Application Program Interface (API) Security

Modern Application program interfaces (APIs) have been providing developers more options to deliver efficient products/services in minimal time. Sources such as ProgrammableWeb provides a great directory to choose from over 15,000 APIs. However, with more data comes more security concerns. Businesses use APIs to connect services and transfer data and a robust API security strategy is key to improving an organisation’s security posture.

Failure to understand the importance of API security can result in exposing API data to threat actors. In many security procedures and assessments, APIs often tend to reside outside the scope of the applications information architecture and in the process lead to an unexpected exposure of sensitive data.

The first step to avoiding security issues is to understand what kind of data is being exposed and how it will be transferred. Here are a few other tactics to enhance your API security:

  • Authentication and Authorisation: Authenticate the identity of end users and then authorising the resources allocated to each user.
  • Use API gateways: API gateways provide an extra layer of authentication by analysing and controlling APIs.
  • Monitor add-on software: Add-on software allow developers to have high level of authorisation, which can ultimately be exploited by hackers. Monitoring privileges is critical in minimising vulnerabilities associated with APIs.
  • Use Rest API: The REST (Representational State Transfer) framework provides an API implementation methodology that uses a set of guidelines to increase API security by design. OWASP REST Security Cheat Sheet provides best practises for securing REST APIs. Check out the full clean sheet here:
  • Budget resources to allow for security testing: Allocating both time and money to test APIs is crucial to determine whether APIs meet expectations for functionality, reliability, performance and security. With the rise in cloud computing and risks associated with mitigation, API testing has never been more critical to an organisation

Privasec offers API testing as a part of our Web Application Pentesting.  Our team of experienced and certified ethical hackers help you identify and remediate vulnerabilities before the bad guys find them. Contact us to discuss how we can help at T(AU): 1800 996 001, T(NZ): 222 4725, T(SG): 6631 8375.

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