Low-code development is a practice that has helped businesses achieve agility. Take an example of a social media app that needs to add new features like showcasing dislikes or add a feature of instant messaging.
Development of such features can take time and effort preventing businesses from taking advantage of market trends. This is where low code or no-code development can help by reducing the amount of code you need to introduce a new feature.
Such benefits have attracted several businesses to adopt low-code and no-code development. According to Forbes, the low-code development platform market will reach $187 billion by 2030, with 65% of applications built through such practices.
Though low-code and no-code development can be beneficial for the development of your application, you need to consider several security concerns that come with it. So, here are some of the significant concerns with the security of low-code development approaches and solutions for them.
#1. Issues of visibility
The conventional software development approach has several experts and quality assurance experts ensuring oversight of the entire process. What this does is that every data regarding the software development process is documented into secure folders which are not easily accessible.
Higher visibility of the coding process also ensures that only skilled developers work on code, ensuring no room for vulnerabilities. However, low-code and no-code development approaches allow quick code implementation without the need for very skilled professionals.
There is a lack of visibility in the low-code and no-code development approach, leading to several issues, from security threats to overlooked loopholes in the architecture. Controlling data access is also a massive challenge for businesses that choose low-code development platforms.
A no-code development approach does not allow a significant part of the code to be visible. Most low code platforms offer pre-built functionalities and codes that stay hidden to clients while they develop applications on top of it. So, when there is a vulnerability that attackers can expose, it remains hidden and makes it difficult for you to handle.
This is where enterprises can leverage a code signing certificate which ensures that users download only secure code for applications. In addition, it allows you to protect malicious attackers from making changes in the code and exposing users’ data. Another essential aspect that you need to consider for low-code and no-code development is data access.
#2. Data Accessibility
One of the key features of low-code and no-code development is how it allows businesses to deploy apps quickly with minimum resources. Unfortunately, data access control is a problem, though it is beneficial for startups and companies that want to put their idea in the market with quick execution of development plans.
Low code platforms are agile, enable rapid development, and help reduce cost with one caveat- “no enterprise-level policies.” However, this can impact your business security on a larger scale. For example, if you are an eCommerce business trying to add third-party services for online payment features, the control of data access becomes essential.
Every eCommerce website needs to have a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), ensuring security for users’ data. Here are the requirements that you need to fulfill for ensuring PCI DSS compliance,
- Installation of firewall and security certifications for user data protection
- Change passwords for your system for better security
- Reconfigure vendor policies for data access
- Encrypt the data transfer of credit cards across public networks
- Restricted access to card data through proper authentications
- Use antivirus software to ensure there are no malicious attacks
- Provide unique identifications for users for financial data access
- Develop secure applications and portals that protect user’s data
- Monitor all the data access across the network
#3. Inheriting Vulnerability
Low-code development platforms provide pre-built codes or functionalities, and if there are vulnerabilities in the original code, they will be inherently placed in the apps. So, the problem of inherent vulnerabilities is common among most low-code development platforms. However, there is a way to avoid such issues.
Vulnerability scans are standard among several businesses and organizations. They are used for the scanning of systems, computers, networks, and applications. It is essential to identify different loopholes in the system architecture and can allow you to find more than 50000 vulnerabilities. Such scans also enable compliance with significant security standards like PCI DSS, FFIEC, and GLBA.
Vulnerability scanners can also report false positives, which increases the level of effort you will need to develop security policies. However, having a reliable vulnerability scanning solution will help your rank or index vulnerabilities in different groups like high-risk, medium, and low risk.
A penetrative test replicates the exact process followed by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the system and identify loopholes. Majorly ethical hackers leverage different approaches like password compromise, buffer overflow, and data extraction through SQL injection to indicate different vulnerabilities.
Penetration tests primarily help organizations to have a deeper insight into the vulnerabilities of systems and applications. However, low code development platforms bring the vulnerabilities inherently and impact systems due to open-source characteristics.
#4. Open-source problem
Most of the low code platforms are open-sourced, which can be a massive security issue for your application. According to a survey, 75% of open-source components have vulnerabilities that can be exposed by hackers. So, you need to have security measures to counter such problems caused due to low-code and no-code development platforms.
One of the essential security measures that you can take is to leverage automated vulnerability scanners. These scanners automatically detect anomalies that can expose users’ data to hackers and malicious injections.
With an increasing number of internet users, the need for rapid development is increasing, and demand for low code development platforms has also surged. Although however, there are benefits of low-code and no-code development, their security concerns can’t be ignored. With practical solutions like digital signing certificates, SSL certifications, authentication systems, and even penetrative tests, you can improve the security of applications.