Five Tips for Strengthening API Security

Five Tips for Strengthening API Security
Five Tips for Strengthening API Security

The development of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) has exploded in recent years, propelled by digital transformation and the critical part APIs play in mobile apps and the Internet of Things (IoT). API security has become a significant problem as a result of this increase.

APIs are critical in today’s business, and their importance will only increase as new apps and IoT devices are developed. APIs make it easier for developers to link ecosystems and integrate them, which helps both businesses and their customers. On the other hand, cybercriminals might exploit APIs for malevolent purposes.

Here are some recommended practices that firms can implement to maximize API security.

Determine vulnerabilities

The first step in safeguarding the API lifecycle is identifying the vulnerable locations. Companies should map out their whole lifecycle and know where their API components are located. Businesses will be able to detect gaps in their API by comprehending how everything fits together. Scanning for errors and testing the routines can also help detect potential problems.

Also Read: Top Three API Security Practices for CISOs

Maintain a record of all of their APIs

Businesses can find all of their APIs with an API management strategy in place, no matter where they are. They must, however, be strategic in their approach to this phase. For example, IT may not be aware of all APIs in use throughout the enterprise; therefore, depending on manual discovery methods may result in critical blind spots.

While API documentation is an excellent practice in and of itself, it is not always followed. All companies require the automated discovery of API endpoints, parameters, and data types.

As a Development and Operations (DevOps) best practice, businesses should find APIs in all their environments, not just production; incorporate API dependencies and tag/label their APIs.

Embrace an API management approach

Businesses must implement API management. They should strive to make this plan as proactive as possible by establishing clear API design, implementation, and management processes that are in line with the company’s needs. Organizations should specify how their security teams can discover, prioritize, and address API-related vulnerabilities as part of their plan. All other security parts of an API management strategy flow from this foundation, so it’s critical to get it right and change it as the business grows.

Keep an eye on how much data is being shared

APIs are more of a developer’s tool than a client’s, which means they might leak a lot of sensitive information, including passwords, keys, and company data. As a result, integrate security scanning tools into Development, Security and Operations (DevSecOps) to limit the quantity of sensitive data exposed. To prevent revealing more information than is necessary, place data filtering duty on the endpoint rather than the user interface.

Also Read: API Security: Four Best Practices Enterprises need to consider in 2022

Include legal review

A modification to an API might impact how it gathers user data. Updates that include sensitive data may violate privacy rules or legislation like GDPR. Firms must manually map all parameters when they have an inventory. Experts advise doing a legal audit of the API inventory and building a repeatable testing method that can be incorporated into a continuous delivery pipeline.

API teams must address security and legal issues early in the development process when releasing new updates. With CI/CD, these modifications must now be made often.

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