API, Application Programming Interface, a software intermediary that enables two applications to communicate. The messenger delivers your requests to the provider you are requesting them from and gives you feedback.
API security is the protection of the data, both that you use and own. The approach that you use in API security depends on the type of data being transferred. Sensitive data such as financial, medical, and personal data require high security from third-party applications.
There are two ways of providing wed API security
REST API is an application programming interface that fits the limitations of the REST architectural method and allows interaction with RESTFUL web services. You will be able to access a great variety of data formats. It uses less bandwidth and is easier to integrate with existing websites enabling you to work faster.
SOAP API is a standard-based web service access protocol that uses service interfaces to expose its functionality to client applications. It has an independent programming language and only allows XML formats.
Ten ways to keep your data and infrastructure safe
- Managing an inventory of your APIS. You need to be aware of all the organizations publicly available APIs to manage them. Perimeter scans can be conducted to discover, and you work with the DevOp team to manage them.
- Use a robust authorization solution and authentication. Most publicly available APIs are faced with poor or non –existent authentication and authorization. When APIs do not enforce authentication, broken authentication occurs mainly with private APIs only for internal use. It will lead to unauthorized access to an organization's database, so you must control access to this entry point. You can use solutions based on solid, proven authentication and authorization mechanism such as OAuth2.o and Open ID Connect.
- Prioritize security. API security should be your priority. You stand to lose a lot with unsecured APIs, so you need to prioritize security when building and developing your APIs.
- Encrypt traffic using TLS. If you are handling sensitive data such as logins and health information, TLS encryption should be deemed essential.
- Use web application firewall. You should confirm that it understands API payloads.
- Utilize rate-limiting .you set a threshold above which succeeding requests will be denied; this, in turn, helps you prevent attacks.
- Do not expose more data than necessary. You need to make sure APIs only return the information required to fulfill their function.
- Remove information that's not meant to be shared. Remove information such as passwords and keys before transferring to the public. It would be best to use scanning tools in your DevSecOps process to limit accidental exposure of secret information.
- Practice the principle of least privilege. Grant only the minimum necessary access to each subject.
- Validate input. You should never pass information to the endpoint without validating it.
APIs are growing, and it is your duty as an organization to put measures to prevent any attack on your API. The practices mentioned above will help you secure your data. Your end goal should be developing a solid API security policy.