Cybersecurity is a broad field concerned with protecting users, computer systems, networks, and digital assets against various information theft and financial damage due to security breaches by criminal outsiders (“hackers”) or malign insiders. A common question that beginners ask about cybersecurity is its relation to coding: in essence, is it necessary to learn coding to pursue a career in cybersecurity? Even though there is a conception that coding is essential for entering the field of security, most entry-level cybersecurity jobs do not require coding skills. However, knowing coding is considered an asset, especially for mid-level and senior cybersecurity jobs. So, the answer to whether cybersecurity professionals need to learn programming code is not a straight yes or no. You may not need to master programming if you seek a career in cybersecurity; it depends on the nature of the job.
Cybersecurity professionals have a range of skills and knowledge in the following areas: vulnerability assessment, security tools, process development, and various regulatory and security frameworks, as well as project management and architecture of technology. Although people might think that all cybersecurity professionals have advanced coding and programming knowledge, that’s typically not true–each cybersecurity individual has a different set of skills. The only common skill that unites all these cybersecurity professionals is a security mindset that drives them to test organizations’ systems, tools, and processes for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. Many cybersecurity professionals who may not even have computer science degrees usually develop their security knowledge and skills through hands-on experience in the field. The key to entering the cybersecurity industry is not a degree but a desire to learn and understand the functioning of technology and the associated exploitable weaknesses. Additionally, there are now various certifications that beginners can earn to learn the basics of cybersecurity. Formal training is usually not expected due to the dynamic and interdisciplinary nature of the field.
Organizations often spend significant time and resources hiring developers to maintain the cybersecurity of the organization. These developers are mostly professionally trained and bring their own approaches to cybersecurity while developing applications. This is where it gets complicated because these new developers have to be trained in security development and corporate policies related to the organization. This is where low-code developers step in. Since they already understand their business company’s security policies and standards, they can save time and develop those applications quickly.
Low Code Applications for Cybersecurity Development
With the expansion of technology and increased need for developers, low code development platforms have become quite commonplace. According to a Gartner report, 65% of all application development projects will use low code development tools by 2024. The report also suggests that at least four low code programs will be used by 66% of large companies. Another report projects that the low code development platform market is expected to grow from $13.2 billion to $45.5 billion by 2025 at a compound annual rate of 28.1%. There are several advantages to using low code applications for cybersecurity development:
1. Rapid Deployment of Code
Low code applications enable the flexibility to build, test, iterate (improve) and test again very rapidly. This is particularly helpful in the field of cybersecurity. Therefore, the low code tool allows a quick turnaround if the security is deemed insufficient. Live customer feedback is the key for a business to know the effectiveness, user-friendliness, and security of applications. Low code tools allow for early application deployment, which allows developers to incorporate customer feedback and update their digital products accordingly. Low code applications streamline the deployment and security verification process by integrating the security code into the system process quite early through regular updates. Given the rise in cybersecurity threats and breaches, low code applications are a must. While enterprise applications offer security, governance, and usage, low code applications can effectively incorporate feedback quite quickly and easily.
2. Seamless User Experience
These days users want to be able to sign into their accounts and access them quickly, but at the same time, they expect organizations to keep their data secure. As such, low code tools can be used to offer the customer easy engagement with their accounts while protecting their data. Several low code applications come with built-in security features like biometric access controls, email, passwordless login, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and knowledge-based account authentication - all of these raise the bar significantly for hackers to gain unauthorized access to digital assets. Sophisticated low-code solutions allow for authentication, authorization, encryption, and device management. These solutions can give developers complete administrative control, powering role-based authentication and enabling advanced features for enterprise data protection. Therefore, the best low code applications can provide a stellar user experience while instilling trust.
3. Disabling Breached IDs
Phishing emails and password/account hacks are some of the most common methods used by cybercriminals to access accounts. In these cases, disabling the stolen ID is usually the first thing. Low code tools help companies develop a security wall (Plan B) in case of a breach. Low code applications allow for quick monitoring, which helps identify the accounts and the departments experiencing the security breach. As such, security professionals can quickly find and disable the compromised user IDs to prevent further damage. Low code applications offer greater flexibility and time priority adjustment, which can be an excellent advantage for development teams.
Tackling the Security Concerns Related to Low Code Applications
Even though low code applications offer tremendous benefits, leading IT and business decision-makers have security concerns. A recent survey suggested that around 59% of IT professionals are business decision-makers who consider security risks the top challenge in adopting low-code platforms. Some challenges that enterprises need to consider include low visibility of applications (enterprises may not always understand what their employee is building), lack of data oversight (data access, control, and configurations), and business problems that expose data. However, businesses can overcome these challenges by taking some progressive measures.
Using low code programs does not mean a compromise on security. Some of the measures that companies can take are:
- Businesses should employ the same kind of security testing for low code apps as they use for traditionally-developed software. Most enterprises have widespread internal and external security testing for their software. They should make a habit of doing the same for low code development apps.
- Enterprises should ensure that the low code development tool they use includes strong built-in security. Additionally, the tool should allow them to move low-code app development to the cloud, which will give them a chance to apply governance to access and permissions based on rules.
- While using low-code programs, businesses can restrict the access and sharing of data to keep it safe. For instance, data can be shared on a read-only basis or under additional security requirements, such as digital certificates, hardware tokens, and biometrics.
- Ensure that low code developers are trained in the same security disciplines as conventional languages developers. Examples include detailed knowledge of corporate cybersecurity policies and procedures and training on security frameworks (like ISO 27000 and the NIST cybersecurity pronouncements.)
- Choose low code/code development tools that incorporate strong cybersecurity principles and practices that will be built into all apps and which cannot be circumvented by citizen developers.
As discussed above, low code development apps are a valuable business investment. This innovative method of rapidly building apps revolutionizes business tasks and customer experiences. Yet, the key to success is the proper vetting of low-code software security capabilities and educating business and IT teams on the importance of adequate security. Low-code software doesn’t need to mean higher security risk. It simply means more education, rigorous app testing, and appropriate security policies around citizen development.