How to Secure your Products with DevSecOps and Beyond in 2021?

IT Security was always a significant concern in the tech environment. Security breaches during the pandemic have brought securing tech products to the top of the priority list.

What are the top trends defining Software Product Security?

  • Building Security into the Development Ecosystem from the Beginning

This ensures that during the entire development process, security remains a core concern. Integration of data protection mechanisms from the initial stages is made mandatory by the Data Protection Regulation in Europe. Experts are considering similar measures for Asia and North America as well.

  • DevOps is now DevSecOps.

DevSecOps is the term given to the attitude, processes, technology, and operations during the development of an app, tool, or software. It aims at building security into the development from the very beginning. So the Development, Security, and Operations teams work in tandem all through the product development cycle. 

What’s the DevSecOps Workflow?

  • The code written by one developer is checked for possible security-related weaknesses and issues by another coder.
  • The application is brought into play with Infrastructure-as-Code tools.
  • Security configurations are activated into the Control Management System.
  • The application is tested through the Testing Automation. This includes all aspects such as UI, Back-end, separate security tests, API, and overall integration.
  • If the application clears all the testing procedures, it is progressed to the production stage.
  • Intense monitoring comes into play to check operational security risks.

Tools for DevSecOps 

The top tools for managing DevSecOps during the CI/CD are the following:

  • Static Application Security Testing Tools
    These tools check the code for problems that may lead to security risks in the future. They are used up to the development phase.

Examples: GitLab, HCL AppScan, Coverity, CodeScan, etc.

  • Software Composition Analysis Tools

They are employed for finding weaknesses in the third-party and open-source components. Covering the license risks as well for timely identification and solution is essential for them. Accelerating the DevSecOps process is their concern.

Examples: WhiteSource, FlexNet Code Insight, Black Duck, JFrog Xray, etc.

  • Interactive Application Security Testing Tools

They are deployed to monitor and analyze the behavior of the application during the run-time. By identifying the run-time level susceptibilities, it allows the developers to find the flaws in the code. The coders can then address the issues in the code to strengthen the security.

Examples: Parasoft, Veracode, Checkmarx, SonarQube, etc.

  • Dynamic Application Security Testing Tools

They are designed to carry out simulation exercises to protect the product from hackers. They work through the network and do not require code access.

Examples: Appknox, Netsparker, GitLab, HCL AppScan, etc.

  • Security Reassessment at each Stage

The strong beginning requires sustenance. At each stage of development, the risks are weighed for the necessary immediate steps. Each stage of development is often broken into smaller stages for denser, more in-depth, and detailed checks.

  • Innovation and Improvements in the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)

The SDL is now emphasizing on:

  • Continuous upgrading of the skills of coders with the protection of code in the center.
  • Ensuring that all teams and each member are at the same level of security training and awareness.
  • Regulatory requirements are no more considered frictional to development but as a firm foundation for smoother progress.

What are the crucial Product Security Practices for 2021? 

  1. Segmentation

Segmentation has to do with data, storage, and capabilities. By clearly segmenting, the team can ensure that the data is managed appropriately. In case of unwanted access, it would be easier to carry out security checks and measures. For storage, determining the right choices between physical or cloud storage is essential. Finally, segmentation in capabilities ensures a faster development pace and easier optimization. Overall, it’s about the better organization of the most fundamental aspects.

  1. Automation

Automation can tackle many of the expected threats. So can the various probable ones. Automation can be attached to the auto-remedy tasks. It requires analysis of firewalls and security configurations. It saves the experts’ energy and time, which they can devote to novel security threats and strategic measures.

  1. Ensuring Security from Design and Architecture Perspective 

Threat modeling at the initial stage of designing will save a lot of time and effort in the later stages. It will alert the team to attacks. When they know about such threats in the back of their minds, the alertness will improve. Design documents will draw the boundaries for development level updates to avoid errors mid-way on the development course. Third-party component tracking is crucial in figuring out weaker components and fixing them promptly.

  1. Sustained Patching 

Continuous patching ensures that your product does not suffer because of old software. With about 80% of the components being open-source, security and licensing risks increase. Maintaining elaborate version details and not missing the latest patches enhances product security.

