Thought leadership. threat analysis, news and alerts.
4 Tips for Better API Security
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are everywhere, making life easier for consumers and companies on a global scale. Without API’s the digital economy would surely disintegrate.
Thanks to API’s, sharing data between applications and legitimate developers has become easier than ever before. So has the risk of unintentionally sharing information with hackers.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there have been over 7000 network security breaches since 2005, involving 1000s of data records.
A breach in your API security can have devastating effects on your business, damaging your reputation and your profits.
These 4 security tips can help you save your business.
1. Be Vigilant from the Start
Focus on your mobile app’s software security from the first line of code.
Vulnerabilities in your source code could filter through to your API and beyond, especially in the case of native apps that are downloaded to the client’s device.
Test and re-test your app code for weaknesses before putting it out there. Then protect it with the best encryption you can find and back that up with API encryption.
Keep the client’s needs in mind. Don’t compromise on performance and user experience with heavy-handed security measures.
2. Make SSL/TLS the Rule for All APIs
Secure network connections at the back end are vital. All servers and cloud servers that are accessing an app’s APIs should have security in place to guard against unauthorized data access.
SSL/TLS are the building blocks of secure systems – use them, everywhere. Plus, you get the added SEO benefits that Google dishes out to SSL sites.
SSL is your most effective protection against man-in-the-middle attacks.
Add a VPN to that and you should be okay.
Conduct a vulnerability assessment of your network to reveal weaknesses in your data protection methods.
3. Install Meticulous Identification, Authentication and Authorization Procedures
Your first line of defense in protecting your data is a gatekeeper to separate friend from foe.
The use of identification, authentication and authorization technology will do just that and is vital for your legitimate users to prove who they are when accessing your app.
OAuth2 has become the leading protocol for API security by managing connections securely with one-time tokens. You can configure and customize this framework to suit your needs.
Likewise, OpenID Connect is a made-for-mobile protocol that assigns an ID token to your users, eliminating the need for cross-questioning them more than once with repeated sign-ins.
4. Don’t DIY When it Comes to API Security
Save yourself the risk, expense, and effort of creating your own API security structure. Excellent security systems already exist for API’s - learn to use them.
Putting your security systems in the hands of an expert is often the safest bet. Especially when it comes to protecting yours and your client’s sensitive data.
API security cannot be overemphasized, make yours a priority so that you too can reap the benefits of modern technology to the best advantage.
Talk to us, we can help you today.
Steve E. Driz, I.S.P., ITCP