Today’s businesses have been making use of APIs, or Application Programmable Interfaces, in volumes never before seen. That’s because more and more companies are finding the need to build, run, or maintain cloud computing applications for employees, customers, and potential customers. From applications like online games and utilities to service apps designed to enhance the customer experience at hotels, companies in every sector are finding that these platforms are necessary to their future success. At the same time, though, they can represent security risks, which is why it is important for every API designer to understand the best ways to build useful and secure APIs for their clients.
Recognize the Risks
The first step to effectively handling security for a new API is to acknowledge the kinds of risks they face, including hacking, exploitation, and data scraping. When you acknowledge those issues, you are able to better prepare to deal with them as they arise by building security into the core plan for your new API.
Monitor Your Add-On Software
Even securely built APIs can become less secure if they are compromised through add-on software that does not have the same level of security. To prevent this, designers need to realize how add-ons can compromise their efforts and plan accordingly. Restricting add-on software to just that which can be safely secured will maintain the integrity of your project.
Be Judicious When Choosing Standards
Many popular companies have been working on making their API offerings more secure, but they do not all perform alike. Do your research so that you understand whether or not your partner companies are carrying their end of the security burden. That way, you will know when you need to beef up your own security planning.
Focus on Authentication and Authorization
Preventing unwanted users from gaining access to your company’s API is the best way to keep things secure. While many unwanted or unsolicited users are simply curious, many are also seeking to actively compromise your operations or steal intellectual property.
Check Data on the Back End
If your system has been compromised, your data will reveal it. Maintaining a focus on the integrity of that data is the key to understanding whether or not your API security has been compromised. This gives you an extra chance to thwart threats that do get in.
These best practices form a firm foundation that companies can easily build from, so make sure they are in place whenever your business is moving forward with a new API addition.