The Biggest API Security Risks and What You Can Do About Them

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APIs continue to grow in popularity, thanks to the boom in microservices and the need for a faster time to market new applications and services. While this has massive benefits for the finance and tech industries, it also opens up the possibility of breaches, especially when it comes to API security risks.

Nine times out of ten, we consider the ramifications of API threats after a breach or hack. Unfortunately, at that point, it is usually too late as the damage is already done. But what you can do is gear up and prepare for the next one. Breaches come with little warning and API security issues are a growing problem as the numbers of hackers increase.

This article will look at some of the more pressing threats to your API and its ecosystem. At the same time, we’ll go into how you protect yourself from attackers.

5 API Security Risks That Are a Risk to Your APIs

While there is a near-countless slew of threats that try to creep up into your APIs and databases, some pose a bigger risk than others. Some threats pose a series of continuous attacks on APIs, and they can all result in thousands of dollars worth of damage to businesses, as well as the loss of sensitive data. 

These are the issues and threats you need to be on the lookout for:

  1. Software bugs

Software bugs result in APIs being exploited allowing hackers and malicious users to gain unauthorized information. Errors in applications and software weaken API security in the long run and make them more prone to damage, but luckily they are easier to deal with.

Platforms like MuleSoft have regular patches to sort out software bugs. You can get patches that work like regular updates and cover up issues and vulnerabilities that result from these bugs. But you can take safety and precautions a step further as well when it comes to bugs.

Businesses have the responsibility to protect their customers’ data and so should conduct vulnerability scans periodically to find and patch bugs. At the same time, clients and customers can also have the option to perform security checks on their own for bugs and breaches.

  1. Injections

This threat arises when suspicious or unverified data is relayed as part of a command or query. The data tends to be malicious and can trick the interpreter into executing unintended commands or providing access to information without the right authorization.

Injections are a pretty major threat to APIs, and this can affect third-party applications as well. How does one get around them? Design your APIs so that they are impenetrable. To do so, you need to set the input validation where it can reject unwanted requests attempting to exploit and access your data.

  1. Broken Object Level

One problem with APIs is the exposed endpoints that deal with object identifiers. This leaves the door open for attacks at these endpoints. To prevent them from happening, you must implement object-level authorization checks for every function that has access to a data source using input from users.

Once authorization is breached, attackers have a wide attack area since APIs provide access to objects and data. Using an API gateway, object-level authorization checks, utilizing access tokens, and proper authorization credentials can go a long way in preventing these breaches.

  1. Way Too Much Exposed Data

Developers may expose all object properties and leave it up to clients to filter out the data before showing it to the user. This exposes a good deal of data, which in turn attracts malicious users who can exploit it.

Instead, limit data exposure to trusted users who require access. Developers can specify exactly who can access different pieces of data. In addition, using something like using OAuth Scopes enables a much simpler API code, which is also easier to handle as access control has the same structure in all the APIs.

  1. Security Misconfiguration

According to OWASP, this usually arises from factors like insecure default configurations, open cloud storage, misconfigured HTTP headers, or even unnecessary HTTP methods. It is important to not rely on default configurations. Make sure they fit your specific application requirements and needs. 

In a Nutshell

In a world of increasing threats and attacks on API security, the only way businesses can stand a chance against hackers is by constant vigilance. Monitor API security risks like your enterprise depends on it because the damage is immense and can cost a lot more than proactive measures. The best option is to understand where the threats are coming from in advance and put up the defenses necessaryーlong before anyone tries to launch an attack.

Want to learn more about securing your APIs the right way? We got you covered!

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