Your APIs lead to some of your most closely guarded data. So how exactly can you keep your APIs protected from hackers? During this guide, we provide you with some of our best practices for API security to keep your APIs and company data as safe and secure as possible.
Here are some of the best practices for API security in order to keep your APIs and company data as secure as possible.
● Encryption- Make sure to be as cryptic as possible with your data, so that nothing is out in the open. This should apply to both your internal and external communications. Consider ciphering all exchanges with TLS, using one-way or mutual encryption, and use the latest TLS versions to block the usage of weak cipher suites.
● Authentication- Make sure not to talk to strangers. You should always be aware of who is calling your APIs in order to increase the difficulty of hacking into your system. Consider implementing basic access authentication with a username and password or an API key to increase your security.
● Call security experts- Use experienced antivirus systems and Internet Content Adaptation Protocol (ICAP) servers to help you keep your APIs and data more secure.
● Monitoring- Audit, log, and version- Make sure to monitor and troubleshoot any issues that arise. You can audit and log any relevant information on the server. Consider implementing dashboards to help you monitor and track your API consumption.
● Share as little as possible- It is okay to be somewhat paranoid and display as little info as possible in your answers, especially in messages you share about errors. Make sure to keep any IP addresses to yourself, since IP addresses can give information about locations. Also, limit the number of admins who have access to data and hide sensitive information across all of your interfaces.
● System protection with throttling and quotas- Make sure to restrict your system access to a limited number of messages in order to protect your backend system bandwidth. Consider also restricting access by API and by the user to make sure that no one can abuse your API system.
● Data validation- Make sure to check everything that your server accepts and refuse any added content or data that is too large. Consider using JSON or XML schema validation and check on your parameters to prevent hacking.
● API firewalling- Building an API firewall can help boost your security. Your API security should be organized into two different layers. The first layer is in DMZ, with an API firewall to execute basic mechanisms like checking the message size, SQL injections, and security based on the HTTP layer. You can then forward the message to the second layer, which is in LAN with advanced security mechanisms on the content of data.
● API gateway- An API gateway will help you manage, control, and secure your traffic.