Jim is an API developer who finds that most of his day is consumed with protecting APIs rather than designing and developing them. He feels that with all the digital improvement, APIs are quickly becoming a target for web attackers.
There has to be a way to protect APIs better so he can spend more time on developing the APIs that work best for his clients. Before he can focus on that, Jim does his research to understand the most common cyber threats associated with APIs.
A good portion of API vulnerabilities are exposed during API processing boundaries. Much like other endpoints, APIs are exposed to high levels of cyber risk. Three types of cyber threats are:
1…Application downtime due to an excessive rate of API calls. DOS or DDoS attacks can happen when too many API calls hit a server at any time or when slow POST requests are made.
2…Data theft via MITM attacks. Man-in-the-Middle attacks happen when an API transaction is intercepted, revealing or altering confidential information.
3…Weak authentication and authorization. Making API calls without the proper authentication or authorization can open the door for attackers to hinder actions on behalf of someone else.
To combat these threats, there are two mitigation strategies to consider:
• Negative Security Model:
In the negative security model, API parameters are compared against a set of blacklisted content to filter malformed or malicious requests directed at the API server. This model applies security rules such as XSS and SQLi to mitigate attacks.
• Positive Security Model:
To filter malformed or malicious requests directed at the API server, requests must also undergo a positive security model to validate API parameters against expected values.
Apart from this, IT officers can follow the 3-step process of: Define, Enforce, and Analyze to remain at optimum security levels.
Defining the current and desired security standards, enforcing appropriate regulations across the organization, and analyzing and monitoring systems at all times are just the basic steps to ensuring API security.
If you want to know more about strategies for API security, click the link below for more information.