APIs the main heartbeat of today’s digital world, as the essential connective tissue that allows exchange data and information quickly and securely. As world heavily relies on digital interaction to maintain user connections, the volume of API traffic has grown rapidly. This is growth has also brought on emerging security challenges.
Most of the existing traditional application security controls remain necessary, not quite up to the API security challenge. There are certain basic API security practices organizations can implement to create a more resilient API security posture.
API security threats
When API security taken, its risks and exposures to be considered. Hackers spend more time poking at APIs than most companies do maintaining them. The most common threat vector is misconfigurations and weak links between APIs deployed in each piece of software.
Fixing API security problem isn’t necessarily a new one, but rather taking stock of how many APIs an organization has deployed and how they are interacting with one another. Each and every API is unique and needs individual attention and details understanding. Without visibility into the nature and scope of its API deployments, an organization will find itself ateuck at the earliest stage in attempting to tackle its API security risk.
The roles and responsibilities for security teams are not clearly mentioned while implementing security controls to API. This commonly cited issue means that there are gaps in API maintenance, monitoring and security, and they become doorways for hackers to come in. Teams need to be given specific responsibilities regarding API security maintenance to ensure that nuanced differences between APIs are addressed.
API security Prioritization
The security issue stemmed from misunderstanding of an API’s communication. With organizations often having hundreds or even thousands of APIs in use, the task of securing them all is highly complex. The challenge requires a strategic approach for security assessment that can be applied universally and efficiently across a diverse set of APIs.
D.A.R.T., which stands for Discover, Analyze, Remediate, and Test is a solution addresses security across the API ecosystem, from code to production, and needs to be used for each API’s unique individual requirements.
Discover: The ability to find and inventory all APIs. Enterprises manage thousands of APIs, and many of them are not routed through a proxy or API gateway. APIs that are not routed are not monitored, are rarely audited, and are most vulnerable to mistakes which lead to attacks
Analyze: The ability to detect API anomalies, changes and misconfigurations is vital. It’s important for enterprises to analyze API access, usage, and behavior. Leveraging AI and ML for automated behavior analysis helps to identify issues in real-time. The existing detection behavior need to be analyzed and further corrective measures has to be taken.
Remediate: Remediation can be carried out by identifying misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in the source code, network configuration and policy. Teams can focus on security interventions in the highest-risk areas and provide an effective detection and response. The implementation of automated and semi-automated blocking and remediation of threats means that they can be blocked from even happening.
Test: Its important to have continuous testing of the different API endpoints to identify API risks before they emerge. Analyzing APIs and remediating issues while in development allows companies to deploy APIs with complete confidence and trust.
Attackers are increasingly tuning attention towards APIs as an attack vector and will undoubtedly develop more advanced tools and methods for exploitation. Security teams that are too reliant on tools, have unclear roles and responsibilities and do not execute routine API maintenance may be doing their organizations more harm than good. Taking the time to get educated on specific strategies such as D.A.R.T, ensures that each API is properly managed and secured. 2022 going to be the year of guarding API security atmost.