Are Your Company’s APIs Sufficiently Secured?
Understanding the importance of APIs for public Cloud security
Cloud migration is becoming more mainstream in the business space. The Cloud offers dynamic business benefits and allows professionals to make space for improved workflow, scalability, and increased productivity. For many companies, public Cloud platforms offer an affordable option where Cloud resources are fully managed by an external party.
Additionally, despite security concerns, the fact of the matter is, there’s nothing inherently insecure about public Cloud. In fact, very often public Cloud platforms can be even more secure than traditional data centers. Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Office 365, and Google are committed to developing innovative security solutions that address a continually evolving cybersecurity climate.
However, even on a public Cloud platform, security isn’t just about the firewalls, VPNs, and WAFs that providers deploy. Much data exposure in the Cloud occurs via application programming interfaces (APIs) and API security is an entirely different can of worms. API security is all about identity and access control policies that should be handled internally and not totally outsourced.
So, we’re on a mission to help business professionals take advantage of public Cloud convenience while developing strategic internal API security protocols. No matter the nature of your business or the size of your public Cloud platform, we’re hoping to cover all the basics of reliable and dynamic API security to keep your datacenter covered with multi-layer protection.
Back to Basics: What Are Application Programming Interfaces?
Think of your public Cloud platform as your ‘digital office’. While your provider is responsible for keeping an eye on things and making sure your digital headquarters is safe, API strategies represent the keys to the door of your virtual office. As such, API security controls should remain – for the most part – an internal responsibility.
Simply put, APIs are the central element of Cloud innovation that enable streamlined connected and integrative data sharing across the business space. APIs play a central role in widespread Cloud access and adoption via smartphones, tablets, IoT devices, and even social media platforms. Exposed APIs present a series of various and continually evolving threats.
Even worse? APIs are one of the most overlooked aspects of data security today. This is because API vulnerabilities and risks are difficult to spot and required specialized technology and deliberate effort and attention for detection and prevention.
Understanding API Security Gateways
Most Cloud services for businesses offer their own rendition of API gateways. API gateways act as the single-entry endpoint into the application or service to provide access control. API exposure vulnerabilities occur at these singular gateway access points. As a result, API gateways have become a prime target for breach and attack.
The main challenge with API gateway technology is that it was designed with seamless integration in mind – not strong and strategic security. Instead, APIs use additional cybersecurity technologies together to create what is known as an API security gateway.
Simply put, an API gateway on its own will never provide the same protection as an API security gateway. Imagine an untrusted connection approaches your API and requests data. How can you be sure that the API in question has access to authorized data only?
Further, how can one understand if there are embedded threats attached to the API data request?
The short version of the story is this: access control isn’t enough to create a dynamic API security strategy. The reason is that API gateways are based on integration platforms that operate as software applications via insecure operating systems. API gateways are designed to share information – not keep it safe.
So, how can your company create strategic API security gateways?
The only way to truly protect company data being stored and processed in a public Cloud is to deploy strategic API security gateways. Since API gateways are not inherently secure, without deploying security controls your company will always be playing catch up – trying to stay informed about the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
Countless companies have been impacted by unauthenticated API-endpoint exposure.
In fact, not even big-name companies are immune. The reality is, without a strategic plan for API gateway security, your IT architecture is at risk of invasion. It’s critical for your organization to get informed and take control of your Cloud API security strategy and develop specific policies and standards.
Once you develop a guide for API-security governance, you’ll have a better handle on the security of your entire company Cloud. By staying in command of your company’s API-end points, you’ll have full control over preventing breaches and protecting your company resources. Better yet – you’ll keep your company’s name out of the cybersecurity headlines.
Strategies for developing API gateway security protocols:
- Get them on paper and post them in an accessible area.
- Discuss them with your team and encourage team-wide responsibility.
- Make definitions, roles and responsibilities clear.
- Designate access permissions and delegate strategically.
- Create an easily accessible channel for security questions and concerns.
Professional Consultation & Support: Recruiting Experts to Help Your Company Master API Security
Now, as much as we encourage business leaders to maintain control of their API-security gateway controls, we also understand that leadership teams are busy and often desire support for tech security and optimization. So, it’s often a good idea to get support from a Cloud-savvy IT support provider.
Partnering with a Cloud services provider doesn’t mean you hand over the keys to your company’s digital headquarters. It simply means you have an expert in the cockpit with you to make sure things are set up to operate smoothly and securely. You stay informed and in control while taking advantage of professional guidance from experienced experts.
Search for a Cloud services provider that has experience optimizing Cloud platforms for business. Your company shouldn’t settle for anything less than a Cloud services partner who will work to understand your needs and customize their service offerings to keep all your bases covered. Above all, find a partner who understands the Cloud inside and out – this way, you know you’ll be getting the full-coverage service you require.
Did you find this article informative? As always, we’re happy to help! If you liked this, check out these other articles we think you’ll love: