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Shifting security left with SRE: Proven way to prevent data breaches and revenue loss

Implementing Site Reliability Engineering is crucial for enabling proactive security.
Engineers discussing a security issue at the office
Article author
Written by
Rejith Krishnan
Published on
May 15, 2023
Last updated on
March 26, 2024

Implementing Site Reliability Engineering is crucial for enabling proactive security.

The world has witnessed an upsurge in cyberattacks in recent years, with organizations facing data breaches, system failures, and significant revenue losses. In 2022 alone, the number of cyberattacks performed globally has increased by a whopping 38%, Security Magazine reports

Consequently, the need for robust security measures has become a top priority for companies in several industries besides already safety-focused financial organizations. A proactive approach to security already proved crucial for all kinds of businesses, including insurance, transportation, and energy companies, as well as healthcare facilities and telecom providers. Even small and medium enterprises aren’t safe. According to QuickBooks, 42% of them already experienced a cybersecurity breach, most commonly malware, phishing, or a data breach.

Read further to learn how implementing Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) provides organizations with the framework to achieve better security and prevent serious consequences.

What is Site Reliability Engineering?

Site reliability engineering adopts a software engineering approach to IT infrastructure. With SRE, infrastructure is no longer managed by physically dealing with hardware. Instead, the scalability and reliability of systems are achieved by using code. To learn more, read our Complete Guide to SRE as a Service or the Beginner’s Guide to Site Reliability Engineering.

What is a shift-left approach to security?

A shift-left approach to security is easily one of the most advantageous conventions associated with SRE. The old-fashioned approach to software development placed developers at the beginning (left side) of the development process and the operations and security teams at its end (right side). In SRE, like in DevSecOps, security is considered from the start.

In the past, developers generally didn’t care much for security. Other teams discovered vulnerabilities later in the development process and sent them back to the development team to fix before deployment. With advancements in cloud technologies and the broad adoption of continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD pipeline), the traditional approach became a significant bottleneck.

How Site Reliability Engineering drives security measures?

With SRE, security is shifted to the left side of the development process. It becomes a shared responsibility, resulting in earlier identification of vulnerabilities. Developers identify security issues during the whole development phase and fix them as soon as they arise. 

The earlier detection of security issues leads to faster fixes and a shorter time to market, as well as reduces the risk of data breaches and system failures. Ultimately, shifting security left results in a better customer experience and increased revenue.

In contrast, a reactive approach to security, which involves fixing security issues only after the development work is done, leads to significant delays, which in turn can result in revenue loss and customer churn.

Implementing Site Reliability Engineering is crucial for enabling proactive security. Embracing the approach ensures that security issues are identified early and fixed fast. SRE-driven organizations benefit from a shorter time to market and improved customer experience. Contact Maxima Consulting today and learn what our SRE experts can do to shift the security left at your company.

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