One of the most important things that API developers and designers pay attention to is design principles when building or implementing APIs. They all know the risks that come with the implementation of bad APIs.
Nevertheless, some developers might find it tempting to go through shortcuts to build and deploy an API. Such developers risk ending up with security issues with their APIs.
So what should developers do? They should try as much as possible to assume the position of an API hacker and try to attack their own APIs before they can deploy them. They also need to employ proper API testing tips for them to identify any vulnerabilities with the API they have developed.
API providers need to find a balance between the ease of consumption of an API and its purpose while at the same time maintaining security. One model that has made this easy is the OpenAPI specification. It has gained wide industry support due to its machine-readable nature and helped with API security. Developers who want to convert their APIs to OpenAPIs can convert their Postman collection to OpenAPI using APITransform.
Developers should, therefore, look at the following API vulnerabilities if they want to build secure APIs;
Authentication helps in protecting an API from unauthorized access as well as malicious attacks. Failure to authenticate APIs is one of the major mistakes an API developer could make. This could lead to unauthorized people getting access to information and data that they might use fraudulently and end up hurting an organization.
For instance, an API request that has a valid mobile number could end up exposing more personal information such as email addresses. It is, therefore critical to use strong authentication with your APIs.
APIs are interfaces that allow software intermediaries to communicate with each other. Unfortunately, some users will try to inject some expressions or commands that allow them to access the backed systems of enterprises. This way, they will be able to update, create, or even delete data that is required by APIs. Developers are encouraged to explore all injection vulnerabilities before deploying APIs.
3. Replay Attacks
A transactional replay is one of the major challenges that API developers face today. This involves OpenAPIs struggling to establish whether an incoming request is genuine or not. In most cases, a request that an API doesn’t trust is made and denied but then the API ends up allowing the user to try sending the same request again. Hackers try exploiting this vulnerability until they are gained access. API developers need to employ limiting policies that throttle requests or even use tools that help to analyze traffic and identify unwanted request patterns.
4. API Keys
Some developers send API Keys as part of a URI. This is a mistake that might compromise the key. This is because the details of a URI can be seen in system logs or even on browsers. Malicious users might end up viewing the URIs in browser history hence gaining access to passwords, API Keys, and other sensitive data. Developers should make sure that API Keys are sent in the message authorization header because network elements are not able to log it.
5. API Traffic Surges
Most developers fail to implement any methods that can help them estimate how much their API can handle. In such a situation, any surge in API traffic might end up hitting the backed directly bringing down your API. Developers should make sure that they implement a method that arrests spikes in traffic to make sure that the backed is not affected.
Developers are able to avoid all these threats by simply making sure that they capture them during the design stage. This way, their APIs will meet their requirements while at the same time remaining secure. Fore more technical content follow Techdee