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How To Protect Public Rest APIs?

Complete Information How To Protect Public Rest APIs

You should never take API security for granted. Organizations have opened up their ecosystem through REST APIs in response to the rising need for data-centric projects. Therefore, you need to know how to protect public REST APIs.

They are the entrances to a company’s highly protected data. In addition, public APIs enable communication between many apps.

On the surface, this appears to be fantastic because it simplifies developers’ lives, but it poses a dilemma. Keeping the API ecosystem’s doors open while keeping hackers out is challenging. However, there are ways you can do it and strategies that you can employ to reap the benefits that APIs offer while keeping all your data safe. This article will teach you how to protect public REST APIs and use the APILayer marketplace safely.

Why Is API Security Important?

Due to their open accessibility, APIs are frequently used as targets for the theft of sensitive data, including application logic, user credentials, and credit card details. Let’s talk about some API weaknesses.

Since multi-factor authentication and logins using credentials are sometimes viewed as unfeasible for API calls, basic authentication poses a special difficulty for APIs. APIs with poor authentication, such as incorrect access token implementation, enable hackers to pretend to be authorized users because APIs rely on session tokens encoded in the calls to authenticate clients. On the other side, persistent tokens also allow attackers to continue, permanently compromising the system.

Potential Threats

Object-level permission in APIs is a code-level control to verify object access. An external user can replace the ID of their resource with the ID of another user’s resource for APIs with object-level authorization flaws. By enabling attackers to access the resource belonging to the designated user, sensitive information may be accessed without authorization.

They could make many calls per second if the API does not restrict the quantity and frequency of requests from a specific client. Additionally, the API client can access several resources and data at once, overloading the application server and requiring it to respond to each request immediately. Due to the server’s difficulty processing too many requests at once, this can result in Denial-of-Service attacks. Additionally, the absence of rate-limiting encourages hackers to use brute-force methods to attack authentication endpoints.

The APIs automatically channel user input to objects or program variables vulnerable to a bulk assignment. Although this functionality makes it easier to write code, some users may initialize and change server-side variables, which could compromise the application. Attackers mostly take advantage of this by making educated guesses and including different object characteristics when creating requests. Additionally, they can read the application’s documentation or locate vulnerable API endpoints that give them access to server-side objects.

What Practices Should You Follow To Protect Public Rest APIs?

The vulnerability of public REST APIs has thus been proven. As a result, securing these integrations has become a business-critical task, especially considering the growing danger of cyberattacks. Fortunately, API providers can prevent many possible risks by adhering to a few basic practices.

Protect Public REST APIs Using HTTPS/TLS

HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) provide a secure protocol to convey encrypted data between web browsers and servers. Along with protecting other types of data, HTTPS also aids in securing login credentials while they are transmitted. Every API should use HTTPS as one of the most important practices to ensure integrity, confidentiality, and authenticity. Security teams should also consider adopting client-side mutually authenticated certificates, which offer additional security for critical information and services. Developers should avoid switching HTTP to HTTPS when creating a secure REST API, as this could compromise API client security. CORS and JSONP queries should be diverted appropriately due to their inherent cross-domain call vulnerabilities.

Always Use a Gateway

Always, our first piece of advice is to hide your API behind a gateway. When a request comes into your API, API gateways apply centralized traffic features to each request. For example, rate restriction, preventing fraudulent clients, and proper logging are a few security-related aspects. Or, they might be more useful and business-related, such as rewriting paths and headers, and collecting business metrics.

A major security concern may arise if these procedures weren’t in place. API providers must provide these functionalities to each endpoint without a gateway. An API gateway makes adding or fixing these functionalities easier. Fortunately, there are many API Gateway options on the market.

Throttling and Rate Limiting

Throttling is frequently used as an anti-spam measure to stop abuse or denial-of-service attacks and includes setting a temporary state that enables the API to assess each request.

On the other hand, by preventing DoS and Brute Force attacks, rate-limiting aids in managing REST API security. Some APIs’ developers provide “soft restrictions,” which temporarily permit clients to make more requests than allowed. One simple API security best practice is setting timeouts because it can handle both synchronous and asynchronous queries. The development of APIs that only accept a certain number of requests before placing the remaining ones in a waiting queue is made possible by request queue libraries. To implement request queues, each programming language has a queue library directory.

Inventorying and Managing Your APIs

No matter how many publicly accessible APIs a company has, it must first be aware of them to secure and manage them. Unexpectedly, many are not. Work with DevOps teams to manage your APIs after conducting perimeter scans to find and inventory them.

Can You Follow These Practices While Using APILayer’s APIs?

A marketplace that brings together API suppliers and clients on a single platform is known as an API marketplace. There are various components to an API marketplace, including a provider and developer portal. Developers or businesses can list their APIs for sale on an API marketplace, where API buyers (other developers) can examine and buy them.

The API marketplace and services of cloud-based SAAS provider APILayer were introduced in February 2022. Prompt API, a platform that enables developers to monetize their APIs, was purchased to do this. With more than 15 years of expertise creating and publishing safe APIs, APILayer is a market leader in the API space.

All of the standards are upheld by APILayer. Rate limitation is the main focus of all APIs on APILayer. Each API has been carefully chosen to offer the best performance metrics. In addition, we can supply dedicated instances for larger installations.

Passwords are stored in this marketplace using industry-standard non-reversible hashing techniques. Your credentials are hidden from employees of APILayer and any other parties.

For safer communication, you can switch between HTTP and HTTPS for any APIs on this market.

What’s the Bottom Line?

In conclusion, it’s sad that there are many online hazards and that hackers are persistent. However, protecting your data requires a strong API security strategy. Integrating API security into the general approach and procedure of building and developing APIs is the ultimate best practice.

Additionally, integrate security into the design process from the outset while utilizing the appropriate technologies and a more deliberate process. Before they materialize, security threats can be found and countered.

The main concerns of APILayer, a carefully regulated marketplace for APIs, are reliability, scalability, quality, and security. With just one API key and SDK, it enables API developers to make money from their APIs while making it simpler for others to create the next great thing.

Now that you know Public REST API protection policies, click here and check out the best free API marketplace to improve your experience as a public API consumer.

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