  1. Least Privilege Principle 

This means granting only the necessary and minimum privileges to systems and users. Conscious or inadvertent compromises to security are thwarted by ensuring the least privilege. Timely canceling the accesses no longer needed and changing the access level according to the duty change is essential.

  1. Mapping the Data Processing

Data processing map helps in determining the types of data the product will deal with. It also outlines the use of each type of data and the processes it will involve into. When an elaborate data plan is created in advance, the security team can prepare security controls in advance. It also helps allocate data to appropriate systems, define privileges, and control and process sensitive and personal data.

  1. Greater Encryption

Well, there’s a lot of talk about the end of encryption with the coming of Quantum Computing. However, the Tech giants investing billions into Quantum Computing have already ensured that its uses will be constructive. So there’s no reason for losing interest in encryption. No point in taking FIPS 140-2 lightly. It would be better to take the Application-level encryption a notch higher. 

  1. Securing All Storage Systems

Keep all the bases covered. There’s no point in believing that if strong security measures are implemented for the internal storage, then networks and OS can be ignored. Strengthening critical storage is the key to securing the product.

  1. Dynamic Testing

Dynamic testing does not just have to do with continuous and variegated testing to check risks. It’s also about constructing scenarios and conducting simulation exercises. Companies have hired expert hackers to help their teams with the process. They can find ever ingenious ways of causing trouble and breaching the security of the product. This is an innovative way of testing the team’s imagination and intelligence. Mature teams can rely upon the updates of latest forms and modes of threats and test the product more often and from different angles.

  1. Quicker Incident Response Planning

Incident response is rooted in threat modeling. However, it has to look beyond that too. It cannot be caught in a frozen mold. Prompt action against potential breaches can be laid out in steps. What’s more important is the right anticipation of the threat that’s not been planned for or remains unseen. 

Swift planning and execution at the moment of attack is the challenge that tech product security experts will have to take up. These are the ten effective practices that will remain central to securing products in their development and performance phases. However, securing products is not just about putting the right systems, procedures, and practices in place. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com. Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

How Cloud Applications Can Help Bring Mobility and Agility

“Cloud hosting” is no more a buzzword or a passing trend. It’s truly come of age, with Gartner predicting the public cloud market to grow by 6.3% in 2020. But why this sudden craze for cloud hosting, have you wondered?

It’s quite understandable. Cloud hosting provides agility and mobility to businesses. It enables companies to adapt and respond faster to evolving market conditions and customer behaviors. By harnessing cloud-power, businesses can gain a competitive advantage, which is so essential today.

Apart from that, here are the main advantages of being an “agile” business:

  • Revenue grows faster
  • Business costs reduce
  • Reputation management becomes effective

In this post, we will discuss why businesses need to be “agile” and how the cloud helps them to ace this area.

Top Ways How Cloud Applications Make Businesses Agile?

Take a look at the main benefits of cloud applications to businesses.

  1. They Facilitate Easy Scale-Up and Down

There are times when your business may need to scale operations and resources on-demand. By hosting your software on the cloud, you ensure that you are paying only for the resources that you are actually utilizing. In this way, cloud apps minimize wastage and overheads in a big way.

On the other hand, if you maintain huge infrastructures on-premise, there arises a problem of redundancy when you have to scale down operations. You not only lock a lot of capital in procuring extra resources that are no more productive but also incur maintenance costs to keep them running.

  1. They Make Business Data Available Anywhere, Any Time

With the cloud housing all your business data, your teams can work remotely from any location. Internal and external collaboration on projects is possible when data is decentralized as with cloud applications.

Your time-sensitive work can go on uninterrupted since all related information is available in the cloud. Inter-departmental projects can run seamlessly if project managers configure data-access permissions correctly.

Compare this with in-house data hosting. A lot of additional work and time gets wasted in getting access to siloed data. Plus, changes and updates done to data do not get reflected instantly and universally, which can be a problem, especially for projects spread across different departments or time zones.

  1. They Ease Testing and Updation

Updating systems becomes easier with cloud applications. This is especially true for managed cloud services. When a cloud service provider looks after the updation part of your business, your teams are free to invest their time and expertise in productive tasks. This improves the overall productivity of your business.

Testing is also a breeze when it comes to cloud applications. First, you can reduce capital expenditure (CAPEX) since you don’t have to buy or maintain costly testing equipment. Second, tested solutions can be quickly deployed since the cloud manages them. Last, your entire testing environment becomes more responsive and cost-efficient.

