Low code technology allows your online database to be built with a user friendly drag and drop format. This is far easier than creating raw code from scratch. There is minimal or no hand coding used. Consequently, technical and non-technical database builders can construct the online database faster and more efficiently. Further down the line, modifications can also be done without engaging a software developer. This saves time and money. But what’s the impact on low code security for your precious data?

Custom made online databases or other web apps can produce a minefield of vulnerable code. This is a serious risk to your business or organisation, particularly now the GDPR is in force.

If deployed into production this would require the vulnerabilities to be found ASAP and plugged. Frantically putting fixes in place is highly risky as hackers can access exposed data.

Many out of the box or off the shelf solutions should present a lower risk than fully bespoke software. However, off the shelf software may not easily support your specific business processes. Data protection is critical to your business while a fit for purpose online database is important too. Cost effective customisations means you don’t have to shoehorn your business requirements into an off the shelf solution. But new customised code could be increasing your security risk.

The dilemma.

  1. Out of the box software products should be secure as you would hope it has gone through a rigorous security testing phase. But being an off the shelf product doesn’t easily or cheaply allow for customisations.
  2. Custom made software needs to be security vetted as new code is released. This commands a lot of resources.  The normal situation is where vulnerabilities are not found at all and is released into production. This could be due to a lack of security training. Or developers are pressured to go-live before carrying out security due diligence to meet deadlines.

The solution is to stop vulnerable code from getting deployed into production in the first place while maintaining solution flexibility.

Baked in low code security

Low code platforms, such as Pretaform, are developed with a model of secure application security covering  architecture design, implementation, and testing. Robust low code platforms have been tried, tested and are continuously monitored. Security is a major consideration from the onset and is a foundation stone of the platform. Critically, security testing has been done early in the software delivery lifecycle and continuously iterated. Not at the end when the project is pushed for time and security has been relegated to the bottom of the priority list.

Proven secure application deployment processes used in the development life cycle reduce risk. This includes enforcement of HTTPS/SSL encryption, access control and auditing. There are low code solutions that allow client builders to expose data inadvertently. For example when database/form builders do not easily understand the security model. When choosing a product check the  low code platform has a UI that informs builders their data is collected and kept in the state as intended. For example, having a building UI that clearly defines authorised levels of data access. Alternatively, ask the supplier to carry out audits covering data protection.

Software developer shortage

The inherent high security of low code platforms also mitigate the risk introduced by the current global shortage of software developers. In addition to this dire situation, many engineers do have not the depth of training or experience in developing secure software. Let alone experience in on-going security maintenance. Software engineering courses rarely teach adequate secure coding practices.

It’s reassuring from a security concern, to recognise that with a low code platform much of an online database application can be built with no-code at all. All of the building components have been vetted, if the low code platform is designed with security as a top priority. So it’s not possible for developers or non-technical builders to make mistakes that introduce security issues.

In addition, custom code development, when needed, can be locked down to only nominated users who are trained in security techniques. They are able to create new components easily which are fully screened and then released for others to use safely. This reduces security reviews to a minimum, saving time and money.

Shut the gate

To reiterate it’s far better to avoid introducing vulnerabilities into production. Don’t risk exposing data. Cyber security experts are difficult to find and are very expensive. That’s the classic mistake of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

Whether you build your PretaForm online database or engage our professional services to do it for you, the low code database development production line means your data security risk is mitigated.

If you have any questions please contact us.

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