Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are everywhere, and API security is a top priority for almost every organization. APIs are how non-human systems (or applications) talk to each other. The most common API clients are mobile apps, but the list includes things everyone uses in everyday life, including cameras, phones, computers, thermostats, refrigerators, cars and more!
For as long as there have been APIs, there have been individuals and groups that have tried to exploit them. API security has been around a long time, but it has really taken the spotlight in the past couple of years. A few years ago, Gartner had predicted that by 2022 API abuses will move from infrequent to the most-frequent attack vector. The growth in not only the number of APIs but the exponential increase in API usage has made the reality of this prediction even more impactful on businesses around the world. According to a more recent Gartner CIO and Technical Executive survey, cyber and information security are at the top of the list for planned investments in 2022. This is not surprising as business leaders are feeling the pressure to put budget and resources behind cybersecurity to protect their APIs, data, customers and the reputation of their companies.
The exponential growth of APIs and API usage has unintentionally exposed many systems to hackers and data breaches. API management used to be something that only the "big guys" needed, but now the need for security policies enforced by API gateways and other tools has become a universal necessity. By securing the exposed layers of an API using API security solutions and API management best practices, you can mitigate attacks and protect your organization, customers, data and bottom line. One thing you might have heard of and need to pay attention to is OWASP.
OWASP, the Open Web Application Security Project, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to web application security. What they are probably most well-known for is their reoccurring top 10 list of web vulnerabilities. But in addition to their lists of web vulnerabilities, they also came out with a top-10 list for API security. These are important factors to consider when creating an API security strategy for your organization.
The latest OWASP API Security Top 10 list includes:
APIs that are not using secure authentication are at risk of attackers compromising their system using this exploit. An API gateway provides numerous authentication schemes that allow you to mitigate the risk to your APIs.
Production APIs are not the only surface area you need to be protecting. There are several types of APIs that you might be running that could provide an attacker access to valuable data on your system.
Some of these you probably know very well:
Some of the other types of APIs you might not be as familiar with:
All APIs need to be managed and secured to ensure that your data, customers and company are protected. webMethods API Gateway helps manage exposed APIs and is integrated with webMethods API Portal to provide complete instructions for API consumers.
An effective API security solution begins with a properly configured API gateway. The webMethods API management platform provides a robust solution for securely managing your API portfolio by:
Learn more about how Software AG secures your APIs and Integrations here. (Link to a different Software AG resource page)
You can also learn more about API Security with our video series on YouTube.
Often, organizations already have or are looking into API security products to complement the API security provided by their API gateway. These products are often broken into categories based on "Shift Left, Shield Right."
"Shift Left" is shifting your security focus to the beginning of the API lifecycle process and to integrate it into the design and development of an API, which works to help protect it in every other step of the API lifecycle all the way to the retirement of an API.
"Shield Right" is talking about the emphasis on continuing to protect your APIs at runtime and beyond. Doing this will allow you to provide a defense against unknown attacks using a combination of AI/ML and defined algorithms and policies.
Software AG webMethods provides an API security solution that can integrate with other API Security products to align with the cybersecurity strategy for your organization. The holistic approach to API management provided by webMethods makes it the ideal API security solution, no matter what other products you might be using.