Strategies to Develop and Implement More Secure Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)


Malicious actors have made application programming interfaces their primary target in the IT infrastructure because they are very easy to intercept. Cybercriminals are on the prowl to identify less secure APIs, and compromise them to use them as a gateway to infiltrate the business network.

Attackers can modify the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) traffic between the applications; which means that if cybercriminal can successfully reverse engineer the service API, they can hack the victim’s account, spot the injection vulnerabilities, access other data sets, and deploy other malicious attacks. DevSecOps teams can focus on developing and deploying secure application programming interfaces in their tech stack to minimize the risks of cyber threats and risks. CISOs can consider these best practices to design and implement more secure APIs throughout the IT infrastructure:

Ingrain security in the DevOps stages of API development

It is not necessary that all the application programming interfaces will be inherently insecure. However, with the modern enterprise architecture and fast evolving cybercrime tools, it is difficult to trust any security. Business networks can have a larger attack surface area specially when in the cloud, because it allows more users to access data seamlessly. It can be a tricky task to detect API attacks with legacy tools like web application firewalls, since they enable the SecOps teams to only monitor network traffic.

The tools available in the market, like Static Analysis Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Analysis Security Testing (DAST) designed for web applications, have not evolved a lot since their inception. The modern application programming interface algorithms and frameworks that support them have become too complex to be managed by legacy tools. Traditional tools to detect an API attack will create more false positives that can disrupt the workflows of the SecOps teams and might result in a long term vulnerability in the IT infrastructure that goes unnoticed. Evaluating the APIs can be a challenging task for the tools as well because of the intricacies of the API traffic from a business network’s perspective. The API request can have payloads such as an XML document, JSON document, or a serialized object rather than a simple HTTP request. SecOps teams of modern enterprises need to reimagine API cybersecurity posture.

DevSecOps teams can design a framework that executes the security needs inside the running application programming interface. It is one of the most effective ways to determine how the applications react and measure their behavior to identify both API vulnerabilities and attacks.

Also Read: Strategies to Manage Vulnerabilities and Mitigate Them Effectively

DevSecOps teams to develop secure application programming interfaces

Many DevOps teams have tremendous pressure to design, develop and deploy applications quickly; they tend to overlook security to deliver applications on time. Business leaders need to set effective workflows that enable them to deliver the applications in a timely manner without compromising on security. Manual penetration testing and code evaluation can assist in evaluating API security, but they have become obsolete with the current threat landscape. Enterprises can focus on developing DevSecOps teams that leverage the Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) approach that executes in the background during a generic evaluation of the APIs. This approach is one of the most effective ones because it doesn’t make any changes to the process of how DevOps teams design, test, and deploy application programming interfaces.

Business leaders need to empower their teams with robust tools to overcome challenges in the most effective ways. Building a DevSecOps team with effective workflows to design and deploy secure APIs in the IT infrastructure.

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