Some of us lack patience when it comes to improving our workflows. That's why low-code development tools are a God send for citizen developers. They usually understand the true nature of their work and what it takes to improve their workflows. And when process experts directly or indirectly contribute to custom software development, the results are usually effective and fast.
Nonetheless, it's not all roses and sunshine with citizen development. Citizen developers understand the tasks and processes needed for specific operations but may not understand the risk technology introduces to an organization, particularly when integrations are involved.
Fortunately, a solid low-code development tool will provide security features to protect organizational data. Let's review some of the low-code development safeguards to consider.
The good thing about most low-code platforms is that they already have security baked into the tool. They connect to other platforms via a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, facilitate password management, and provide encryption mechanisms. So, the heavy lifting is pretty much taken care of for citizen developers.
However, once a low-code app is implemented, the system becomes vulnerable to security threats. The way developers build the interface creates the opportunity to expose data.
Citizen developers generally focus on the task or process they're trying to streamline. Security operations like data expiration and accessibility aren't necessarily top of mind. It would be helpful for the developers to build a way to police the data in the application right from the beginning.
All of the security requirements should be documented upfront and implemented within the workflows themselves. Developers need to understand the rules about what data is exposed, who sees it, where it is stored and how long it is available.
Again, a proficient low-code development platform allows users to administer users easily. And, even though most programs these days are cloud-based, desktop instances should provide encryption services to secure the data stored on hard drives or thumb drives.
Security Team Involvement
Ideally, the security team is closely involved in the development process. It's inefficient to develop an app only to have to reconfigure it to meet security standards.
The security team will establish the requirements to protect the data in the application. In addition, they will determine the appropriate storage locations, user access conditions, and other protection mechanisms.
They are also responsible for ensuring that the data is adequately protected and presented upon initial release and after that. The security team should audit workflows regularly for consistency and adaptation as the rules change over time.
Disparate goals are a common issue between citizen developers and the security team. For example, citizen developers usually focus on building functionality to help them do their jobs more efficiently. And the security team is concerned about enforcing data storage and accessibility requirements.
Another potential hindrance is that the security requirements will bog down the workflow. Admittedly, citizen developers are trying to improve a slow and clunky process, but the result might not be so remarkable.
Nonetheless, these obstacles will not be insurmountable with an effective low-code development platform and proper planning.
Claris FileMaker is a leading low-code development platform. Having been in the market for almost forty years, FileMaker is bundled with the latest and greatest security mechanisms to protect you and your data.
We're a team of FileMaker, SQL, and Web developers. If you need help with your low-code project, we can work with you to create a new custom solution, help you enhance an existing application, or provide you with FileMaker training and support. Contact us for more information about our different services or to schedule a free initial consultation.