An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of functions that allows software systems to access data of another mission critical application. Most companies are using one, and due to the prevalence of malicious hacker attacks, API security has become a major cause of concern for businesses.
Most companies do not have an idea about possible API attacks because they are not familiar with what APIs are, and to what extent an improperly implemented API can damage them. Furthermore, they do not know the measures in which they can take to solve an issue. Unfortunately, in this instance, victims end up losing important and private information, which may cause irreparable damage to a company.
Here we have a simple guide to what types of API vulnerabilities are out there and what businesses can do to prevent being victimized by malicious attacks.
API Security attacks occur because companies do not focus on the quality of their coding. Coding is the core of any Application Programming Interface. If proper attention is not given by developers, an inefficient code will be the outcome.
Often, projects are given to developers who are beginners or who do not have the applicable experience with the specific integration. This leads to the development of weak code, giving hackers loopholes for gaining access to critical information systems.
Unknown Login Attack
API logins need to be secured with encrypted private login or full-measure protocols. Otherwise, API attacks can occur. In the absence of proper user login security, there are major possibilities for an unknown login attack. This unknown login can access important information, which can be used with malicious intent.
Due to the lack of cybersecurity measures by companies there is often a problem pertaining to the overloading of servers. Hackers can take this opportunity to bring heavy traffic to a server, which causes the site to overload. The users who originally had access to particular information are denied and hence, Denial of Services (DOS) attack occurs. This leads to a lot of user inconvenience resulting in a delay in required information by the user and disruption of operations.
Absence of Proper Parametrical validation
API attacks also occur due to injection attacks. Hackers willingly access your information system to submit a malicious code in the form of a query link, which takes all the sensitive information in just one click.
This occurs due to the absence of proper parametrical validation for any type of information or query requested by the user. A proper parametrical validation will set rules for types of information or queries requested. Hence, the user will be bounded to the access of information on the basis of set parameters.
There are several possible ways to prevent API security attacks including:
Select and hire senior-level and experienced developers;
Use an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for ensuring a private encrypted link between a server and a browser resulting in a secured login system;
Use a proper input validation according to set parameters, which are the length and a specific category for requesting information;
Use different types of security software which will help in preventing any kind of DOS or security attack.
Every day a new technology emerges and the chances of malicious intrusions by a hacker willing to downgrade a system are increasing. In these dynamic times, if companies do not account for evolving threats then they will be more prone to attacks. Having a secured API interface contributes to information and company safety.
Alexander James: APISecurity.io is one of the leading community websites for all things related to API security. The website offers Daily News, and Weekly API Security Newspapers cover the latest violations, weaknesses, standards, best practices, rules, and technology. API Security Encyclopedia offers details on possible security issues in contracts and how to remediate them again, and API Security tool helps you to evaluate how secure the API you are working on is actually safe.
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