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Software Engineering

How to keep your team efficient when incorporating security best practices

The following blog was written in collaboration with the DevOps experts at GitProtect.io. Try GitProtect 14 days for free.

Imagine this: your project is running smoothly, and you expect everything to be deployed on schedule. But suddenly, disaster strikes, and all of your work disappears. This is a nightmare scenario for software development teams, as losing git data can mean weeks of lost work and potentially significant financial and operational losses. 

It’s easy to place a lot of trust in git hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab. Still, it’s important to remember that security breaches and data loss can occur, even if they’re not frequent. Because of this, prioritizing security is essential, even if doing so feels like it will take away too much time from cool new coding projects. Don’t worry, it won’t. 

In this article, we’ll explore how you can protect data in git hosting services efficiently without disrupting your team’s workflow, so you can focus more on the projects you care about most. 

Best practices for incorporating security measures more efficiently 

1. Integrate tools with DevOps backups

We all know how comfortable managing a product development process from a single git hosting platform is – those using Zenhub’s GitHub extension enjoy the simplicity without even needing to leave the platform to track issues. But if a codebase’s data isn’t backed up somewhere else, this can be a bit risky. This is where looking into integrations for backups is a great way to incorporate backing-up data into your strategy without disrupting your project workflow. 

When it comes to backing up data, the primary item you’ll want to back up is your git hosting platform, as it stores all of the vital source code. If you’re looking for tools that can back up your DevOps environment, look for those that integrate with the git hosting provider you’re already using to make the data backup process more streamlined. For example, GitProtect.io, which supports major platforms – GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket.

Additionally, git hosting platforms are connected to project management systems and can contain critical information about a project beyond the source code, not to mention various metadata. The topic of security should therefore go much further than just departments specialized in this field. Securing repositories and metadata should interest DevOps Leaders and Project Managers as it impacts the entire organization.

2. Compliance makes you more efficient in the long run

Beyond backups, compliance with both corporate and regulatory standards ensures data is processed according to the highest standard and prevents instances of data loss. Some examples of the most popular standards include SOC 2 and ISO 27001. While some fear it will add steps to your workflow, complying with these standards gives your team a framework for acknowledging and mitigating risks in the future. In the long run, this should make it easier for teams to respond to challenges more efficiently when speed matters the most.  

 

The second note on compliance is that it goes both ways – you should expect compliance with any of the tools you use, especially if you’re interested in the above point we made on backup integrations. Finding issue tracking, project management, and git hosting tools that are compliant with standards like SOC 2 is a much easier way to filter out security risks right from the get-go. We recommend not overlooking this. For details on Zenhub’s SOC 2 compliance, see this article, and for GitProtect’s SOC 2 compliance process, see this.

3. Automation is your best friend

Let’s imagine your organization decided to write its own backup script to protect source code hosted in the git hosting service. The first step in your process would be to delegate one or a few developers to prepare documentation, write a backup script, test it, perform backups regularly and maintain those scripts. Then, in the event of failure, you would prepare another script to recover your copied data. Now, let’s ask ourselves some questions about this process: is it thoroughly tested? Are you sure it contains all repositories and metadata? How and where can you restore them to? Who is responsible for this process? 

We know it’s a lot. Preparing backup scripts and managing their ongoing success can put a lot of pressure on your development team, who may not be security experts, depending on your team structure. Instead of managing scripts, your team should be able to focus on their core duties, like delivering growth, innovation, and a competitive edge. 

Here’s where automation comes in. Using an automated DevOps backup and disaster recovery software helps you avoid putting pressure on your team, saves time, and eliminates the risk of human error (for example, your team forgetting to back up data). With a third-party tool, you can monitor the performance of backups and test them easily on a central platform. 

On top of having backups automated with backup software, you can also add automation to your DevOps workflows in your project management system. For example, you can automate tasks in Zenhub so that the issue can automatically be sent to the next stage in the pipeline when security measures are complete. This can reduce context switching and time spent on DevOps admin duties.

4. Have a disaster recovery plan in place

Last but not least is recoverability. It’s not a secret that the faster you recover your critical data, the faster your team can continue their work. That is why building a strategy for recovering your DevOps data in the event of a failure plays a vital role in maintaining efficiencies when trouble arises. 

A disaster recovery plan must be accessible to employees at all levels – teams should know who to go to in case they suspect cyber security threats, outages, and other forms of data loss. This will give your team members peace of mind and assure them that their efforts were never in vain.

As part of the plan, ensure your team is aware of any procedures around backing up data your company requires. Be sure to build this into company onboarding and regularly refresh your team on proper procedures. 

Conclusion

Preventing data loss is crucial for any company, but it’s important to do so without disrupting your team’s workflow. By incorporating security measures and backups into your project flow, you can protect your data and ensure compliance with standards. Automation and tools that support DevOps backups can streamline the process, allowing your team to focus on their core responsibilities. Adhering to standards like SOC 2 and ISO 27001 can provide a framework for risk management and ultimately make your team more efficient in the long run. These tips will give your team peace of mind knowing that preventive measures are in place while not taking valuable time away from their projects.

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