Guide to API Security in 2022
What is the API Economy?
Web API Security
- REST (Representational State Transfer).
REST API Security
SOAP API, Security
SOAP APIs provide a built-in security mechanism called Web Services Security (WS Security). They check authentication and authorization. They use XML encryption, XML signatures, and SAML tokens.
SOAP is the right approach for standardizing and encrypting Web Services. SOAP is a better alternative than REST.
SOAP limits to XML but REST can manage any data format. JSON is easier to understand than XML. The use of REST for data transportation saves money on computer infrastructure costs.
API management helps businesses make their digital resources.
Below are some ways to manage API security:
HTTP Basic Authentication is a method for a client to authenticate with the API Gateway.
2. OAuth2.0 Authentication
- Username password flow: where the program has direct access to user credentials.
- Web server flow: where the server can protect the consumer’s secret.
- User-agent flow: used by applications that cannot store the consumer secret.
3. JSON Web Token Authentication
A JWT Token is a JSON Object and base64 encoded and signed with a shared key. The JWT ensures that only a defined user can generate a unique token. The JWTs are not encrypted. Anyone with access to the token will get the data.
Benefits of the JWT
- The token contains all of the information necessary to authenticate the user.
- It’s easy to avoid relying on centralized authentication servers and databases.
- Verification entails examining the signature and several other factors.
- JWT is a medium-life token with an expiration date specified between a few weeks to longer
- Scalability on contemporary web server hardware is easy…
4. HTTP Signatures
In JWT, the authorization header has base64 encoded and signed. If anyone gets the JWT token and request, they can update the HTTP Request body. HTTP Signatures allow the client to sign the HTTP Message. So, those others can touch the request on the network.
Amazon, Facebook, and Google use HTTP Signatures. In 2016, Signing HTTP Messages came into practice. It is a new work in progress specification. As per this specification, the benefit of signing the HTTP message, for the purpose of end-to-end message integrity. A client can authenticate with the same mechanism without the need for many loops.
Understanding API Security Vulnerabilities
OWASP has always been the go-to authority on the most common and insidious security issues found in the software we use everyday, and it’s all backed up by rich data.
If there is any baseline for which organisations should strive, it’s conquering this OWASP API Security Top 10 listed below.
OWASP API SECURITY TOP 1O
API1: Broken Object Level Authorization
API2: Broken Authentication
API3: Excessive Data Exposure
API4: Lack of Resource & Rate Limiting
API5: Broken Function Level Auth
API6: Mass Assignment
API7: Security Misconfiguration
API9: Improper Asset Management
API10: Insufficient Logging & Monitoring
API SECURITY BEST PRACTICES
Here are some of the most common ways to improve API Security:
- Establish your vulnerabilities.
There is a need to keep the operating system, network, and API components updated. Look for flaws that can let attackers gain access to your APIs. Sniffers detect security issues and track data leaks.
- Place the quota and throttling.
Place a quota on how often your APIs call and check usage in history. Misuse of an API is usually shown by a spike in calls.
- Use an API gateway to connect to your API.
API gateways are the primary enforcement point for API traffic. It will allow you to control and analyse how your APIs authenticate.
- Use tokens.
Create trusted identities. Use tokens with those identities to control access to services and resources.
- Use Encryption and digital signatures.
Encrypt your data using TLS. Utilize digital signatures to verify that only authorized individuals have access to and edit data.
- Focus on security.
APIs should never be considered incidental. Organizations stand to lose a great deal by failing to secure APIs. As a result, make security a priority and include it into your APIs.
- Validate input.
Never transmit data to an endpoint via an API without verifying it first.
- Make use of rate-limiting.
Limiting then requests can assist in preventing denial-of-service attacks.
- Use a robust authentication and authorization system.
When APIs do not enforce authentication, broken authentication happens.
Utilize login and authorization technologies that are well-established, such as OAuth2.0 and OpenID Connect.