Preventing API Attacks
Most companies use an Application Programming Interface (API) in order for software systems to access data. However, API security is becoming a major issue in business because of the increase in malicious API attacks.
One of the problems is a lack of understanding as to what APIs are and how easy it is for an incorrectly implemented API to pose a security threat. As a result, there are inadequate measures in place to protect them meaning that important data, including personal and private information, is lost and the company’s reputation is tarnished.
This is a simple guide to what a business can do to ameliorate the most common API vulnerabilities and prevent malicious hacker attacks.
Poor Quality or Incorrect Coding
The code is the core to any successful API and attacks can occur if the coding is not of good quality. This may be because the programmers are inexperienced in a specific integration and the resulting code is then vulnerable to attack.
Attacks will occur if the API login is not properly secured. It is essential to use encrypted logins. Once an unknown user logs in they can access all the important data which can then be used maliciously.
Denial of Service (DOS) Attack
Hackers know that poor cybersecurity can lead to a server becoming overloaded so they bombard it with traffic. The users who need to gain access are then denied — hence the name Denial of Service attacks. This causes inconvenience, lack of efficiency and can be a major cause of disruption in business operations.
Poor or Non-Existent Para-Metrical Validation
Para-metrical validation means that there are rules for the sort of information that can be requested. Any user that accesses the system access will be limited to the data specified. The absence of such a system means that a hacker can inject a query link, a form of malicious code that allows them to access the company’s sensitive data.
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Preventing API attacks
Taking the following steps can help prevent API attacks:
- Choose experienced developers.
- Use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which will encrypt the links between browser and server ensuring secure login.
- Set parameters for input validation.
- Use a variety of security software to help stop DOS and other attacks.
- Keep up to date — hackers are always working to find vulnerabilities so the company must be proactive in preventing these attacks by using the most up to date API security available.