One of the biggest changes to the cybersecurity landscape is that developers are now often expected to implement security directly into the applications they’re building as part of the automated development lifecycle, rather than relying on security or ops teams configuring policies for them after they are built. In fact, some industry sources estimate that roughly half of a developer’s time is now spent on security issues.
Unfortunately, when developers produce their own security approaches, they’re often ordered to go back to the drawing board to comply with corporate standards. Some organizations will either spend resources to hire new developers (risky and time-consuming given the developer shortage) or spend time training their current employees on security development. This is where low code applications step in.
With low code applications, developers can save time otherwise spent on learning security standards and policies in detail and spend more of their time on the core business. Without it, additional pressure is put on developers to get the standards and policies right. Moreover, tests and scans in the automated code pipeline can help quickly confirm the right code is being used to implement the correct security checks.
Low code isn’t a simple fix, however. Organizations must follow three best practices to ensure the right code is deployed every time, to ensure security capabilities become enablers rather than blockers. These practices are:
1. Rapid deployment of code for rapid feedback
For a business to know the efficacy, security, and user-friendliness of its applications, there is no better data than live customer feedback. Utilizing low code tools to drive rapid application deployment allows software delivery to occur early and often, and developers can respond with any necessary updates and improvements to produce the highest quality digital products.
Internal code reviews and manual testing can be helpful to an extent. But these processes won’t catch every vulnerability. Low code applications help streamline the security verification and deployment process by allowing security code to be integrated into the system early and through frequent updates. This requires the availability of automation pipelines with built-in testing and validation of security code.
Regular security tests in the deployment pipeline are also essential since containers are immutable and can’t be patched. The full range of testing can be exercised with rapid deployment of the application if the right code is available at the start and the right tests and scanning tools are incorporated into the pipeline.
2. Seamless user experiences with strong authentication backbones
Customers want easy sign in and easy password management, but also want to trust that the organization they are signing up for is keeping their data secure. To reconcile this friction between the consumer experience and the layers of strong authentication necessary to protect customer data, low code tools can include pre-built security workflows for modern authentication processes, such as biometric, passwordless, email login, and knowledge-based authentication.
Providing advanced authentication capabilities in pre-packaged code libraries helps developers include these modern features and improve the customer experience while maintaining trust. Friction can be minimized, and user experience improved, smoothing out the overall process for both developer and consumer.
3. Disabling breached IDs
Low code tools can also help companies develop a “Plan B” of sorts should a security arise. Phishing for account credentials and password hacks are among the most common methods cybercriminals use to gain access, so shutting down a breach by disabling a stolen ID as soon as it happens is a key line of defense.
Low code tools can provide security protections for businesses by including monitoring to quickly recognize account or department IDs that have been breached, giving security professionals the ability to disable authenticated IDs quickly.
While low code may be a developer tool, its implications for security mean that CSOs and CISOs should encourage its secure adoption within their organizations and work with their developer teams to ensure these best practices get put in place. Development teams who take advantage of what this relatively new software has to offer will greatly benefit from increased flexibility, time and priority adjustment it provides — as long as the security code and tools are baked in.