Declarative Compliance With Policy-as-Code and GitOps

In latest occasions, the search for higher agility, quicker releases, enhanced scalability, safety and efficiency introduced forth the appearance of a number of automation instruments, applied sciences and frameworks. Software program improvement has developed significantly over time to mitigate these challenges.

Monoliths have been break up into microservices for improved scalability, upkeep and quicker releases. Since DevOps is adept at bridging the hole between improvement and operations groups, now these two groups can work collectively to enhance productiveness and velocity up launch cycles.

The Want for Compliance

One of many important methods for enterprise success is to remain compliant since processes are at all times bettering and evolving. Compliance ensures that your DevOps processes and practices are constant and meet laws or regulatory requirements.

A company with a compliance-driven DevOps tradition can lower down on operational prices, enhance effectivity and scale back dangers significantly.

What’s Declarative Compliance?

Declarative compliance is outlined as the method of managing and imposing compliance through which insurance policies are outlined utilizing code, and the system’s desired state is asserted fairly than explicitly programmed. To implement compliance insurance policies, you don’t write scripts or packages; as a substitute, you employ a high-level language or configuration file.

Declarative Compliance gives a number of advantages:

  • Elevated effectivity
  • Higher managed compliance
  • Minimized danger of human errors
  • Enhanced safety
  • Sooner deployment
  • Higher collaboration

With declarative compliance instruments, the system’s state is outlined as a set of insurance policies, and the instrument makes positive it matches the specified state. The instrument will mechanically repair something out of compliance, bringing the system again into compliance if there’s a deviation.

Instruments for Declarative Compliance

A number of the widespread declarative compliance instruments are:

  • Open Coverage Agent (OPA)
  • Terraform
  • Kubernetes Coverage Controller
  • Chef Compliance
  • AWS Config

Declarative Compliance for Infrastructure and Software Deployment

Typically, declarative compliance is utilized in infrastructure administration and software deployment, the place insurance policies are written as code and enforced throughout a number of environments. Along with managing compliance at scale, declarative compliance instruments make sure that the system’s desired state stays constant throughout a number of programs and functions over time.

With declarative compliance, organizations can handle compliance extra effectively, successfully and securely since they’ll outline insurance policies as code and implement them mechanically. Along with decreasing errors, downtime and safety breaches, this strategy allows organizations to remain compliant and preserve their system persistently.

Introduction to Coverage-as-Code

A policy-as-code strategy lets you write packages that govern safety, compliance and guidelines all through your software’s life cycle. It entails defining and making use of code to handle and automate insurance policies. It shares the identical concepts as infrastructure-as-code (IaC) and different DevOps practices like steady integration and steady supply (CI/CD).

A coverage enforces constraints and restrictions to forestall unauthorized entry to assets comparable to databases, storage, companies, and so forth. By codifying insurance policies, you’ll be able to implement guidelines and constraints all through the event life cycle to forestall non-conforming assets from being deployed by integrating these insurance policies into the software program improvement life cycle.

Determine 1: Coverage-as-Code at work!

Why Coverage-as-Code?

Sometimes, companies have the required processes, instruments and procedures to ensure the deliverable’s high quality. Efficiency, scalability, ease of use and accuracy are typical quantifiable high quality metrics used to establish the standard.

You’ll be able to study the standard of your software utilizing these metrics, however a handbook process will take time and is susceptible to errors. A greater various is to leverage policy-as-code.

The standard coverage enforcement processes have sure drawbacks. It’s difficult to understand that your insurance policies could be solely adhered to, i.e., they won’t be damaged. It’s cumbersome to test towards an inventory of insurance policies manually.

Furthermore, the normal coverage enforcement technique can not scale in at present’s agile world, the place organizations have been rising constantly with an increasing number of workers, companies and groups.

Listed here are the important thing advantages of policy-as-code at a look:

  • Sooner and extra environment friendly deployments
  • Automated governance, approvals and coverage enforcement
  • Extra dependable and safe functions
  • Centralized coverage administration
  • Leverages model management
  • Higher visibility of insurance policies
  • Enhanced collaboration

How Does it Work?

Coverage-as-code includes three key parts:

  1. The coverage itself, which accommodates the required code to mannequin the decision-making course of
  2. The information and details about the setting, service or software
  3. The question that’s answerable for triggering the decision-making course of

Right here’s how policy-as-code works:

  1. Insurance policies are outlined as code in a human-readable format
  2. These insurance policies are then translated into machine-readable code utilizing Rego or HCL
  3. The insurance policies are built-in with the IaC pipeline
  4. A coverage engine evaluates the infrastructure and the applying assets towards these insurance policies
  5. The coverage engine accepts the insurance policies as enter, processes them after which produces a question consequence
  6. The coverage engine studies violations (if any) to the respective stakeholders, comparable to the event or safety groups
  7. If violations are reported, the required remediation is carried out mechanically or manually

Varieties of Insurance policies

  • Safety insurance policies: Safety is imposing enough technological controls to safeguard firm belongings.
  • Compliance insurance policies: Compliance insurance policies are designed to assist organizations adhere to governance requirements. Typical examples embody PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPPA, and so forth.
  • Operational excellence: This encompasses insurance policies pertaining to service degradation or interruption.

