Application programming interfaces, or APIs, are the backbone of modern technology. In simplest terms, they allow programs to communicate with one another by serving as a kind of bridge between them.
Most businesses wouldn’t be able to operate nowadays without these software intermediaries; unfortunately, however, there is one major drawback of using them. Every time a company incorporates another API into their system, they’re essentially increasing the size of the target on their back for malicious actors. Unless they use a host of cybersecurity services to protect themselves, the APIs will merely serve as another entry point for hackers seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information.
The recent data breach at T-Mobile is a reminder of the risks that come with relying on APIs to do business. The telecommunication provider disclosed a data breach last month and claimed they may incur significant expenses as a result of the incident because roughly 37 million customers had been exposed.
To keep your company from facing a similar scenario, read on. Here’s how API attacks often occur and a few strategies on what you can do to prevent them.
APIs can facilitate security breaches in a variety of ways. Here are three of the most common scenarios:
During an injection attack, the hacker will attempt to exploit the API by inputting malicious code into the application so it changes the meaning of commands. One of the most common kinds of injection attacks targets structured query language (SQL) queries. Such attacks allow hackers to essentially “trick” the network into carrying out undesirable tasks, like bypassing authentication, providing root access to the network, or deleting, modifying, or corrupting data.
In some cases, APIs fail to authenticate users properly. This exposes the entire network to a breach. If a hacker can manage to exploit a broken authentication and infiltrate the API, they can likely make their way through the rest of the system, wreaking havoc as they go.
Sometimes, malicious actors don’t rely on APIs to gain access but, rather, to hide their tracks once they do. If the app fails to log all requests and responses, you’re eventually going to arrive at a dead end when attempting to trace the source of an attack.
It’s virtually impossible to conduct business nowadays without relying on APIs, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to facing additional threats as a result. There are several ways organizations can bolster their cyber defenses to reduce the risk of an API-related attack. The easiest way to implement them all? With managed IT services.
From ongoing monitoring to rate limiting, a reputable provider will offer all kinds of robust cybersecurity services for mitigating attacks. Take a closer look at some of the most common strategies below:
Using strong, unique passwords for all API accounts–and changing them often–is critical for preventing breaches. Generally speaking, a strong password is one that has at least 16 characters, includes both uppercase and lowercase letters, and contains numbers and symbols. It’s also wise to implement multi-factor authentication, which provides an added layer of protection.
With rate limiting, an administrator can set the maximum number of requests that can be made to an API within a certain amount of time. This prevents brute force attacks during which hackers try to gain access by making repeated attempts at guessing credentials.
Monitoring API usage will make it easy to identify any suspicious activity or potential breaches. This includes tracking the number of requests made, as well as the IP addresses where they originated from and the types of data being accessed during them.
At the end of the day, APIs play a critical role in modern technology, but they can also create vulnerabilities within an organization’s infrastructure. Thankfully, you can combat such vulnerabilities by deploying strategies to bolster your network’s cyber defenses.
In today’s age, investing in cybersecurity is no longer a luxury but a necessity. With the increasing threat of API-related attacks, organizations must take proactive measures to protect their systems. For comprehensive Denver IT services, including the kinds of cybersecurity strategies mentioned above, turn to NOYNIM IT Solutions. Our team of experienced IT professionals provides a range of services to ensure a high-performance, reliable, and secure network. Call (720) 524-8616 to discuss your needs today!Date Published: February 17, 2023