Tips for Improving Your API Security
Our relationship with applications is reaching to an advanced level as the possibilities for digital communication increase.
However, for apps to work fully and effectively in the modern digital world, simply interacting with users is not enough. They also need to contact each other constantly. And the mechanism they communicate through is APIs.
With the increasing use of microservices and cloud computing technologies, the number of APIs and the size of API traffic keep increasing day by day.
However, the growth in use increases the threat level at the same rate.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can secure your APIs.
What Is an API ?
API is formed from the initials of “Application Programming Interface”
APIs are bridges that allow two softwares to communicate with each other through specific protocols. In simpler terms, APIs can be thought of as messengers allowing apps to communicate.
APIs appear in every step we take in the modern digital world. All applications that receive data from various services and use this data appropriately benefit from APIs.
For example, when you want to choose an outfit by looking at a weather application, you benefit from the data that the weather application imports from meteorology services through APIs.
When you want to make a reservation from an accommodation platform, you can learn about the room availability during the interval you want to go on holiday with the data obtained from the accommodation facilities via APIs.
Or when you want to enjoy a video streaming service, the content you want might be delivered to the application via APIs.
Platforms are strengthening their structure with microservices day by day. And all microservices obtain the information and data they need through APIs. That’s why we hear about the concept of APIs more frequently.
How Does an API Work ?
The user takes an action that requests the application to perform a specific operation. Then the application uses the API to request information or data from the server to fulfill the user’s expectation. The information or data obtained through API requests is processed in the application, and the result is offered according to the user.
The role of the API in this process is similar to a call center operator who conveys the customer’s requests, suggestions, or complaints to the company and the response from the company to the customer.
What Are Serious API Security Issues ?
API usage and security statistics show that APIs represented 83% of web traffic in 2021. Considering that APIs are used to transmit sensitive information and data, it can not be denied that the attack surface of hackers is constantly expanding.
API vulnerabilities have already affected many organizations, causing irreversible damage to their financial structures and reputations.
According to Gartner, application programming interface (API) threats that cause sensitive data breaches for online business services are expected to be the dominant attack vector in 2022.
So what are the security issues that threaten APIs?
According to research by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), these 10 threats are the most critical issues that make using APIs risky:
- Broken Object-Level Authorization
- Broken User Authentication
- Excessive Data Exposure
- Lack of Resources and Rate Limiting
- Broken Function-Level Authorization
- Mass Assignment
- Security Misconfiguration
- Improper Asset Management
- Insufficient Logging and Monitoring
Ways to Improve Your API Security
Although APIs entered our lives even before the World Wide Web, for a long time they were not considered a top priority as cybersecurity technologies developed. But in today’s digitally driven world, securing APIs has become a necessity, not an option.
Recently, the development of solutions to protect organizations where APIs play an important role has gained momentum. Next-gen solutions have started to make radical contributions to the security posture.
To ensure the security of their API-oriented processes and prevent attacks, organizations must turn to effective security solutions in the following areas:
Web Application Firewalls (WAF)
WAFs are your powerful allies at the forefront of your application security structure. WAFs are cybersecurity solutions designed to protect web applications with or without API-based architecture. And they are equipped with unique application-oriented features not found in standard firewalls or similar security solutions.
WAFs create a typical behavior pattern by monitoring all mechanisms related to the basic structure of your application. A WAF quickly detects anomalies that do not comply with this pattern and block even the most complex threats, explicitly targeting applications such as Cross-Site-Scripting (XSS) and SQL Injection.
API Gateways Providing Security Measures
The management of API calls and responses is a very complex process, especially in platforms with many microservices. API gateways are used to facilitate this management process.
An API gateway provides a standard interface that performs traffic management, logging, and other API network operations. When API gateways have additional control mechanisms, the security of the entire API management process is automatically strengthened.
Gateways with security mechanisms are similar to the security team at the entrance to an event. They perform various identities and protocol checks to restrict the access of unwanted entities to the API.
DDoS attackers use malware to send an uncontrollable amount of requests to servers. With these requests, the web server that reaches its limit cannot respond to legitimate users.
A DDoS attack can seriously disrupt API operations. An advanced API security structure should effectively protect your APIs against DDoS attacks.
A Safe and Reliable CDN Partner for API Security
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are cloud computing services that enable the content of websites and applications to be transmitted via the closest geographically distributed points. CDNs minimize the response times of internet platforms from many different industries to incoming requests.
Medianova’s unique CDN and API caching solutions ensure that your content is always safe while reaching the user, with embedded security features such as IP protection, DDoS Mitigation, WAF, Rate Limiting, and SSL/TLS encryptions.
With Medianova’s DDoS Protection and Web Application Firewall (WAF) solutions, which are fully compatible with its CDN service, you can maximize the protection of your web apps and APIs while keeping within your budget.
Check out how Medianova can help you reach the top of your industry by delivering incredible and safe experiences to each of your customers wherever they are.
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