Low-Code Development Security Risks for Your Business
The global low-code development market is expected to reach $13.8 billion in 2024, up 22.6 per cent from 2022, according to Gartner. Despite budget limitations and cost-cutting initiatives, Gartner believes that the spike in remote development during COVID-19 will continue to drive low-code usage.
The Popularity of Low-Code Among Professional and Citizen Developers
Low-code isn’t the new kid on the block anymore. Low-code apps are growing more and more diverse, with widespread acceptance in the workplace. They range from simple dashboards to large systems. In essence, low-code is a visual paradigm of application development that involves dragging and dropping of pre-built components and integrations, resulting in development that is quick, easy, and error-free.
Low-code has the advantage of allowing people with non-traditional development backgrounds to engage in app development, democratizing development and shortening project durations. It also closes the demand-supply gap that formed as businesses struggled to meet ever-increasing digitization demands while working with limited resources and developer scarcity. When compared to traditional coding approaches, many low-code platforms make it simple for citizen developers (for example, business analysts, line-of-business users, and junior engineers) to construct applications while substantially lowering delivery time.
The productivity and speed of citizen developers aren’t the only advantages of low-code development. Low-code platforms now include features designed specifically for professional developers, ranging from enterprise IT teams to Brisk Logic. These platforms are built for enterprise use, can handle the scalability and security requirements of a complex application, and have integration features that are mature enough to work with existing tools and technologies. Many organizations reinvented themselves during the COVID-19 epidemic by adopting low-code platforms and apps that let them adjust to the abrupt change to a remote work paradigm and enable the requisite modern application needs that came with it.
Low-Code and Remote Work Pose Security Risks
Low-code development, in a contrast to traditional development, entails a group of people working together to create applications using automatically produced code, ready-made components, and built-in default configurations. This change in the environment has exposed certain new challenges that must be handled.
There are a few security issues that remote teams using low-code face.
Remote Team Collaboration and Application Development
Insufficient Security Awareness:
Low-code users come from a variety of disciplines, including business and technology. Some professionals are unfamiliar with application security best practices and are unaware of potential vulnerabilities and security gaps.
Controls Over Platform Access and Administration:
Low-code is distributed centrally and accessible through browsers to users across an organization. When users access the platform remotely, this poses a danger of network infiltration by granting access to unauthorized developers and granting additional permissions to individuals who don’t require them.
Low-code platforms must ensure that automatically generated code may be committed to enterprise-sanctioned repositories, as well as team collaboration. This code access should not be abused, and adequate processes for code control and upgrades should be in place.
Best Practices in Code Generation and Develops
Keeping custom code safe:
Low-code tools enable custom code to be written to extend and enforce platform coding principles and design patterns to secure sensitive data from unwanted access.
Observing secure release procedures:
Integration with an enterprise’s existing CI/CD pipeline is critical so that development teams may apply the same release governance protocol to auto-generated code before it goes to production.
Data Protection and End-User Application Access
- Preventing harmful attacks: Security breaches are becoming more common in both web and mobile apps today. Low-code applications can be vulnerable due to automatically produced code and citizen developers operating remotely. Platforms should produce apps that are fully protected against phishing, SQL injections, brute force assaults, and denial-of-service attacks.
- Access to data and applications in a secure manner: Low-code platforms should have a robust access control system in place to prevent unwanted access to data and app functionality. Data breaches can be avoided with the correct safeguards in place when remote teams access apps from anywhere, at any time, and on any device.
The Future of Development: Low-Code and Security
- The broader concern remains as corporations and Brisk Logic migrate to low-code for more significant use cases. Can low-code platforms help modern development teams create applications more quickly while maintaining a secure and strictly regulated environment?
- Yes, they can do so! When considering low-code platforms, however, development teams should keep the following security considerations in mind:
- The low-code platform must be installed within an enterprise secure DMZ or secure private cloud, and it must pass cybersecurity clearances with ease.
