Rise & Rise of API’s

May 21, 2019

Application programming interface (API) being the hidden backbone of applications. Developers rely on these API’s to communicate with another software programs or applications. According to a survey findings indicate 69% of organizations expose their API to public and partners, wherein an average of 363 different API’s is being used.

Nowadays threats and vulnerabilities are increasing, and everyday companies are trying to patch them up. Thus, protecting the API has become an integral part for the ones we own and use as the rise of API’s comes with security holes.

Why API security is important?

Data breaches is on the rise everyday and  API’s are unguarded. Vulnerable API’s were the cause of many stolen data. Developers top priorities is how good the functionality works rather than how secure it is. The ultimate goal is to keep your organization data safe and secure. One of the apt examples on how well the API must be protected,  is the recent data breach on Facebook. This massive security breach was said to be attacked using Facebook developer API’s where profile information such as name, gender, location was  obtained.

Protection from API Risks

Maximizing your security is the primary goal.  API’s can be secured in different ways :

  • Basic Authentication: The most common authentication i.e. username and password
  • API Key: It is a unique token provided for the user by the service
  • OpenID Connect: It’s a type of authentication to verify the end user which is simple identity layer above the OAUTH

Best Practices

  • Perform authentication to the users and then authorization should be done to determine the user identity and provide right access to the trusted identity using Role based access control., where authentication can be done using various factors like MFA for added security
  • Ensuring proper protection while authentication is a must, where encrypting the API keys, tokens, user credentials should be done using the latest cryptographic protocols
  • Setting up monthly quotas and restricting the time limit on how often an API can be called helps us when an API is abused or when programmed in an endless loop. Making rules for API protects from DDos attacks
  • API gateway helps in preventing malicious attacks and analyses how API’s are used
  • Enable Auditing and logging for API requests

Securing API,is  the key ingredient in applications and protecting from threats and attacks is required. Hence to avoid the security vulnerabilities, best practices are used to secure the API.

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