APIs are the backbone of modern-day app architecture. These APIs act as a key to ensuring security. Typically, the API holds the most valuable data for an enterprise. Hence, if that data is compromised, you know your company and your users are to face the brunt too. In such a case, it is crucial to keep your software protected with API security testing by getting rid of the security vulnerabilities.
Let us understand what API security testing is.
What does API Security Testing Mean?
API security testing can be used for scrutinising the vulnerabilities in your application. As a result, any potential security issue gap can be surfaced and tackled at the earliest.
Previously, API security testing was done using penetration testing or manual testing by an internal security team. In recent times, companies are moving to operate API security tests to ensure that these security challenges are tackled at an early stage in life.
In simple terms, API is a language utilized by various applications. For instance, you could put your Twitter handle in the right sidebar on your WordPress blog without coding, and it’s because WordPress utilizes the Twitter API to achieve this. These APIs have been used by programmers, developers, and their customers for some time and will likely remain. Why is it so important to speak about API Security testing?
Each year, tens of thousands of APIs are made accessible on the internet. According to research conducted recently, the cloud API market is predicted to grow to US$ 1,424 million by 2025.
The rapid increase in the adoption of cloud services is among the significant factors behind the growing API market. As a result, APIs are gradually becoming the primary language for enterprise integration. However, the increasing API adoption has brought its security risks.
Research firm Gartner forecasts that by 2022 API misuse will be the second most prevalent kind of attack on web applications. Therefore, securing APIs is paramount to ensure the smooth operation of a secure digital enterprise. The initial step to achieve this is to conduct an API security evaluation.
API Security isn’t anything more than safeguarding the API endpoints from attacks and creating the API you want to use safely. An API that is vulnerable API could result in:
- Unauthorized Access
- Data leakage
- Sanctioning Fuzzy input
- Injection Vulnerabilities
- Parameter Tampering, etc.
Are you unsure if you have insecure API regulations on your site? Then, don’t forget to read until the conclusion. These tests for API security methods described in this blog are everything you need to know to secure your API more effectively. In just a few minutes.
Let’s first examine the various types of API security flaws and the tools one can utilize to identify these.
Recognize the risks associated with APIs
When working with APIs, they concentrate on a few features to make the feature set as strong as possible. They usually think outside the box. The problem is that nowadays, both back and front ends are tied to various parts. Hackers think out of the box, exploring how a gateway could be used to carry out nefarious activities.
APIs can be challenging to use
Software development has had to face the challenge of a double-edged sword in recent times. DevOps has made distributing resources more accessible and more efficient, but to be exact, connectivity has increased, and the design of systems is becoming more complicated. APIs support thousands of connections.
Amid pressure to release new software ASAP, well-intentioned competent programmers often rush and commit mistakes.
University of Virginia researchers found that even when programmers adhere to accepted practices, they create unsafe code.
The team examined three sets of applications, including client apps from the Windows 8 App Store using various social media sign-ons, and discovered that 67 to 86 percent of applications had security weaknesses, resulting in users having their login credentials stolen.
Pay attention to add-on software
The complexity of APIs can cause another set of issues. One common use for interfaces is to permit third-party developers to write additional applications for a particular platform.
For example, social media and mobile solutions programs, such as Facebook, depend on third parties to enhance their existing system. One potential issue is that these interfaces typically grant developers high authority rights (system administrator capabilities in certain instances). Hackers adore these rights and will do everything to discover such weaknesses.
Utilize standards in a responsible manner
Vendors are creating standards to improve API security and make it easier to implement; However, the results have not been perfect. It is the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
OAuth Standard for Open Authorization is openly created to give users secure, restricted access to resources of the system with no sharing of credentials. The standard is utilized to allow Internet users to sign in to third-party websites through your Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
However, problems may arise since the standard is built on HTTP with weaknesses, and APIs can provide an attractive opportunity to exploit.
So, what kind of attacks can be expected to be a possibility? The list of possible attacks is lengthy. There is a long list of vulnerabilities. Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is an ad-hoc group that focuses on enhancing the security of software and keeps tabs on the most prevalent API security vulnerabilities, such as SQL/script injections and authentication vulnerabilities.
Make sure you are focusing on authorization and authentication at the front
APIs do not live alone. Instead, developers connect these components to other software components. Securely securing code requires developers to take an all-encompassing approach.
This begins with solid authentication that involves verifying whether a person is who they claim to be. Businesses are shifting away from password-based systems to multi-step authentication, emphasizing biometrics such as fingerprints. After authentication is completed, they must pass an authorization process and then gain access to various kinds of data.
For instance, a small number of employees have access to data on payroll, and all employees must be able to access the blog of the company’s president. In addition, the company needs to ensure that company information is safe.
Nowadays, companies are encrypting data from its beginning to the point of removal. In the past, data was encrypted only when it was moved from place to location within the network. When encryption is in place, if criminals manage to get into it, they are unlikely to access any valuable information.
Be sure to review the information at the back of the device
Businesses spend a lot of time and effort to protect information from the front, yet attackers can get into the system. Therefore, companies must set up additional security measures to keep them from the network. If a criminal gains access to private information, it is significant only if they can transfer it onto their internal systems. Also, even if you don’t spot an intruder on your way to the door, you’ll still be able to beat him out.
Tools that assist the developers in controlling APIs are currently being created by various sources that range from small-scale companies to established firms. These tools come with features such as security scans pre-built, which check for flaws in code, including parsing or improper handling of data.
Time to budget for security testing
Security testing requires time and money, and businesses must invest in it. New technology drives innovation around 5 percent to 10% of the budget should be allotted for security tests.
API use is growing and is empowering businesses to create more interactive applications. But, when they benefit from these features, companies should be aware of any possible security vulnerabilities and fix them.