7 Common Myths About API Security
The term API, or Application Programming Interface, has been around for years and years. APIs have been in use by developers, programmers, and their clients for a few decades now and are set to stay. More recently, APIs have been embraced by businesses for their internet-based trading. Which can be referred to as a business API or a web API. Another change that has happened in the API world is the API security breaches, some of which have cost companies and their customers millions of dollars in stolen bank account details.
It’s no surprise that as technology becomes an increasingly omnipresent aspect to companies across the world that cyber-crime would be advancing as well. In the light of these scandals, there is a lot of information and misinformation circling about API security. So, here are the 5 misconceptions that you should avoid in your bid to secure your API for your company.
Contents of This Guide
1. API Security Is Integral To API
It’s unclear why this rumor would have begun. But it’s a really important one to clear up as you begin to think about how to secure your API. Quite often consumers view API security as a feature of API. It’s not a feature, and this is important, its different technology. Understand that securing your API requires looking elsewhere, beyond your API itself.
Many companies have been confused with this notion and this is why their products suffered. But you can learn from that and know that API security is more than just a feature. API security is a mindset and not a feature. Application Programming Interfaces are not just there for function. It might look like a feature of a firewall or antivirus, or the belief that they can provide these on simple settings but it’s not true.
This is a technology that has a lot more to offer.
For starters, it has five pillars that are critical and very important for this technology. These five pillars are the interface, the consumption, life cycle, business, and access. Any interface needs to have these pillars if it’s serious about the general security that it can receive from APIs. And reducing API security to something it’s definitely not is as wrong as it can be. Safety features with APIs only cover the central pillar, the access so misjudging this would be very wrong.
2. Using Software To Secure Your API Is Fine
Software-based API security is an option available to you as you look to manage your API. It’s pretty convenient and if you don’t have a ton of understanding about how it all works anyway, you might think that it’s all fine. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong, and there’s history to show why. All the infamous API security breaches have been connected to software: running alien code on your site is going to leave a whole host of vulnerabilities. So, go for a more concrete option.
Developers often rely on these solutions, and they open themselves to a whole host of problems and vulnerabilities. There have been many data breaches because of this and all of it could have been prevented if the system had been on lock. You can’t use pure software because hackers can find a way to get into it. They will then inject a bad code and exploit all the vulnerabilities.
3. It’s Simple
As a concept API itself can be summed up with a good degree of simplicity, yes: two programs being connected through an API, and that’s it. However, API security is not simple. And this might be one reason for you to think about investing in some outside advice from an expert in the area. The ironic part is that the simpler your actual API connection is, the less simple securing it is going to be. In the modern era, sharing data but at the same time securing it is what makes API security a necessarily complicated task.
It’s about time to start considering our safety and security more seriously. No system is simple or complete without some help from another system and that system needs another system. You need to take a holistic approach to your security and that means not taking your security or the tools that help for granted.
If you don’t start taking things seriously, you become complacent and open yourself up to an attack. The concept of API is quite simple but you need to integrate different programs to enable security for your system. API is a revolution of security and the next step. This is necessary to maintain security in the cyber world. It’s interconnected and complex but you can handle it.
APIs simplicity sometimes leads people to assume that they are easy. Even some security professionals underestimate them. But granting access for APIs to some of our systems is not to be taken lightly and you need to understand them before you can start using them.
Understand that your own reputation and company are on the line.
4. API Gateway Is The Same As API Security Gateway
API security gateways ought to be used all the time as a solution to the ongoing API security problems. Security gateways are able to limit the flow of data to precisely what it is that you need transferred and to stop you from hemorrhaging data that doesn’t necessarily need to be out there. “A normal API gateway might be useful for your connection”, says Mariska Hunai, system admin at Draft beyond and Last minute writing, “but it’ll never compare to a secure gateway. A basic API gateway will still have vulnerabilities intrinsic to its nature which are unavoidable.” Opt for a secure gateway to avoid the potential breach.
5. APIs Are Simply Different From API Security
This misconception is born out of the fact that for a long time, cybersecurity has been viewed as a part of an altogether separate practice from the identity and data flow control. Neither side of the equation have traditionally been blessed with elements of the other, so cybersecurity systems are clunky when it comes to identity flow, but API is riddled with vulnerabilities the likes of which cybersecurity would deal with in an instant. A combination of the two is absolutely vital for you as you go about figuring out the API security system best for your purposes.
6. APIs automatically means better security
Many companies talk about their products being safe because they have features of API security, and they believe that API security ultimately means the best security. However, this is not true. Just having features from API security doesn’t mean that your product is secure or more secure than others. This would be like claiming that your product has features of the firewall or an antivirus which is also not secure enough.
Your product’s security doesn’t mean just having features of something but more so on creating comprehensive systems, not just the features. You have to show the full product being safe because of a complete concept. No matter how good components of a software are or the system itself, you have to make those features work together or you will fail in the sense of security and ensuring that your product is really safe.
7. API enforces security
Products for cybersecurity are not very well-designed to help with defining and checking the identity and controlling access to your system. API products which are related to the identity are also not great at enforcing any rules related to cybersecurity. No system or software can do this effectively. But when you need this to work properly, you need to make the components like cybersecurity products and API identity products work together to protect your system and make it secure. This is really necessary if you want the ultimate security because either of these components can’t work on their own. They can’t enforce the rules and security.
While APIs can enhance your security and protection, and they can amp up the protection that your security system gives, they will not keep you safe enough on their own. This is what you need to know because it’s very common for people to believe that API identity security can keep you safe enough. You need to use API with other security practices if you want to remain as safe as possible online. Use virtual private networks as well and these will help you maintain some of that anonymity and help you develop a different, more holistic approach that will allow you to stay safe and to maintain good security practices. So, in essence, API security is not an answer to everything.
With so much misinformation and potential for confusion, in a field which already struggles with its comparative cloudiness, APIs and API Security is a difficult issue to broach. But if you are caught short in this element of your web design, especially as a business, the cost can be catastrophic, so do your research and err on the side of caution!
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