Top API Security Risk

How to Avoid the Worst API Security Risks?

September 09, 2022 12:45 PM

API Security Risks

Inspired by the massive growth in microservices and the constant pressure to deploy applications quickly, APIs have become a popular choice for any entrepreneur. With every tiny feature becoming linked with other products or software to provide seamless user experiences, APIs are becoming a target for security breaches. This is so much that Gartner's How to Create an Effective API Security Strategy report forecasts that, in 2022, API vulnerabilities to security will become among the most common attacks, leading to data security breaches.

Business benefits of APIs

Reduced costs: APIs let businesses utilize the data and functions of other businesses and eliminate the necessity of developing the features themselves. This can help reduce the cost of developing software in a significant way.

Improves customer service: By connecting multiple software applications, an API offers businesses a comprehensive view of their clients and what they're searching for. This helps the business communicate with its customers better and make better decisions.

Improves collaboration across industries: An API enables businesses to collaborate with other companies in different industries to assist in making online platforms and services more robust. This helps improve relationships, opens up new business opportunities, and increases business operations' efficiency.

The most prevalent API security risks and the best ways to reduce them

Before we dive into the risk, let me say this: the API security checklist isn't definitive. You think you have plugged all the loopholes, but new ones will be discovered. The solution lies in stepping into the shoes of hackers and looking at how your application uses APIs and the holes that aren't being considered.

Although this is a long-term, constant solution, a great place to start would be to examine the most commonly reported API security issues.

• Insecure API key generation

Most APIs are typically secured with JWT (JSON Web Token) or API keys. This allows you to secure your API since security tools can detect abnormal behavior and stop users from accessing API keys. But, hackers could overcome these strategies by acquiring and using the vast collection of API keys obtained from users, just like a hacker could use IP addresses to block DDoS security.

Solution: The most reliable method of stopping the security of these attacks is by requiring someone else to sign up for the service and create an API key. API keys. However, bot traffic can be secured with the help of elements such as Captcha and 2-Factor Authentication.

• Accidental key exposure
  • The method by which API keystrokes are utilized opens the door to leaks and hacks.
  • API keys are designed to be used indefinitely, increasing the chance of hackers obtaining an API key that has not expired.
  • An API user can directly access the app's credentials, such as when trying to debug it using CURL and Postman. After that, it just requires an error for the programmer to copy and paste the CURL command along with the API key into public forums, such as Stack Overflow and GitHub Issues.
  • API keys are usually bearer tokens that do not require any identification information. API keys cannot leverage elements such as 2-factor authentication or tokens that are used only once.
  • Note: The method to protect against acute exposure is to use two tokens instead of one. In this case, a refresh token is saved as an environment variable and can be used to create short-lived access tokens. In contrast, to refresh tokens, developers can utilize tokens with short lives that allow access to resources, but only for a specific time.

    • DDoS attacks

    Although APIs can open up new business models in which users can programmatically use API platforms, DDoS security is a challenge. Most DDoS protection systems are designed to take in and deny requests from malicious actors during DDoS attacks. This is more difficult in the case of API products because every request is viewed as bot traffic.

    API safety best practises in this regard is in the API only. Every access to the application depends on an API key. If you find requests that don't contain access to an API token, you may refuse them immediately. There are several web app development companies,but we provide you with the best services.

    • Unsecure server

    Regarding keeping a clean server, APIs aren't very distinct from Web servers. Data can be easily leaked due to incorrectly configured SSL certificates or via HTTPS-based traffic that is not HTTPS.

    For modern-day web applications, although there's no reason to reject non-HTTPS requests, users may accidentally make non-HTTP requests via their web application or CURL, thereby exposing them to the API keys.

    The best guidelines for API security recommend that you examine the SSL implementation using an SSL testing tool. Furthermore, you should stop the HTTP traffic through the load balancer.

    • Insufficient logs

    The majority of worldwide studies of breaches reveal that the average time to determine a breach occurs over 200 days. Hackers could exploit the security flaw to create additional weaknesses if there's no evidence of clearly defined API security best methods for API logs.

    Make sure the API recording mechanism you are using does not just record the API requests but also connects them back to the user for analysis of their behaviour and stores them for a minimum of a year. This mechanism, in turn, must be secured so that the information isn't erased.

    • Not handling authorization

    While most API developers include an overall authentication method, such as OAuth and API keys, to determine who the user is, it isn't easy to design and maintain the distinction between authorization and authentication.

    Since authorization is unique to the app's functionality and logic, it's an area developers aren't aware of when testing their web app security. If the identifiers of objects had enough encryption, hackers could easily experiment with different IDs through iteration and then enter the system.

    Ensure that the user you've authenticated has access to the resources necessary to create an API response. This could include a check of the images' access control lists (ACLs).


    As businesses change the monolithic system into microservices, APIs will continue to become vulnerable to security issues. This makes ensuring native as well as cloud API security best practices essential.

    The list we provided above, while an excellent place to begin, is not a stable one and requires continual updating. Maintaining them is a significant challenge for entrepreneurs and their in-house teams of developers, who already have to meet numerous deadlines. This is why partnering with a business with a track record of producing fully hack-proof applications can be beneficial. No matter how complex your application is, you can be sure that it is solid and secure through our comprehensive, high-quality assurance solutions. Contact us today to begin preparing your software for a safe future.

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