Application programming interface (API) is quickly becoming an integral part of the technological landscape. An API is a piece of software that allows two disparate applications or platforms to communicate with each other, giving users the ability to access data from one business on a service provided by another.
This type of software forms the basis of many online services, enabling users to interact with and use information.
However, since APIs allow access to sensitive business information, it is essential to make sure they are secure. Security Boulevard, the home of Security Blogger Network, recently posted an article about API security and best practices in 2023.
The article discusses why API security and testing are so important. It also lists six API security best practices, which include: Knowledge of the latest security risks; use of strong authentication and authorization; use of endpoint protection solutions; application of rate limits; use of quotas and throttling; and validating parameters.
The idea underpinning all of these points is that API security should be based on knowledge of the threat vectors and preemptively taking steps to mitigate them.
Gravitee.io, a leading platform for full-lifecycle API management, also has some inputs on how to keep these programs secure. The company’s strategy is also based on the most commonly used attacks on APIs.
The top API attacks, according to the platform, are authentication attacks, confidentiality attacks, integrity attacks, and availability attacks.
In order to secure against these, the company recommends taking a defensive approach right from the start. For that reason, security by design is the platform’s first recommendation. Integrating security in the development process is a more effective way to secure an API than trying to add on security post-development, claims the business.
Once the API has been deployed, using API management tools allows businesses to monitor the usage and maintain security of this piece of software, says Gravitee.
Strong authentication and authorization is another one of the best practices recommended by the platform. Multi-factor authorization should be essential when an API is used for accessing sensitive information, the company declares.
Access management allows the API developers to control the information users can see. Managing privilege includes not allowing people to view information that is not necessary to their business process, asserts the company.
Since data can be stolen while it is being transmitted, confidentiality should be a part of any API. One such measure can be transfer layer security (TLS) combined with robust security certificate management. The company explains that this could prevent eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks.
Finally, input validation should be implemented to prevent unhandled error events or weakness exploitation in processes consuming the information, the company says.
In conclusion, Gravitee explains that since APIs are now commonplace, they need to be developed and managed correctly, so as not to introduce exploitable security vulnerabilities into the organization.
Both Security Boulevard and Gravitee offer useful suggestions for keeping APIs safe. The difference is that the former focuses on specific vulnerabilities while the latter focuses on overall security, built into the development, deployment, and management processes.
For more information about the complete API lifecycle management platform, please visit: https://www.gravitee.io/
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Scotland News journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.
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