New DevOps Research From Sonatype Reveals Changing Attitudes Toward Application Security in Government


Top performing software development teams embrace DevSecOps automation

Fulton, MD – April 25, 2017 – Sonatype, the leader in software supply chain automation, today announced the government results of its 2017 DevSecOps Community Survey. 101 public sector IT professionals participated in the online survey conducted in February 2017, out of a total of 2,292 overall survey respondents. The survey revealed that mature development organizations ensure automated security is woven into their DevOps practice early, everywhere, and at scale. Analysis of responses also found that 25% of government organizations continue to struggle with breaches, compared to 20% of all survey respondents.

Though DevOps is gaining momentum in the public sector, only 52% of public sector survey respondents describe their practices as very mature or improving in maturity, compared to 67% of all survey respondents. In addition, 48% of government development and operations teams see security teams and policies slowing them down.

Other key findings from the survey include:

Development plays an active, early role in application security

  • Developers are taking more responsibility for security with 26% of government developers saying it’s a top concern. In mature government DevOps organizations, this number rises to 31%.

For DevOps teams, security controls are increasingly automated throughout the development lifecycle

  • 58% of government respondents have an open source governance policy in place; this number increases to 69% in mature government DevOps organizations.
  • However, when asked how well their organization controls which open source and third-party components are used in development, 78% of government respondents claim their organization does not enforce official standards or has no standards and leaves the decision to the developer. This is the highest of all industries analyzed.
  • 26% of government respondents said that they automate application security analysis at all stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC).

Automated security practices allow developers to keep pace with the speed and scale of innovation

  • 81% of government survey respondents indicated that security was a top concern when deploying containers, yet only 57% leverage security solutions to address this problem.
  • 27% of government organizations keep a complete software bill of materials to help them track down new open source vulnerabilities faster (e.g., Commons-Collection, Struts2). This is compared to 35% of overall survey respondents.

"As evidenced by this year’s survey results, organizations everywhere are now transforming their development from waterfall-native to DevOps-native tools and processes,” said Wayne Jackson, CEO, Sonatype. “Along the way, they are coming to grips with one simple fact: DevOps is not an excuse to do application security poorly; rather it is an opportunity to do application security better than ever.

Additional Resources

About the Survey

The 2017 DevSecOps Community Survey provides visibility into the attitudes of software professionals toward DevOps best practices and the changing role of application security. 101 respondents from government completed the survey. The survey was conducted by Sonatype, Contino, DZone, Emerasoft, Ranger4, and Signal Sciences. The survey’s margin of error is ±2.02 percentage points for 2,292 IT professionals at the 95% confidence level.  

About Sonatype

Last year developers requested 31 billion components from the Central Repository to manufacture the software applications that run the world. Additionally, with more than 120,000 installations, companies around the globe use Sonatype’s Nexus solutions to manage reusable components and improve the quality, speed and security of their software supply chains. Sonatype is privately held with investments from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Accel Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, Bay Partners and Goldman Sachs. For more information, visit:

Media Contact

Jennifer Edgerly
SpeakerBox Communications for Sonatype