Introduction

This is part 2 of:

Explaining how Carlsberg unifies development on GitHub and accelerates innovation with Copilot in more detail.

In the digital transformation journey of Carlsberg, the implementation of GitHub Advanced Security (GHAS) marked a significant shift towards embedding security directly into the developer workflow. This strategic move, part of our “Security First” initiative in Software Engineering, has not only elevated the security posture of our software development lifecycle but has also manifested in substantial time and cost savings by identifying and rectifying vulnerabilities prior to deployment.

Using GHAS to Scan for Vulnerabilities

Centralizing scanning in the GHAS platform eliminates concerns about the security configurations of developer workstations and the code contributions from external parties. By conducting security scanning centrally, we ensure consistent and thorough examination of all code, regardless of its origin. This approach not only streamlines our security processes but also enhances the security posture of our software, providing peace of mind and allowing our developers to focus on innovation and productivity raising the Developer Experience.

We use GHAS to scan for the following:

  • Secrets: The inclusion of secret scanning within our workflow has been pivotal in detecting exposed secrets such as keys and tokens, preventing potential security breaches.
  • Static Application Security Testing (SAST) with CodeQL: CodeQL’s integration allows us to perform comprehensive static code analysis, identifying security vulnerabilities and coding errors at their inception.
  • Dependencies with Dependabot: Dependabot plays a critical role in our ecosystem by monitoring dependencies for known vulnerabilities and automatically suggesting updates or patches, thus maintaining the integrity of our software supply chain.
  • Binaries and Containers: By incorporating tool plugins for CodeQL we enhance our ability to scan binaries and containers for vulnerabilities, ensuring a robust security framework across all components of our software.

Integration into Developer Workflow

The transformation brought about by GHAS in our developer workflow cannot be overstated. By embedding security checks directly into pull requests, GHAS ensures that every code change is automatically scanned for vulnerabilities before being merged. This integration not only streamlines the security assessment process but also empowers developers to address security issues in real-time. The proactive security posture facilitated by GHAS equips developers with the tools and insights needed to identify and rectify potential security flaws from the outset, fostering a culture of security awareness and responsibility. This approach significantly enhances the overall security of our software projects, contributing to a more secure and efficient development environment.

Centralized Security Scanning

Adopting GHAS as a centralized platform for security scanning has provided us with a command and control center for managing vulnerabilities emanating from both source code and dependencies. The Security Center dashboard offers a comprehensive overview of vulnerabilities, CVEs, and the most affected repositories, allowing us to prioritize and focus our remediation efforts effectively.

Since the inception of GHAS in our development practices, we’ve observed a notable reduction in security vulnerabilities, with over 30,000 issues addressed. This achievement underscores the effectiveness of GHAS in enhancing our security posture, demonstrating its value not only in safeguarding our applications but also in supporting our broader business objectives of innovation and growth.