5 Steps To Improve Your Security API
As the need for more performance and lightning-fast applications keep rising, API-based software applications are also becoming the need of the hour. APIs allow for lean programming, reduce developmental and operational costs, significantly enhance efficiency, and can be easily integrated with third-party applications with ease as well.
API programming has, in fact, found a great audience among the eCommerce ventures as it helps implement a wide range of features and services quickly and cost-effectively. Online payments, inventory management, social media integration have all been very much simplified with the help of APIs. The API-centric model has enabled businesses and organizations to run their applications and find more opportunities to grow quickly.
And most importantly, specialized security APIs have been a great addition to all eCommerce applications providing an easy way to include advanced security in their systems.
While API usage does provide promising benefits, it comes with certain challenges in effective API management, especially as the API footprint keeps growing rapidly. And as everyone in the business knows, there is always room for improvement, and continuous improvement keeps your business sustainable and growing. Here are the five key steps that will help you improve your security API.
Audit Your API Usage
To know whether you use something effectively, you should naturally be aware of all the things you are using. The same goes for APIs. As your applications become more and more complex, there could be chances that you lose track of all the APIs in use. Not knowing the exact APIs and their versions could put you back on the latest updates, upgrades, and deprecated APIs. So, as a rule, make sure you have a proper process that keeps track of all the APIs that you use and does include your security team to keep an eye on the APIs in use.
You can even make the security team lead the centralized control on API management across your various development teams. You need to keep your API catalog updated. Get inputs from all the development teams to get the list of all APIs in use and development. You can also use scanning tools to identify third-party APIs and all the internal APIs used by your applications.
Establish A Visible API Development And Management Process
As you collect information about APIs across your organization, you may encounter particular challenges and information gaps that need to be dealt with. This is mainly because API management does not have any proper job roles assigned to it. While it involves both development and security functionalities, it can be challenging to find the right resources to handle both these aspects of API management.
So, try to find the right talents who have good expertise in API security and development experience who can give you the right level of knowledge to help manage your APIs efficiently.
Assemble a responsible team offering pen testing services to take care of the API management roles and assign ownership to tasks involved.
Design Your API Security To Be Efficient
Many organizations tend to keep API security and improvements as an afterthought. This can be problematic in the long term as thinking of security as an afterthought creates bugs and unexpected behavior.
Ensure to address the development process and ensure security concerns are well dealt with right from the API design stage itself. Ensure that all your APIs are well tested and put through the strict testing requirements you follow for all your other development efforts. Do upgrade your DevOps process to DevSecOps to emphasize the need for addressing security from the early stages of API development.
Follow best practices and guidelines to streamline security API development so that you deal with vulnerabilities early on. One such approach would be to test all your internal APIs the same way you would for your external-facing APIs.
Use Your Security APIs To Strengthen All Facets Of Your Applications
Consider implementing your security APIs to cover the following aspects of your applications
- Make use of APIs to monitor your web traffic and identify any hacking attempts, unauthorized data access, or suspicious traffic. You can also set up APIs to block traffic from a particular source that has been determined to be malicious
- APIs can be used to determine the authenticity of sites and thus gauge the level of trustworthiness with any third-party source interacting with your applications.
- Many security intelligence databases and sources offer APIs that can be utilized to help implement advanced security measures to your existing tools.
- Use your APIs to identify and track the exact details of your attack surface, such as the IP addresses, DNS records, domain names, and more. This can help prevent attacks like domain jacking.
- APIs can be set up to monitor your data sources and check the integrity of your data. You can also make use of them to scan the web to locate any stolen data.
Make Use Of Proven Solutions
If there is some API out there that has been proven to work and is rigorously well tested. Use it rather than build your own from scratch. You can adopt APIs provided by industry leaders like Google or get expert help from API security-based solution providers to help you find the best APIs that will fit your needs. Even when you develop your internal APIs, make sure to follow an excellent secure API architecture to avoid missing out on the basics.