  1. They Reduce Complexity of Business

In a survey of business executives, 66% of respondents said that cloud applications reduce business complexity. But how does that exactly happen? Cloud makes your business processes simple, improves the distribution of resources, facilitates collaboration between teams, speeds up rollouts of complex business processes, and boosts the ability to access and share business data.

  1. They Optimize IT Budgets

Since cloud applications run on the pay-per-resource model, they are more economical for budgeted organizations. You can control capital expenditures on resources and limit usage to stay within your set budget.

Plus, you can easily allocate budget for resource expenditures and do financial planning more efficiently. In this way, you can keep a margin for unexpected expenditures and avoid cash crunch.

  1. They Help in Long-Term Strategizing

IT teams are not burdened with maintaining resources and infrastructure. They have the bandwidth to devote energy to customer communications and business planning. In this way, you can meet organizational goals more efficiently.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the cloud boosts business agility and mobility in many ways. That’s why many businesses are moving their operations from on-premise to in-cloud. By doing this, they gain a competitive edge, reduce capital investment, allow teams to collaborate better, facilitate proactive decision making, and plan business processes with ease.

Are you thinking about migrating to the cloud as well? If you need assistance or guidance for the big move, feel free to reach out through the comments section. We are always happy to help our readers. Rest, watch this space for more ground-breaking posts on cloud computing and other IT aspects.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

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Top 8 Best Practices to Architect a serverless web application

Serverless computing has been gaining momentum ever since it came into limelight in 2015. It’s a native architecture of the cloud which enables users to create, deploy and run an application without thinking of its server. Serverless, in fact, allows users and developers to shift more the operational capacity, increase agility and innovation. 

In short, you get limitless computational power with no infrastructure management tasks such as zero maintenance, cluster provisioning, capacity provisioning, etc. 

Why Serverless

Serverless is the need of time. As technology advances, you need to come up with more enhanced web applications with more power and agility which may not be possible traditionally. And, even if it is possible, you need to spend a lot of effort such as building perfect infrastructure, human resources, time and cost. Serverless helps you remain focused on your core products while leaving all other responsibilities upon the serverless provider. All you need a serverless web application and you pay no heed towards its maintenance, scaling up, agility or anything else. You have immense benefits from having a serverless application. 

So, in this article, we shall be discussing the best practices of a serverless web application that every Serverless Architect should know. 

Even though there are plenty of tech giants offering serverless services including AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure, and Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform, but we have taken the example of AWS to make it more comprehensive. So, here we go;

  1. The Serverless Function Requires VPC-Enable for Better Security

We have taken an example of Lambda as most of us use AWS Lambdas as an event-driven, serverless computing platform. So, it is important to have VPC-enable functions of Lambda operate from VPC which is owned by AWS. Enabling this, you get complete ability to have your function make a network request to any address. 

Lambda is not directly accessible to the public, but with the support of AWS APIs Getaway, we can make accessible for the public. So, be it accessing AWS APIs or interacting with AWS DyanamoDB APIs, you can easily do it after enabling the function for VPC access. So, having have your function VPC-enabled, the Subnet will manage all your traffic using its routing rules. 

  1. Creating Event-Driven Architectures

When it comes to creating event-driven architectures, it is important to know the mechanisms and how to enable asynchronous messaging pattern. It applies in both creating a simple queuing and message buffering and choreography pattern that is more intricate even-based. To enable this, you need to use queues or streams.

Queuing is also used for intrapersonal communication. That means when you want to initiate communication between one Lambda function another, then Queuing can be the best for you. 

  1. How to Implement and Orchestrate in a Distributed, Microservices Environment

You need to implement coordinated transactions using coordinated sequenced invocations across services in distributed architectures. The implementation also allows rollback and retry mechanisms put in place. That is quite different from the traditional database-based ACID transactions. 

When you need significant orchestration logic and looking to utilize more of the orchestrator pattern, not the choreography pattern, then the serverless technology lie AWS Step Functions enables you to create highly qualified and complex workflows with its various AWS services that also includes AWS Lambda. 

