apart is Falco's seamless integration with eBPF, which enhances its capability to observe and analyze events, including syscalls, with precision and efficiency.

At its core, Falco is an efficient kernel monitoring and detection agent, relying on rules you customize to observe events. Falco enriches these events by integrating metadata from the container runtime and Kubernetes, and this wealth of collected events can be scrutinized off-host (think SIEM or data lake systems) for comprehensive analysis.

2. Tetragon

Crafted by Cilium and powered by eBPF technology, Tetragon offers real-time security observability and runtime enforcement capabilities.

Tetragon identifies and responds to security-significant events, covering a spectrum from process execution to system call and I/O operations, including network and file access. In the Kubernetes environment, Tetragon allows precise configuration of security-event detection tailored to individual workloads. 

It excels at process life cycle observability, defaulting to process_exec and process_exit events to provide comprehensive insights into the full process life cycle. Additionally, Tetragon features robust generic tracing capabilities. It generates process_kprobe, process_tracepoint, and process_uprobe events, catering to advanced and custom use cases. 

Software supply chain

The software supply chain spans development, testing, integration, packaging, distribution, deployment, and ongoing maintenance. At each stage, DevSecOps practices are crucial to ensure security and prevent vulnerabilities.

A software bill of materials (SBOM) is a key way to fortify security because it provides a comprehensive list of components and dependencies within your software. This end-to-end approach ensures the software remains current, reliable, and secure throughout its life cycle. Let’s look at two software supply chain tools.

1. cosign

cosign enhances container security by facilitating content signing for images. As part of the sigstore initiative, cosign is backed by an active community.

Employing digital signatures, cosign integrates into various workflows and supports compatibility with OCI and Docker image formats. 

Beyond allowing developers to sign and verify images effortlessly, the tool's versatility extends to key management, ensuring the cryptographic keys used in the signing process are appropriately handled. Additionally, cosign allows users to rotate cryptographic keys to further enhance security.

2. Syft

Like Grype, Syft is another robust CLI tool and Go library developed by Anchore. Syft excels at generating software bills of materials (SBOMs) from container images and filesystems, and it’s especially adept at vulnerability detection when integrated with advanced scanners like Grype. 

Syft is able to navigate OCI, Docker, and Singularity image formats, while its Linux distribution identification adds a layer of insight into the software composition.

Syft boosts trust by making signed SBOM attestations that match the in-toto spec. Plus, it smoothly switches between SBOM formats like CycloneDX, SPDX, and its own Syft format, showing how versatile it is.

Wiz's approach to DevSecOps

Wiz is a cloud security platform that helps organizations secure their infrastructure, applications, and data in the cloud. Here's how Wiz aligns with DevSecOps principles and serves as a valuable tool for integrating security into development and operations:

Shifting Security Left:

  • Early Detection in CI/CD Pipelines: Wiz integrates into CI/CD pipelines to scan infrastructure as code (IaC), container images, and VM images for vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and secrets before deployment. This helps catch issues early and prevent them from reaching production environments

  • Unified View from Development to Runtime: Wiz provides a single platform that gives visibility into security risks across the entire development lifecycle, from code to cloud. This enables teams to identify and address issues as they arise, rather than waiting until after deployment

  • Developer-Centric Insights: Wiz provides actionable security insights directly to developers, empowering them to make security-conscious decisions during development. This helps embed security into the development process and reduce the reliance on separate security teams

Breaking Down Silos:

  • Unified Platform for Dev and Security: Wiz serves as a common platform for both development and security teams, fostering collaboration and communication. This helps break down traditional silos and streamline security processes

  • Simplified Operations: Wiz's agentless architecture and intuitive interface make it easy to deploy and manage, reducing the burden on security teams and enabling faster remediation

Key DevSecOps Features:

  • IaC Scanning: Detects vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and secrets in Terraform, CloudFormation, and other IaC templates

  • Container and VM Image Scanning: Identifies risks in container images and VM images before deployment

  • Runtime Visibility and Protection: Continuously monitors cloud environments for threats and anomalous activity

  • Compliance and Regulatory Assessments: Assists with compliance with industry standards and regulations

  • Policy Enforcement: Enables the creation and enforcement of security policies across the development lifecycle

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