What is a no-code application platform?
In many organizations, an increasing number of non-programmers need access to applications that ordinarily would require a programmer’s expertise. As a result, solutions have emerged to enable software development while eliminating the need for traditional coding: no-code application platforms.
The no-code application platform democratizes software creation, using visual tools so non-developers can build software applications for business needs. In this post, we’ll examine the no-code application platform — and its near cousin, the low-code application platform — consider its benefits and limitations, and look specifically at the role it can play in cybersecurity.
Understanding application platforms to build no-code applications
No-code application platforms are revolutionizing the way many businesses develop software. Essentially, these platforms are designed to make application development simple and achievable for those with limited technical know-how. Often, no-code platforms use visual interfaces and drag-and-drop tools to facilitate the development process. The result is greater ease and speed in designing, building, and deploying a software application — and all of this happens without necessarily expending engineering resources.
At this point, we should clarify the distinction between a no-code application platform and a low-code application platform. No-code platforms rely entirely on the visual interface, enabling users to build applications without writing any code at all. Naturally, the level of customization for applications built this way is limited to what’s available via the visual interface.
In contrast, a low-code platform provides users with the ability to edit code when necessary. Most (or all) of the code can be generated through the visual tools of a low-code platform, but users have the flexibility to manipulate code when they need to satisfy more complex application requirements.
No-code platforms offer ultimate simplicity with limited customizability. Low-code platforms offer more flexibility while still retaining a level of simplicity to keep it usable by non-engineers.
Because of the flexibility and accessibility afforded by no-code and low-code platforms, businesses can create the tools and solutions they need to meet internal operational needs and respond to ever-changing market needs.
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Benefits of no-code application platforms
No-code platforms present several advantages for the modern enterprise, including:
- Accelerating delivery: Empowering businesses to create technical solutions that are highly customizable and tailored to meet their unique needs while reducing development time.
- Empowering non-developers: Making it possible for individuals with little to no coding expertise to build custom solutions that meet business needs, significantly reducing the burden on engineering resources.
- Providing cost-effective solutions: Enabling businesses to enjoy substantial savings by minimizing the time and resources necessary for developing useful tools. These cost savings are further amplified when organizations leverage automation — often offered by low-code platforms — to handle various tasks and processes.
- Tool consolidation: Allowing businesses to build custom tools within their existing security tech stack minimizes the need to adopt entirely new tools, thereby preventing tool sprawl.
Limitations of no-code and low-code application platforms
Although no-code and low-code platforms bring tremendous benefits, they also come with challenges that you should be aware of.
- Balancing simplicity and customization: Even with the level of customization no-code and low-code application platforms offer, they cannot match the customizability of advanced and fully coded software applications. This trade-off for simplicity and accessibility is often worthwhile for most organizations and use cases. However, unique needs requiring complex solutions might necessitate full-fledged, traditional software development.
- Understanding and prioritizing use cases: The convenience of no-code application platforms makes it tempting to build tools ad hoc, without strategic focus. This can lead to misappropriated resources. Organizations must think strategically about the use cases for which they want to build custom tools and then prioritize those use cases accordingly.
- Scalability concerns: Solutions built from these platforms are not necessarily equipped to scale as your business grows. This can bring additional challenges down the road, requiring retooling or a fresh start at designing your application solutions.
- Security implications: Because these platforms abstract away complexities so non-engineers can build applications simply, they may not emphasize a security-first approach to development. When it comes to robust application security (such as using role-based access control) or compliance with data privacy and protection regulations, applications built through a no-code or low-code platform may not meet your organization’s standards and guidelines.
With these benefits and limitations in mind, let’s consider the power of no-code application platforms specifically within the context of cybersecurity.
The potential of no-code in cybersecurity
Because cybersecurity platforms are designed to address a broad range of changing threats and vulnerabilities within the specific context of an organization’s systems and infrastructure, the need for customization is high. Out-of-the-box solutions may be powerful, but they won’t always align well with an individual organization’s unique environment and challenges. The ability to tailor these platforms ensures their maximum effectiveness.
No-code platforms empower your team to quickly build custom applications that can simplify IT and security operations. You can automate security workflows to make sure nothing gets missed and offload the mental burden on your SecOps team. In this regard, a no-code or low-code application platform can be a game-changer for your team. Those with an extensive programming background can make vital adjustments to the platform, and the broader security team can still build useful customizations with a focus on strategy and threat analysis.
In most organizations, the challenges in cybersecurity revolve around tool sprawl, not having enough skilled security analysts, and a shortage of dedicated budget. CrowdStrike Falcon® Foundry is a platform that lets you build no-code applications to extend the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform. This enables your team to keep all of its cybersecurity tooling within a single platform while providing a means for everyone to build apps through an intuitive visual interface.
The rise of no-code application platforms has democratized the process of building software. Application development is no longer solely the domain of programmers. Across sectors, organizations are benefitting from the enablement of these platforms, building custom software solutions without the constraints of traditional software development.
Within cybersecurity, the availability of the no-code application platform is even more essential. The landscape of cyber threats is complex and ever-evolving, requiring modern enterprises to be swift as they build customized solutions and adapt to new challenges. The no-code application platform empowers them to do this.
To get started with Falcon Foundry and its native security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) framework, CrowdStrike Falcon® Fusion, you can sign up for a free trial of the Falcon platform or contact CrowdStrike today.