  1. Understanding AWS Lambda Computing Environment

It is important to understand AWS Lambda and programming model. You need to learn how to utilize Lambda in terms of performance and cost optimization. You learn this using the tutorial provided for AWS Lambda as “Lambda Under the Hood”, “Lambda Layers, the Runtime API, and Nested Applications” and “Optimizing Serverless Applications”. 

  1. Serverless Deployment Automation

When it comes to a larger number of microservices and smaller components, integrating automation and code management into your application is critical. Given the fact that early integration will efficiently create, deploy and implement the serverless architectures. Importantly, when you use AWS, you get a wide range of first-party deployment tools and frameworks to properly architect your serverless web application. The tools and frameworks you can utilize from AWS include the AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM), the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), AWS Amplify, and AWS Chalice.

Besides, there are various third-party tools and frameworks available to make the deployment of serverless web application easy, they include, Serverless Framework, Claudia.js, Sparta, or Zappa. You are free to create your custom-built framework, though you need to ensure that things such as automation strategy works as per use case, team and workflows. 

  1. Identity Management, Authentication, and Authorization 

When it comes to creating a serverless web application, a developer requires planning things such as integrating identity management, building enhanced authorization and authentication functionalities in advance. The utilization of Amazon Cognito enables a developer to deploy these things directly into the serverless web applications. At the same time, when using Amazon API Gateway, the developers can manage things like authorization logic and permit requests straightforwardly. That means you manage the authorization logic at the gateway layer which protects your native authorization being exposed. 

  1. Learning End-to-End Security Techniques 

Apart from knowing identity management, authorization and authentication, there are some more important security measures you can learn to create a highly secure serverless web application. Here are some of the top list of things you can consider;

  • Concerns regarding regulatory compliance
  • Ways to validate input and request
  • Metering & Throttling Access to tracking bandwidth and accessing use control based on rules
  • Securing storage and retrieving data as needed
  • IAM execution roles and implementing invocation policies 
  • And, others

You can learn all these things from the AWS tutorial page while creating the application. 

  1. Considering Packages Size and Dependencies 

You must take care of package size as having a larger deployment package will slow down the function of the application. Therefore, you are advised to remove all the unnecessary items including documentation and libraries. You can use AWS SDK which enables Java function users to bundle the modules which needed from the SDK. 

Let’s take a look at the example of how using Java Function with AWS SDK create an excellent package;

<dependency>

    <groupId>software.amazon.awssdk</groupId>

    <artifactId>dynamodb</artifactId>

    <version>2.6.0</version>

</dependency>

Here, only the required modules have been used

In case, you are not using Java Function with AWS SDK, you end up creating a larger package with the entire SDK with lots of unnecessary modules. Here’s how it happens;

<!– https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/software.amazon.awssdk/aws-sdk-java –>

<dependency>

    <groupId>software.amazon.awssdk</groupId>

    <artifactId>aws-sdk-java</artifactId>

    <version>2.6.0</version>

</dependency>

Final Thoughts

When it comes to creating a serverless web application, you have plenty of things to learn. Serverless technology is the need of time as people need more services, support and assistance from technology at the minimum costs. Serverless is the way to cut costs significantly and reward the business with limitless scaling options. Stay tuned for more such information. 

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

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How to Select the Right Serverless Architecture: A Quick Comparison?

Businesses are benefiting from serverless architecture. They pay only for the services they use and get greater agility in return. Operational costs get lowered and developers can code uninhibitedly without worrying about hardware resource allocation. 

The biggest factor that works in favor of serverless architecture is the freedom to scale up and down as desired.  All these pros make a strong business case for companies that are planning to shift their selected workloads to the serverless model.

If you have already migrated to this disruptive technology or are planning on doing so shortly, these battle-tested tips and hacks can help you greatly. Using these suggestions, you can find the right serverless architecture provider for your business and then chalk out a working model that gives you the best returns.

Right Serverless Architecture

Which is the Best Serverless Provider for Me?

Your serverless provider will have long-term implications on your operations. The wrong selection can result in unimaginable loss in data, privacy, functionalities, and productivity.

There are many cloud computing providers who can help you set up your serverless architecture. But three platforms are undisputed leaders in the Function-as-a-service (FaaS) application model. They are:

  1. AWS
  2. Microsoft Azure
  3. Google Cloud

Let us compare their salient features so that you can make an informed decision for your business.

