It is crucial to protect data, particularly given the rise of data-dependent projects. The best way to secure APIs is to follow the API security best practices below.
Security tokens work by requiring the authentication of a token on either side of a communication before the communication is allowed to proceed. Tokens can be used to control access to network resources because any program or user that tries to interact with the network resource without the proper token will be rejected.
Encryption works by disguising data at one end of the communication and only allowing it to be deciphered at the other end if the proper decryption key is used. Otherwise, the encrypted data is a nonsensical jumble of characters, numbers, and letters. Encryption supports API security by making data unreadable to unauthorized users whose devices cannot decipher the data.
OAuth and OpenID Connect
Open authorization (OAuth) dictates how the client-side application obtains access tokens. OpenID Connect (OIDC) is an authentication layer that sits on OAuth, and it enables clients to check the identity of the end-user. Both of these work to strengthen authentication and authorization by limiting the transfer of information to only include those with either the appropriate, verifiable token or with the proper identification credentials.
Throttling and Quotas
Throttling and quotas protect bandwidth because they limit access to a system. Certain attacks, like DDoS assaults, seek to overwhelm a system. Throttling limits the speed at which data is transferred, which can thwart an attack that depends on a continual, quick bombardment of data. Quotas limit the amount of data that can be transferred, which can prevent attacks that leverage large quantities of data in an attempt to overwhelm a system’s processing resources.
An API gateway sits between the client and the collection of services specific to the backend. It serves the purpose of a reverse proxy, and as traffic passes through it, it is authenticated according to predetermined standards.
The zero-trust security model presumes that all traffic, regardless of whether it originates from within a network or from the outside, cannot be trusted. Hence, before traffic can be allowed to travel into or through the network, the user’s rights need to be authenticated. A zero-trust approach can provide security for data and applications by preventing unauthorized users from accessing a system—and this includes repeat users an imposter may impersonate using a previously authenticated device. In a zero-trust model, both the user and the device are untrusted.
What Are API Endpoints and Why Are They Important?
An API endpoint is the point at which an API communicates with another system—in other words, the URLs or digital locations the API uses to send data. API endpoints are important because they provide the exact location of the data or resources the API is accessing and ensure that the system communicating with the API is functioning optimally.