- For automatically generated code as well as bespoke code provided by the developer, the platform must enforce the best programming principles (coding conventions, design patterns, and data encryption), allowing for better interaction with existing CI/CD processes and tools.
- The platform must provide complete protection for online and mobile apps against the top ten OWASP vulnerabilities, as well as third-party certifications to ensure code quality and security. Additionally, businesses should check that their chosen platform’s binaries, as well as all third-party dependencies (including open source libraries), are free of vulnerabilities as stated in the CVE library
- To design applications with high user security, the solution must enable several authentication providers database, LDAP, AD, SSO, SAML, Open-ID, multifactor, biometric. To safeguard various components of the application based on RBAC, enable support for both coarse-grained and fine-grained access control policies for user authorization.
Low-Code Development’s Security Risks for Your Business
There is no visibility
Businesses must keep an eye on what their staff are producing. When companies adopt low-code development solutions, though, they don’t have to worry about it. Do you know what happens when there is a lack of visibility from an IT standpoint? It will be difficult to oversee what their staff have created. Furthermore, firms do not keep track of their security requirements. Businesses employ Microsoft Excel scripts and macros, among other things, according to Jason Wong, a Gartner expert. However, they are unmanageable. There is a lack of awareness even when they install a fast application development tool on a desktop to construct applications. How can businesses deal with such problems? In the creation of enterprise mobile applications, companies should focus more on increasing visibility.
Auditing and Vendor systems are not accessible
Do you know that companies that use low-code development can’t use its low-code-providing vendor system? They are unable to even inspect the programmer code. As a result, if a corporation encounters a software problem, identifying the problem can be difficult. Low-code platforms are businesses in and of themselves, with strict security measures in place to protect their assets and little transparency. The possibilities have begun to shift. Low-code providers are now attempting to make the relationship between them and their users more transparent. Businesses can also conduct security checks via black-box method testing, third-party security audits, legal certifications and agreements, and the purchase of cybersecurity insurance.
Data Management Processes
Data management is a problem that no company can afford to overlook. Any organization’s data is a valuable asset, and if it is utilized for nefarious purposes, the business will suffer. As a result, businesses must deal with data management. When it comes to data management, the most important considerations for businesses are who has access to data, how it is controlled or used, and how much control the platform demands. We can’t say that low-code development platforms don’t provide you with any control over your data, but it’s a restricted amount of control. All low-code offering platforms are not created equal when it comes to more exact controls.
Mistakes in Business Logic That Can Cause Data Loss
Customer behavior and preferences are analyzed using low-code platforms. Low-code platforms, according to the study, have built-in quirks for permissions and access management. It also enables firms to create apps that are tailored to their specific customers. There are several escape clauses when it comes to programming enhancement from a commercial standpoint. Without a doubt, application development has gotten more non-technical, with less actual code being included. However, keep in mind that any innovation comes with a security risk. For example, as a growing number of people begin to use the platform, there are several opportunities to intervene in corporate security.
Scarcity of Flexibility
When it comes to low-code platforms, one of the most common complaints is flexibility. Varied businesses have different needs, and individuals are hesitant to try another platform after having a bad experience with one. While some low-code platforms limit your customization options, others allow you to work with hidden code. These platforms can help you develop apps that are tailored to your company’s needs. So, whichever platform you choose, be sure it’s the right one.
Limit the number of vendors to one
Companies will lock in with the vendor they work with due to a lack of flexibility and customization. It is the most serious concern that businesses with low-code platforms have. Enterprises can build applications using open code and frameworks provided by a few platforms. Their code is clean and portable, and it allows businesses to manage their applications without having to use the platform. Some low-code development platform vendors, on the other hand, lock you into their platform and produce sophisticated code that appears impossible to manage without it. Furthermore, when you leave that platform, they will not allow you to make any changes to your applications.
Development teams can embrace low-code technology while ensuring security best practices are in place. Low-code is here to stay, and with the right platform, enterprises and Brisk Logic can make sure security is shifted left and addressed by developers much earlier in the development process. The result is a highly productive, remote workforce churning out applications that are modern, scalable and secure.