Features to select serverless architecture

Parameter #1:  Language Support & Deployment Options

AWS Lambda being the pioneer in serverless architecture finds widespread language support and deployment options. JavaScript, Node.js, Python, Java and C# give native support to AWS. It has a wide variety of runtime environments and is a versatile option for developers. Its API comes in a deployment package as a ZIP file which can be uploaded and edited directly in the console.

Azure AWS supports languages like C#, F#, Python, Java, Node.js, Python & PHP. It offers multiple deployment options, such as GitHub, DropBox, and OneDrive. You can also integrate it with Visual Studio and Zip Deployment.

Late entrant, Google Cloud, is supported by fewer languages, including Node.js 6, Node.js 7 and Python 3.7. More languages are expected to be appended in the list. For deployment, you have many options, such as Cloud Storage,  Zip Upload, CLI, and inline web editor.

Parameter #2: Management of Dependency

In AWS Lambda, you have to organize and align your dependencies with your code in a specific way. In this way, you create a deployment package. For doing this, you can use plugins such as Jenkins and Maven.

Azure Functions has the package.json built into your function directory. You can run npm install using the Console or Kudu in the Azure portal. This process is used universally, regardless of your choice of runtime language.

Google Cloud Functions allows you to manage dependencies via npm and lets you create a metadata file called package.json. Unlike AWS, Google install all dependencies on the user’s behalf. 

Parameter #3: Long-term Storage

The beauty of serverless architecture is that it is stateless. The functions written in this framework are not dependent on the underlying infrastructure and variables. AWS Lambda requires no use of variables while composing functions. But you can store variables in persistent locations like DynamoDB and cloud storage.

For Azure Functions, you may use Azure Blob Storage or Table Storage for storing persistent data across instances. In Google Cloud Functions, services such as Cloud Firestore, SQL, Storage, or Datastore should be used by your function is you want to share state.

Parameter #4: Access Management and Identity

Identity and Access Management (IAM) lets you control access to your functions by creating an authorization layer. Using this, you can decide what kind of resources you want (write-only or read-only) and what areas should these resources access (entire project or a single function only).

In AWS Lambda, you can create custom IAM policies and append to them your functions. Then, you can control users, roles, API actions, resources, and groups.

Azure Functions lets you create Resource Based Access Control for modulating function policies. Presently, you can grant read only/write only/ both rights.

Google Cloud Functions gives you more control as you can decide access permissions for each role. 

Parameter #5: Types and Triggers

Triggers are custom events or sources that invoke functions. AWS Lambda allows HTTPS-invoked events using REST API. There is also an endpoint which uses API Gateway. You can also use the wide variety of built-in AWS services. Functions can also be set off via AWS SDKs if you have the requisite permissions.

In Azure Functions, you can use services such as Queue Storage, Table Storage, or CosmosDB to create triggers. One add-on is that you can use external HTTP as well as WebHooks for invocation. 

Cloud Functions too supports HTTP triggers. You can also use Cloud Storage and Cloud Sub/Pub as triggers. New options are expected to be included in its Beta version.

Parameter #6: Orchestration

AWS has Step Functions that help to orchestrate serverless functions in a stateless architecture. Each function’s state is logged into a Step Function and used for subsequent functions.

In Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps and Durable Functions accomplish the task of orchestration. Using connectors, you can integrate cloud services as well as on-site services. Google Cloud Functions suffers from a lack of orchestration capability.

Conclusion

The latest CNCF study reveals that AWS is the frontrunner among serverless architecture providers by claiming a market share of 70% deployments on Lambda. Its early advent and new updates are mostly responsible for its lead among competitors. But Google and Azure are fast catching up with their superb features and performance.

For newbies in serverless, our best advice is to give each provider a fair shot before making a final choice. You can evaluate each platform for compatibility with your custom software services, and choose the one which is best-aligned.

Get on a call with our expert to understand whether adopting serverless architecture for your web application is the right choice or not. 

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on  and .

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How DevOps can change the way we build softwares

Dynamic times, fast technological advancements and increasing competition require continuous adaption and increased flexibility from employees, teams, and organisations. At the same time, these fast-paced changes also require a high amount of creative discipline from all members for tasks to complete in a timely manner and for projects to succeed. Forward thinking organisations are making efforts to change and adapt their cultural practices in order to stay with the times.

Continue reading How DevOps can change the way we build softwares