Essential Features of XSecDevOps™ for Modern Businesses


Organizations are rapidly adopting modern application development practices. This involves migrating legacy applications to modernized architecture based on microservices, containers and serverless computing. This enables organizations to improve deployment flexibility and resource utilization. This modernization often involves incorporating user-centric design principles and optimizing user experiences to drive engagement and productivity. The need to rapidly modernize legacy applications also requires infrastructure to be provisioned, deprovisioned at a pace more than the pace of application development. This leads to companies adopt to the practices of Infrastructure Modernization thereby moving to cloud and adopting Infrastructure as a code (IaC) to provision the resources. Adoption of these practices of application and infrastructure modernization helps to enhance scalability, agility, and cost-efficiency. This modernization journey which enables streamlined operations, accelerated innovation, and improved resilience needs to be fully secured by continuous monitoring, and proactive risk management. The vulnerabilities should be identified at an early stage, reducing the risk of potential breaches or disruptions. Then only it can empower organizations to adapt swiftly to evolving market demands and technological advancements.

STL Digital’s XSecDevOps™, is a security-embedded DevOps solution which caters to these requirements and helps organizations to achieve accelerated secure application and infrastructure modernization experience. The solution embodies a proactive approach to security, shifting security considerations leftward to the earliest stages of development and embedding them throughout every phase, from code creation to deployment and beyond. The solution outlines the practice of continuous security by fostering collaboration among development, operations, and security teams to create a culture where everyone works together as a team and security is not considered an afterthought but an inherent part of the development process and everyone is equally responsible for that.

Essential Features of XSecDevOpsTM

XSecDevOpsTM has security in its heart and is built on the STL Digital’s 11C Strategy of Continuance which lays down the 11 founding pillars/essential features of this solution. These features are listed and described below:

  1. Continuous Planning
    Thorough planning is essential to ensure the consideration of several critical elements, which extend beyond the features slated for development. The primary objective of this phase is to proactively anticipate significant risks and strategize their mitigation. This phase entails the outlining of security, compliance, and performance requirements, along with establishing benchmarks to gauge adherence. Furthermore, it encompasses the formulation of acceptance test criteria and the blueprint for implementing an incident response system. Notably, this process is iterative, continuously evolving based on feedback from previous iterations. The ongoing planning process yields numerous benefits, including expedited decision-making, enhanced accuracy, heightened agility, improved collaboration, diminished risk, and heightened productivity.
  2. Continuous Development
    Continuous Development refers to the iterative and ongoing process of enhancing software through seamless integration, testing, and deployment. It entails breaking down the traditional silos between development and operations teams, fostering collaboration, and automating workflows to achieve rapid and reliable delivery of software. Embracing continuous development allows for constant feedback loops, enabling teams to swiftly address issues, incorporate user feedback, and deliver new features efficiently. By prioritizing continuous development practices, organizations can adapt to changing market demands, improve product quality, and ultimately drive innovation in the software development lifecycle.
  3. Continuous Integration
    Continuous integration is a software development approach wherein developers frequently integrate their code changes into a central repository, followed by automated builds and tests. It primarily focuses on the build or integration phase of the software release cycle and involves both automated tools (like CI services) and a cultural shift towards frequent integration. The main objectives include detecting and fixing bugs faster, enhancing software quality, and accelerating the validation and release of updates. This approach leads to benefits such as frequent code changes, efficient fault isolation, quicker mean time to resolution (MTTR), accelerated release rates, and a smaller backlog.
  4. Continuous Testing
    Continuous Testing is instrumental in enhancing the DevOps pipeline as it promotes testing across all phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), spanning from development to deployment. At its core lies the principle of conducting activities, including security testing, at the earliest possible stage, thereby expediting all development processes. Integrating continuous testing into this paradigm ensures uninterrupted progress in development and delivery of top-notch software. This approach facilitates testing throughout the pipeline, enables early identification of risks, and results in higher quality code.
  5. Continuous Collaboration
    DevOps is a cross-functional practice that brings together developers, operations, and other stakeholders to streamline software delivery. Continuous Collaboration is a practice, fostering effective communication, trust, and shared goals among team members in a continuous fashion. With shared responsibility, regular feedback loops, and knowledge sharing, DevOps teams can achieve faster time-to-market, deliver higher-quality software, and ultimately enhance customer satisfaction. This integrated approach not only improves efficiency but also promotes a culture of innovation and excellence within organizations.
  6. Continuous Security
    Continuous Security integrates security seamlessly into the CI/CD process, a fundamental practice adopted by many organizations, especially those striving for high performance. Through CI/CD pipelines, software releases become more agile as they are automatically built, packaged into docker images, and deployed using tools like Jenkins and Kubernetes. By applying DevOps principles to security, safety verification becomes an active component of the development process. Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), Software Composition Analysis (SCA), Container Security are integrated as part of the CI/CD pipeline and Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) is conducted on the application and the provisioned infrastructure to detect and eliminate any security loopholes in the code, dependencies and the underlying infrastructure. Effective application security aligns with business strategy, enabling risk management within acceptable thresholds. Orchestration facilitates real-time feedback on policy compliance, pre-empting bottlenecks. Continuously managing security practices within CI/CD pipelines enables scalable application security programs adaptable to evolving business needs, resulting in reduced risk, faster issue identification, improved security posture, enhanced agility, and collaboration.
  7. Continuous Feedback
    Achieving the DevOps loop within organizations hinges on the implementation of CI/CD, which thrives on an ongoing cycle of feedback. This feedback isn’t limited to the culmination of the software development process but necessitates collaboration across teams throughout code development, deployment, and even in functions beyond IT, like marketing. Teams crave continuous feedback to guide their next actions and enhancements, yet the influx of alerts can become overwhelming and challenging to address. Establishing a system of continuous feedback in DevOps setups involves firstly refining the CI/CD pipeline and subsequently devising strategies to overcome the inherent challenges in feedback loops. This approach yields benefits such as improved responsiveness, the ability to gauge the efficacy of feedback, and assessing the overall health and quality of the DevOps process.
  8. Continuous Engineering
    Continuous engineering (CE) aligns iterative processes within the software development lifecycle (SDLC), facilitating constant adjustments without compromising quality. While CI and CD in DevOps focus on continuous delivery, CE expands on this by integrating more streams for rigorous delivery. In today’s competitive landscape, products must swiftly adapt to market changes, requiring shorter development cycles and flexibility. CE enables this by incorporating parallel iterative steps in the SDLC, allowing seamless integration of new features without disruption. By orchestrating CI, CD, and continuous testing, CE enhances time-to-market, identifies errors early, improves code quality, increases flexibility, reduces costs, and ultimately boosts customer satisfaction, thus ensuring a competitive edge in the market.
  9. Continuous Optimization
    Continuous Optimization in DevOps is centred around integrating regular feedback loops to enhance delivery processes, infrastructure, and team productivity. Prompt alerts regarding inefficient processes or resource utilization are crucial for ensuring efficiency. Additionally, providing optimal resource sizing recommendations tailored to unique workflows and processes is essential for maximizing productivity and streamlining operations. By embracing these principles, DevOps teams can continuously refine their practices, leading to improved performance and overall success in project delivery.
  10. Continuous Monitoring
    Continuous monitoring is integral in overseeing the entire development process, from planning through deployment and operations. It offers a real-time perspective on applications, services, and infrastructure, employing features like real-time streaming and visualizations for effective monitoring. DevOps monitoring enhances responsiveness to customer experience issues, enabling teams to detect and address errors swiftly, thereby facilitating a shift towards earlier development stages to prevent production disruptions. This approach fosters automated collaboration, experimentation, and change management, while also ensuring the monitoring of dependent systems. With early threat detection, increased visibility, and improved risk management, continuous monitoring provides a foundation for maintaining continuous compliance and validating controls.
  11. Continuous Deployment
    Continuous deployment (CD) streamlines software release processes by employing automated testing to verify the correctness and stability of code changes before autonomous deployment to production. This approach ensures seamless automation throughout the software delivery lifecycle, promoting releases to production automatically post successful testing, without explicit approval. By enabling the deployment of small change batches, CD accelerates releases, minimizing risks and facilitating easier issue resolution. It fosters improved code quality, a faster feedback loop, reduced human error, increased productivity, and diminished risk, collectively enhancing software development efficiency and reliability.


STL Digital’s XSecDevOpsTM solution represents a progressive evolution of traditional DevOps practices, prioritizing security as its central tenet while embracing principles of continuity and automation. Offering a comprehensive array of services including Maturity Assessment, Application Modernization, Infrastructure Modernization, and Site Reliability Engineering, this framework encompasses a wide spectrum of tools, ranging from offerings by various hyperscalers to open-source and third-party licensed tools. Embracing a holistic approach, it integrates Continuous Planning, Collaboration, Integration, Testing, Feedback, Security, Engineering, Optimization, Monitoring, Delivery, and Deployment into its fabric. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation across every stage of the development lifecycle, XSecDevOpsTM not only enhances security but also promotes efficiency, reliability, and resilience in modern software engineering endeavours.

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