From Agile to Ironclad: Safeguarding MVPs with Python and CI/CD Automation

In the fast-paced world of hard tech startups and corporate innovation, quickly deploying prototypes and proof of concepts (PoCs) is essential. However, rapid development can sometimes leave security gaps, making software vulnerable to cyber threats.

Understanding software vulnerabilities and Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) is crucial for ensuring the security of your products, whether they’re deployed internally on a local network or externally at client sites. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of software security and how you can automate vulnerability checking using Python and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.

As a startup founder or corporate innovation leader, addressing software vulnerabilities and staying informed about CVEs is crucial to maintaining a secure and reliable software ecosystem. While your software may not always be connected to the internet or deployed in the cloud, vulnerabilities can still pose significant risks to internal networks, client sites, and even standalone systems.

Understanding the Risks

Many security threats can infiltrate your software through internal network connections or physical device access. Insider attacks, human error, and targeted attacks via seemingly benign external connections can all lead to unauthorized access and data breaches. Being proactive in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities is essential for safeguarding your software and data and protecting your company’s reputation, and maintaining the trust of your customers and partners.

Staying Informed and Vigilant

To mitigate these risks, staying informed about the latest CVEs and security best practices is essential. Regularly monitoring sources like the National Vulnerability Database and subscribing to security bulletins can help you stay updated on potential threats. Implement a process for evaluating and prioritizing vulnerabilities based on their potential impact on your software and organization.

Adopting a Security-First Mindset

Cultivating a security-first mindset within your organization is critical to minimizing vulnerabilities. Encourage your development team to adopt secure coding practices and provide them with the necessary training and resources. Implement periodic security audits and code reviews to identify potential weak spots in your software.

Leveraging Automation

Embrace automation to streamline vulnerability detection and remediation. Utilize tools like static and dynamic analysis software, dependency scanners, and continuous integration pipelines to automate vulnerability checks and reduce the likelihood of human error. By proactively addressing software vulnerabilities and staying informed about CVEs, you can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches and ensure a more secure software environment for your hard tech startup or corporate innovation project.

Automating Vulnerability Checking with Python

Python offers various tools to help you automatically detect and address vulnerabilities in your software. Tools like safety and bandit can scan your Python dependencies for known security vulnerabilities.

To gain further insight into how to use these tools, check out our recent blog post.

Integrating Vulnerability Checking into CI/CD Pipelines

By integrating vulnerability checking into your CI/CD pipeline, you can ensure that your software remains secure throughout its development lifecycle. Automated vulnerability checks can help you identify and address security issues before they impact your product.

GitHub Actions

Using GitHub Actions, create a new workflow file (e.g., .github/workflows/vulnerability_check.yml) with the following content:

name: Vulnerability Check

  - push
  - pull_request

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Set up Python
        uses: actions/setup-python@v2
          python-version: 3.x
      - name: Install dependencies
        run: |
          python -m pip install --upgrade pip
          pip install -r requirements.txt
          pip install safety          
      - name: Check for vulnerabilities
        run: |
          safety check
          # Add any custom validation or processing of the vulnerability report here          

You can find a working example of this GitHub action in our GitHub Actions Examples Repo.

This workflow will run the vulnerability check whenever you push changes or create a pull request. If any vulnerable dependencies are detected, you can customize the script to notify you and take appropriate action.


Addressing software vulnerabilities and CVEs is critical for hard tech startups and corporate innovation teams. By automating vulnerability checking using Python and CI/CD pipelines, you can ensure the security of your prototypes and PoCs throughout their development lifecycle. Invest time implementing automated security checks to protect your software, clients, and reputation in an increasingly interconnected world.

Nicholas Nadeau, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Nicholas Nadeau, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Founder / Fractional CTO

Nicholas Nadeau is a fractional CTO empowering startups with next-gen technology expertise, and a passion for driving corporate innovation. Stay informed on cutting-edge hard tech trends - subscribe to my newsletter. Ready to innovate? Discover my services and accelerate your growth.