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Tom Stiehm


Tom Stiehm


Tom has been developing applications and managing software development teams for over twenty years. As CTO of Coveros, he is responsible for the oversight of all technical projects and integrating new technologies and testing practices into software development projects. Recently, Tom has been focusing on how to incorporate DevSecOps and agile best practices into projects and how to achieve a balance between team productivity and cost while mitigating project risks. One of the best risk mitigation techniques Tom has found is leveraging DevSecOps and agile testing practices into all aspects of projects. Previously, as a managing architect at Digital Focus, Thomas was involved in agile development and found that agile is the only methodology that makes the business reality of constant change central to the process.

Session: Shifting Security Left - The Innovation Of DevSecOps 

DevSecOps changes the application security value proposition by leveraging DevOps principles to shift security practices left and automating the collection of security-related data.

DevSecOps uses application security practices that have been around for a while. The innovation of DevSecOps is incorporating security into the daily workflow of the team rather than leaving them to the end of a release like many legacy processes do. Shifting security left is made possible by the ability to automate many aspects of security testing and verification. DevSecOps leverages DevOps practices to make application security a first-class citizen in the practices of modern software product development. DevSecOps starts with a culture change mindset of cross-functional teams creating software through collaboration and fast feedback cycles. 

The security in DevSecOps starts before the code is written by using techniques like threat modeling and risk analysis to help figure out who might want to attack you and how they might do that. This often ignored security practice can be enabled by following the DevSecOps practices of having a cross-functional team involved in the process from the beginning, including security professionals. 

Next, DevSecOps maps application security practices into the build pipeline for a project in order to provide quick feedback about the security posture for any change made to the software. By using automation to allow the team to move quickly while maintaining confidence in the health of the code base, DevSecOps extends that health check to include application security checks. While automation can be used to make security data collection easier it is important to understand what security practices still require a human being.

This talk focuses on how, when, and where practices should be incorporated into a build pipeline to get the most value out of your security practices through automation. It explores what manual security work still needs to be done by a person and how to maximize value while minimizing the effort of human beings.