DevOps vs. DevSecOps: Explaining the Key Differences

Over the years, software applications have evolved immensely. Back then, we built software as a singular, massive structure that could handle all the business logic required to function. For the most part, this worked since most software applications were used by individuals or even by businesses internally with a minimal and manageable number of users.

Fast forward to today, most of these software applications are now available on our browsers straight from the cloud. Successfully making this shift required new software development methodologies. That's where DevOps and DevSecOps come in.

In this article, we shall explore what each of these concepts involves and their key differences.

What is DevOps?

DevOps stands for Development and Operations. It is a set of practices that aims to shorten the software development lifecycle and speed the delivery of higher-quality software. It does this by breaking down silos and combining and automating the work of software development teams and IT operations teams.

DevOps is more of a philosophy than a specific role or team. Its fundamental purpose is to break down the barriers that divide development and operations units to facilitate faster development and deployment of high-quality software.

DevOps teams use agile methodologies, continuous integration, and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools, cloud services, and other technologies to collaborate and deliver software products or services.

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DevOps engineers create a set of automated processes called pipelines that perform specific tasks. The most common set of pipelines includes (and is usually in the following order):

  1. A pipeline to do testing
  2. A pipeline to package/build the software
  3. A pipeline to deploy the built software to the infrastructure

Having all of these in place, software engineers no longer have to worry about manually performing repetitive tasks. The automated pipelines handle the rest once they push those fixes and/or new features into their respective repositories. Aside from this, only quality code gets out to the end users thanks to automated testing.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a methodology that integrates security practices into the software development process. It emphasizes the importance of security throughout the entire development lifecycle, from design to deployment.

By incorporating security into the development process, DevSecOps helps to identify and address potential security vulnerabilities early on rather than waiting until after the software has already been deployed.

This approach allows organizations to deliver secure software quickly. Overall, DevSecOps is a critical component of any modern software development process.

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The primary goal is to introduce and integrate all the best security measures without compromising software delivery speed. This can be achieved by having another layer of an automated pipeline specifically tasked to perform system hardening and continuous security checks. This is not to say that DevOps doesn’t provide any form of security; it may be present but not the main focus. DevSecOps, on the other hand, treats security as an issue of utmost importance.

DevOps vs. DevSecOps

First, DevOps focuses on the rapid delivery of software, with security as a secondary concern. On the other hand, DevSecOps emphasizes security as an integral part of the development process from start to finish.

Secondly, DevOps teams typically have a separate security team that reviews code and identifies vulnerabilities after the software has been developed. In contrast, DevSecOps integrates security throughout the entire development process, with the goal of identifying and addressing security issues as early as possible. Ultimately, DevSecOps aims to deliver secure software quickly and efficiently.

We can summarize their differences as follows:

Continuous Integration

Continuous Delivery





Yes, also to some extent but not the primary focus




Yes, with an extensive emphasis


Whether DevOps or DevSecOps, security in any software business is crucial. Aside from providing quality software for your users, it is also important to protect your software and your users from potentially devastating cyber-attacks.

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