APIs are designed to provide interfaces between multiple applications, therefore allowing them to work together. From a security perspective, this is a powerful tool to have. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of APIs diminishes if they are misunderstood.
API is a Feature Not a Technology
Many vendors who work within the API landscape are surprisingly ignorant of some of the facts. In particular, a lot of vendors like to talk about products having features of API security. However, this kind of statement is meaningless! Claiming to have ‘aspects of API security’ is like claiming to have aspects of a firewall or aspects of an antivirus.
Excellent security is dependent upon comprehensive systems, not individual features. It doesn’t matter how good the individual components of your security system are; if they can’t work together, they will ultimately fail.
Software API Solutions are More Secure
Some people still seem determined to refuse to accept this as myth but just how many demonstrations of vulnerability will it take to convince them? When developers are relying upon purely software-based security solutions, they are opening themselves up to all sorts of vulnerabilities.
There have been a number of high profile data breaches in recent years that would not have occurred if the operating system had been locked down. When the API security solution you are using is purely software-based, hackers can find ways to inject their malicious code into it and exploit vulnerabilities in the operating system it runs on.
API Security is Simple
It is when we start to become complacent about our security that we open ourselves to a potential attack. The underlying concept of an API might be simple; by providing an interface between two or more programs, an API allows them to work together to enhance security in different ways. APIs represent an evolution of the security technologies that came before it. This evolution was necessary to maintain cybersecurity in an increasingly interconnected and complicated world.
The assumption that APIs are simple often leads users, even security professionals, to underestimate them. We often think nothing about granting APIs access to some of our most sensitive and secure systems. It is vital that you understand as much about APIs as you can before you use them.
An API Gateway Provides the Same Security as an API Security Gateway
API security gateways are an important concept in API security, yet they are regularly overlooked by the very people who should be implementing them the most. A standards API gateway is not designed to act as a security buffer, making it easy for attackers to pass through. On the other hand, an API security gateway will be explicitly designed to keep you safe from attackers.
API Identity as Separate from Security
It is essential to understand that cybersecurity products aren’t designed to handle identity and access control. Conversely, API identity products are not built to enforce cybersecurity policies. In order for your system to remain secure, you will need both of these components to function together.
APIs can significantly enhance the protection that your security system offers, but on their own, they will not keep you safe. Instead, you should combine the use of APIs with other good security practices, including the use of Virtual Private Network, find out more about it here, to maintain anonymity, to develop a more holistic security approach.
I hope the above information will help you understand API in full measure. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a professional, sound knowledge of API landscape always comes in handy.