Ensuring the security of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is imperative for safeguarding against malicious attacks and misuse. This is of utmost importance for your organisation’s internal APIs and external third-party APIs that you may be utilising. Since APIs interact with your company’s applications, it is crucial to implement robust security measures to protect them.
Importance of API Security
Businesses’ increasing usage of APIs to provide access to data and services has made them an appealing target for cybercriminals seeking to steal data and launch software attacks.
The vulnerability of APIs cannot be underestimated, as they often constitute the most visible aspect of a network. They are highly susceptible to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and their lack of security can make them easy to reverse-engineer and exploit.
API Security Best Practices
Ensuring API security is a top priority for businesses that rely on APIs to provide data. Data is the lifeblood of many companies, enabling them to engage with users and carry out their operations. As a result, securing APIs is of utmost importance. To achieve this goal, following the best practices for API security is essential.
Validate The Data
It’s risky to assume that API data has been cleaned and validated accurately. Setting up your own data cleaning and validation processes on the server side is essential to prevent common attacks like injection flaws and cross-site request forgery.
Encrypting all network traffic, especially API requests and responses, is essential to keep sensitive information safe. Therefore, all APIs must utilise HTTPS, which is a secure protocol. It’s better to enable HTTP Strict Transport Security than redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS. This is because some API clients may not work as expected with the redirect.
Share Only Necessary Information
API responses commonly contain an entire set of data rather than only the necessary fields, with the expectation that the client application will filter out irrelevant information for the user. This is lazy programming, and it not only slows response times but also provides attackers with additional information about the API and the resources it accesses. Responses should contain the minimum information necessary to fulfil a request.
Conduct Regular Security Tests
To ensure the security of APIs, security teams must test them thoroughly during development and regularly assess the security controls protecting active APIs to verify they are working correctly. Additionally, incident response teams must have some plans to handle security alerts that signal an API attack, including those from threat detection and other security measures. This will help them quickly respond and prevent damage from the attack.
Record APIs in an API registry
Maintaining a record of information that needs to be logged, such as who accessed the API, what actions were performed, and when, can help meet compliance and audit standards. It can also be helpful for forensic analysis in case of a security incident.
When it comes to third-party developers who want to use your APIs in their projects, good documentation is crucial. The API registry should include links to a manual that outlines all the technical requirements, such as functions, classes, return types, arguments, and integration procedures.
API Security Services from Green Method
Green Method offers comprehensive API security services aimed at protecting your business from potential threats. As a reputable cybersecurity companies in Dubai, we specialize in providing top-tier API security solutions that cater to every aspect of API security. Our Cequence Unified API Protection (UAP) solution is designed to safeguard your APIs from attackers and mitigate unmitigated API security risks that could result in data loss, fraud, and business disruptions. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our API security services can benefit your organization.