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Is Low Code development the biggest cyber threat?

by Mic Johnson

Low-Code development is a diverse simple application software compatible with all kinds of businesses globally. Its growth is dependant on digital migration and business agility tools implemented by Companies to improve productivity. Low-code is an excellent solution that allows citizen developers to perform beyond capacity. Business employees can create and modify business applications without IT professionalism.

Low Code development offers more details on simplicity, low cost of production, fast production, and high outcomes.  It empowers non-technical users to generate excellent business applications within hours or few days. This process is quite contrary to handwritten code practice, which took ages to complete. Organizations adopt the low code system to save time, resources, transform and educate citizen developers.

Thousands of benefits accompany Low-code development. However, the platform opens up potential security risks. This doesn’t classify Low-code as low-risk software but a potential system that may allow for vulnerabilities. It’s easy for Companies to enjoy the ease of a low-code system and forget the security problems attached to the system.

The digital transformation from hand-coding to low code is highly advocated and embraced worldwide. The system is entirely secure compared to the manual systems, which were only open to IT developers.  However, organizations shouldn’t be blind to rising security concerns related to Low-code development.

Four security issues to consider in Low-code development software

1. Lack of visibility

 The freedom of building business applications at random from citizen developers jeopardizes business security.  It’s challenging for the IT department to follow on applications developed by employees. Some of the applications offer loopholes for malware and hackers to access business and customer data.

In the past hand-coding was inspected, tested, and worked through a team of IT professionals and programmers. However long and tiring the process was, it was secure and easy to follow. Low-code leaves no room for inspections.  It’s challenging for Companies to follow every security detail or coding used by the low-code platforms. The process is costly, leaving the security matter in the hands of Low-code vendors or security tools.

The process also welcomes shadow IT, especially for organizations depending entirely on citizen developers. It’s difficult for entrepreneurs to notice or follow up on what citizen developers build or modify using low-code. The system can accommodate other IT capabilities that are outside the business deals. The shadow IT practices add extra costs that are challenging to handle for businesses. The excess weight frustrates business entrepreneurs on the low-code development software since it consuming more or the same as hand-coding.

2. Data accessibility (permission and control to data access)

Low-code development systems allow citizens developers to create business applications at ease. This the Company’s crucial data is at the mercy of employees.  Organizations should embrace the move but think about data safety.  Before settling for any low-code system, businesses should limit data accessibility.  The IT department can offer some information that is open to all and restrict all crucial data.

This will offer boundaries and keep essential data from leaking to the wrong hands. Organizations should enter strong security codes only available to the entrepreneur, IT team, or inner circle. Any other person in need of business information should get approval or pass through the verification process. This will curb shadow IT as the company’s development teams can restrict low-code usage and feed in the system.

Its control helps reduce the extra cost incurred by the hidden businesses. Employees also respect the systems and are conscious when developing business applications. The restriction also applies to customers as they will receive the filtered information, which is essential for businesses transaction. Companies can easily separate what belongs to the public and private, even to the in-house team.

3. Third-party integration

Third-party integration offers a percent of security risk. Most low-code development platforms depend on a third-party system. Here the Company’s data is exchanged or transmitted. Organizations cannot regularly follow up on the data, causing a high risk to the business. The majority of the third-party system uses low-code features such as drag and drop, visual graphics, and more.

The transmission is not contained in the low-code system and third-party platforms but to other codebase sources. Any wrong move or flaw in the system will risk Company’s data which will cause system hacking. It’s challenging to recover the organization system or customer details once the system is jeopardized.

4. Difficult in auditing vendor systems

Mostly low-code platform security controls are visible to organizations. The feature is only available to low-code vendors. The challenging part being businesses cannot keep the request for security control checks from the vendor. However, the vendor might offer to provide the tiring process at a high price.

This leaves no choice but to depend on the already set security tools such as third-party security audit tools, security, compliance certifications, and cyber security insurance.  However, low-code vendors are also improving the services by providing accessible and transparent auditing methods. This will allow organizations to eliminate costly third-party tools.

Note low-code platforms without the ability to offer security details leaves organizations and security departments dependant. The third-party tools are pretty bad but can potentially open for flaws. Organizations should opt for low-code platforms that offer transparency in the security system.

How to handle and avoid low-code security problems

After aligning the potential; problems, Companies can use several strategies to curb security risks.

– Involving IT and security departments before implementing low-code platforms.

Most organizations introduce new tools without consulting the employees. It’s advisable to involve the IT and security department for better scrutiny. The IT department, security, and developers teams should understand and analyze the systems. This will help check the vulnerabilities in the platforms and how effective they will be to the organization.

– API security

Organizations tend to overlook API security. However, when implementing a low-code platform or any digital asset is to use API security.

– Assessing the low-code vendor

Once organizations agree on using the low-code system, they need to scrutinize every detail about the vendor. Before settling for the platform, organizations should check on security details, prices, features, support, and other crucial information.

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