What’s GitOps? How can GitOps Assist With Compliance?

GitOps is a subset or extension of DevOps encompassing a set of practices that may simplify deployments utilizing Git. It’s an working mannequin for cloud-native functions that leverages Git as a single supply of reality for declarative functions and infrastructure. Utilizing GitOps, you’ll be able to implement a standardized policy-as-code strategy throughout your CI/CD and GitOps pipelines.

The important thing ideas of GitOps are:

  • The state of the system is captured and saved in a Git repository
  • Your complete system is configured declaratively
  • Automated deployment

You’ll be able to create insurance policies in Git and retailer them in a selected repository, which is crucial since Git affords subtle change administration instruments like model management. Solely the compliance workforce would have admin entry to the repository.

It’s simple to implement insurance policies with Git, and you’ll apply them to any execution engine, like CI or CD. With GitOps, you’ll be able to audit and doc each motion that impacts information consumption.

You’ll be able to expose system modifications, optimize deployment and use a version-controlled infrastructure. By managing compliance with GitOps, you’ll be able to be sure that the modifications are seen, verifiable and auditable.


Determine 2: GitOps at work!

Utilizing GitOps because the Execution Engine in a GitOps Course of

There are a number of advantages to utilizing GitOps as a course of execution engine, together with:

  • Elevated automation: GitOps automates software program supply, decreasing handbook intervention and rising deployment accuracy and velocity.
  • Higher transparency: GitOps data all modifications to the system in a clear and auditable manner in an effort to observe compliance simply.
  • Sustaining consistency: GitOps retains the system within the desired state outlined within the Git repository, decreasing non-compliance danger.
  • Fosters collaboration: All modifications to the system are made via the Git repository, so GitOps encourages collaboration throughout groups.

Utilizing Coverage-as-Code and GitOps: Coverage-Primarily based Compliance

Through the use of GitOps and policy-as-code, groups can handle compliance-as-code in an auditable, declarative manner and implement it through GitOps, guaranteeing that the specified state is at all times maintained. This might help your groups to codify compliance necessities as code, retailer them in model management and mechanically implement them via GitOps.

Organizations can enhance the consistency and reliability of their programs by defining and imposing compliance necessities utilizing policy-as-code and managing their deployment processes with GitOps. Whereas this will decrease compliance violations, it will probably additionally maximize effectivity.

By following policy-based compliance declaratively, companies can outline insurance policies as code and implement them mechanically and repeatedly. By adopting such an strategy to compliance administration, you’ll be able to higher handle compliance in complicated programs in a constant, scalable, agile, clear and collaborative method.

For instance, you’ll be able to leverage policy-as-code to outline insurance policies for infrastructure provisioning and configuration administration to make sure that the infrastructure complies with organizational insurance policies and trade requirements. Typical examples are defining insurance policies for community configuration, entry management and useful resource allocation.

Use Circumstances: Utilizing Coverage-as-Code and GitOps in a Manufacturing Atmosphere

Infrastructure Provisioning

Open Coverage Agent (OPA) can outline insurance policies for infrastructure assets like AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers. You should use GitOps to handle the deployment of infrastructure assets by storing IaC information in a Git listing. When the IaC information are modified, GitOps is adept at mechanically deploying the modifications whereas OPA checks for coverage compliance.


You should use policy-as-code instruments comparable to OPA to create software deployment insurance policies requiring particular safety settings, whereas GitOps manages the applying deployment by storing manifests.

Handle Kubernetes Clusters

You’ll be able to leverage policy-as-code to raised handle your Kubernetes clusters. So, you’ll be able to write your code to outline insurance policies to handle Kubernetes assets, comparable to nodes, pods, clusters, and so forth., declaratively.

Compliance Administration

You should use policy-as-code to ascertain and implement guidelines and laws, comparable to these pertaining to safety, to assist companies make sure that their programs adjust to trade laws and requirements.

OPA can be utilized to set compliance insurance policies, like proscribing entry to delicate information to approved customers solely. You should use GitOps to handle the deployment of compliance insurance policies seamlessly.

Trusted Supply: Coverage-as-Code Built-in With GitOps Workflows

Trusted software supply is a software program supply strategy emphasizing safety and belief within the software program provide chain. This ensures that any software program delivered to the purchasers is devoid of safety flaws, malicious code and different assaults.

This strategy prioritizes safety and belief on the improvement, testing, packaging and deployment levels and integrates safety and compliance checks into the GitOps pipelines. This high quality test reassures purchasers concerning the product’s high quality and ensures that any modifications adhere to predetermined guidelines and ideas.

Trusted software supply permits for fast deployment whereas securing apps with automated guardrails. These guardrails are carried out utilizing policy-as-code. By imposing these guardrails, you encourage frequent deployments whereas guaranteeing that the reliability and safety of the applying will not be compromised.


Declarative compliance with policy-as-code and GitOps is a greatest observe for attaining higher compliance, reliability and agility of their software program improvement and deployment processes. You’ll be able to simplify defining and imposing compliance insurance policies utilizing declarative configuration information and automation instruments. Utilizing Git as the one supply of reality for all configuration modifications, a company can obtain higher effectivity, visibility and auditability within the compliance course of.