Five Best Practices For Effective API Security

APIs facilitate data transfer and communication between two or more software. Whether you’re sending instant messages via Instagram or ordering an Uber to your next destination, your device relies on APIs. APIs are the backbone of modern technology, and if left unattended, many things can go wrong. DDoS attacks, credential stuffing, injections, and other online attacks can compromise your API. Initiating API security upholds the integrity of your APIs and ensures your data is secure against these attacks. Here are six security practices you can incorporate for flawless operations.

Security comes first

It may seem obvious, but people forget to prioritize API security. After installing an antivirus and putting layers of passwords, it is easy to assume that all is fine and dandy. But here’s the thing, hackers and other third-party attackers are constantly inventing new ways to infiltrate APIs. Therefore, always upgrade and improve your security to prevent being blindsided. If you must, delegate the role to a specific IT expert within the organization.

Data encryption

One of the primary methods of ensuring your API is secure is through data encryption. It only takes one exposed file for third parties to gain access and destroy your API. Therefore, all data, even the data that you deem unnecessary, should be encrypted.

You can facilitate data encryption through Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS rearranges all your data to prevent unauthorized intrusion. You can also verify the identification of these unauthorized parties.

Rate limiting to avoid DDoS attacks

Distributed denial-of-service attacks limit access to your website by flooding it with unnecessary traffic. That means users can’t access your API endpoint, and your API is exposed to online breaches. You could even lose all your data. Rate limiting places a limit on the number of people and the number of times users can access your API.

If you notice an unusual influx in traffic to your API, chances are a third party is trying to initiate a DDoS attack. You can place quotas to help you track your API history. This enhances API security and allows you to pinpoint the source of your problem.

Authentication and validation

It is easy to click on strange links that promise freebies and cheap virus options. But that can put you in a lot of trouble. One click on an unauthorized link can introduce hackers and unwarranted attacks. Therefore, to enhance API security, always verify everything that lands on your browser.

Always authenticate the identity of people calling your API through an API key or user/password authentication. Authentication measures reduce the chances of hacking.

Use API gateway

API gateway is a vital API management tool. API gateways monitor, translate and route data. Therefore it is the central management point for your API. You can also use your API gateway to enhance security by monitoring and control the users who access your API.

You can also authenticate traffic and implement rate-limiting through your API gateway.

Other practices include using a service mesh, API firewalling, and OAuth. But if all fails, you can always consult an API security expert for more information. For a start, you can check out Nevatech’s API management software that improves security and facilitates an all-inclusive API management system.