APIs: Balancing Convenience and Security

There is no doubt about it. Organizations are increasingly using APIs to drive their business initiatives, collaborate, and solve complex problems. In fact, a recent report spanning 44 countries and nearly 400 IT professionals discovered that 83% of them consider API integration a critical part of their business strategy.

Driven by microservices architecture and cloud application adoption more and more businesses are depending on APIs for growth, support, and much more. Now more than ever, ensuring data security is absolutely critical.

The API Security Challenge

Sure we all appreciate that APIs make it easier to operate in a data-driven world. We enjoy the convenience of data sharing, system connectivity, and the ability to access critical features and functionality seamlessly- but with great convenience also comes great risk.

The most critical API security risks include: Broken object level, user- and function-level authorization, excessive data exposure, lack of resource, security misconfiguration, and insufficient logging and monitoring just to name a few.

So how do we approach API Security?

How you approach API security will have a lot to do with the kind of data that you are transferring and your level of risk tolerance. Since APIs have become essentially the glue that connects all of the microservices together we need to approach API security with the same seriousness as we do for all of our systems and applications.

To accomplish this you need to know about important factors such as how you can apply a data-centric & data-in-motion protection strategy to every distributed & cloud-native Apps and APIs.

You also need insights about API Security Mesh and why every DevSecOps and AppSec administrator needs it to succeed in this new environment.

API Security is now more important than ever…

There’s no doubt about it APIs are a critical tool for building modern applications. As with all useful tools, you have to manage APIs properly to ensure you are not compromising on security. API security is all about defending the integrity of APIs. In today’s cloud-based environment, businesses use APIs to connect services which is great, but with connected services comes the ability to transfer data and that is where the problems begin.

Exposed or hacked APIs have the potential to expose sensitive information, personal data, and ruin reputations.

Let’s take a look at 3 Challenges when it comes to effective API Security.

If you look into most major data breaches you will find evidence of broken, exposed, or in some cases hacked APIs. In order to avoid this, we need to approach API security with the same seriousness and focus as we do with our network and services. Here are three challenges that we need to address when it comes to effective API security:

Our first challenge is SECURITY. No surprise there. If it is on the internet, it needs security, plain and simple. Adding security controls is essential because, among many other things, it ensures availability and confidentiality, and they are non-negotiable.

Next, we have to talk about CHANGE. The fact is that we live in a world that is constantly changing and changing rapidly. The doubling of computer processing speed every 18 months, known as Moore’s Law, is just one manifestation of the greater trend that all technological change occurs at an exponential rate. APIs are not exempt from Moore’s Law so we have the challenge of API versioning. Regarding API versioning what we have to know is that they must support both breaking and non-breaking changes in a way that does not restrict the work of developers.

The last API challenge we want to focus on is the issue of ORCHESTRATION. Now of course we can highlight many other API challenges such as visibility, documentation, and governance but the issue of ORCHESTRATION is critical. You see while it is easy enough to manually manage a basic set of API endpoints, it is a whole different challenge to deploy APIs on a large scale. In short, a manual approach to orchestrating many API endpoints and services is simply not an option.

Overcoming Challenges with API Security Mesh

There are many challenges for companies moving into a dynamic cloud infrastructure. Among other important factors, the shift involves shared access across multiple clouds and no clear network perimeters. To accomplish this you need to know about important factors such as how you can apply a data-centric & data-in-motion protection strategy to every distributed & cloud-native Apps and APIs. You also need insights into what API Security Mesh is and why every DevSecOps and AppSec administrator needs it to succeed in this new environment.

About Mesh7

Mesh7 API Security Mesh is an Enterprise-class cloud-native distributed API Gateway & Firewall solution. Runs at the Kubernetes Ingress (as well as along with workloads in a nonintrusive manner) and API layer threat protection, AAA, deep application layer security, traffic management and other functions, so you get the simple, comprehensive stack that caters to all your security and traffic management needs for Kubernetes apps and microservices. For more information or demo, please email info@mesh7.com.

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Mesh7's API Security Mesh is an Enterprise-class Cloud-native distributed API Gateway & Firewall Solution Securing Data-In-Motion in Distributed Clouds.

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Mesh7

Mesh7

Mesh7's API Security Mesh is an Enterprise-class Cloud-native distributed API Gateway & Firewall Solution Securing Data-In-Motion in Distributed Clouds.

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