What is an API (Application User Interface)?
Some people may ask, what does that mean? It’s a software used by many web applications and is responsible for information transfer between systems. And it’s here to stay. It will only grow bigger, with many industries making use of it.
API is used by programmers, mobile apps, web applications, and many industries. The average person engages with API without being aware of it. API increasing growth comes with many threats, and that is where API security testing comes in.
However, just like everything else, API’s would be vulnerable to abuse, threats, manipulation and misdemeanor. Because of this, many companies would install some sort of testing methods or testers to make sure there is no weakness in the code.
If you wish to learn why is Api Security important for business today follow the link.
What is penetration testing
You can consider a penetration test a digital “tune-up,” meant to pinpoint vulnerabilities in your network that a hacker might exploit. A penetration test, also known as a pen test, is a simulated cyber attack against your computer system to check for exploitable vulnerabilities.
API Penetration testing involves all processes of checking for vulnerabilities and building strong endpoints in your APIs. One of the most common web application threats is API abuse, which can cause hindrances to the smooth running of any digital industry. Issues like data leakage, unauthorized access, and parameter tampering can arise with any deployed APIs if they don’t undergo comprehensive security testing.
The Importance of API Security Testing
Data transfer has become one of the integral parts of digital connectivity. Modern web applications and mobile applications deal with the exchange of high volumes of important data, e.g., medical records, personal identification, bank records, and these can attract the attention of hackers. Insecure APIs are easy to access for hackers, so a secured and tested API should be used to avoid sensitive information being exposed.
Top Security Issues in API
To create more awareness of the APIs security threats affecting digital organizations, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) highlights the top 10 (ten) threats affecting APIs, some of which includes:
Excessive Data Exposure
Website programmers and developers tend to expose objects without considering individual security. This results in excessive data exposure, which can lead to API abuse.
Insecure APIs, insecure default configuration, open cloud storage, error messages showing sensitive information, incomplete ad-hoc configurations, misconfigured HTTP headers, and other security issues all result from security misconfiguration.
Broken Function Authorization
Access control policies with complicated hierarchy, groups, and unclear separation of administrative and regular roles can lead to authorization errors. Web hackers can gain access to these administrative functions and exploit their uses.
Improper Asset Management
APIs are structured in a way that more endpoints are exposed, making them require structured updates. Outdated API versions and exposed endpoints increase web attacks. You can create a detailed list of deployed API versions and configure hosts.
SQL injection, command injection, and NoSQL injection are all types of injection flaws that involve sending data from an unknown source to an interpreter through a query or a command. Hackers and web attackers can disguise and send data to an interpreter requesting they execute dangerous commands. This gives the attacker access to any information without authorization.
Insufficient Logging and Monitoring
Organizations that lack incident response integration and insufficient logging and monitoring can fall victim to attackers as they will gain access to the system, deepen, extract, and destroy data. The importance of constant API monitoring cannot be overemphasized as it will enable you to detect persistent threats and take necessary measures.
Common types of API Security Testing are: Dynamic API security tests, Software composition analysis, and Static API security tests.
What is REST and SOAP API?
REST (Representational State Transfer) is an API design style. In other words, it is a set of instructions designers follow when designing an API. REST is quite popular among established companies like YouTube, Facebook, and WordPress as they deliver fast performance, more progression, and reliability. This platform-independent style can be used in any language.
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a standard messaging protocol system used for interchanging data in a distributed environment. SOAP can work with any operation style and language that supports web services.
CHOOSING A TOOL FROM THE TOOLBOX
💡Always consider a CI/CD solution as your first steps for a more secure API, one of the common solutions is BLST Security Cherrybomb
A solution to API Penetration Testing
BLST Security – automatic penetration tester
“BLST security focuses on business logic attacks to provide more information, higher impact, and perfect working conditions.”BLST Security
For each type of endpoint, security experts carefully study any write-up and also examine all headers, parameters, and requests. The team also takes into consideration the nature of the business and industry and gathers necessary information on software and infrastructure. Deliverables
- BLST application-centric algorithm helps identify patterns and attacks in due time, allowing organizations to adjust operations and react to the changing demands.
- BLST will help ensure that your API endpoints meet the demands of modern software applications and are configured to the best practices.
- With our security system, confidentiality, integrity, and availability will be established.
- The artificial Penetration Tester Product is unique in learning about traffic. It attacks the application, gets the results, and uses it to build the system to work with any web application.
- BLST Security can save your company time and energy with its multiple products.
The results of our security testing will help you consider each vulnerability and how best you can build maximum strength on cybersecurity.
Other Solutions to API Security
Sensitive data and information protected by compliance should be encrypted. This is to prevent web attackers and hackers from gaining access to this information. All data managed by API should be encrypted at REST and in transit using Transport Layer Security. These will require signatures to open and have access to data on the API.
Custom Testing: Identify the Vulnerabilities
To successfully secure the API endpoints, you need to understand which part of the API has security issues. To easily detect these issues, you have to monitor the whole API in general. These issues may be minor or even complex, especially if you are dealing with a large number of APIs. Understanding the lapses of the API will help through the development and testing process.
Service mesh technology applies different levels of control and management when transferring requests from one service to another. This technology optimizes the way services work together, including access control, authentication, management, and configuration. They also offer automation and security for large deployments with many APIs.
Use Rate Limiting
You can set limits on the frequency and process of API calls to prevent DoS (Denial of Service) attacks on the system and also protect peak traffic. Rate limiting can help balance the availability and access of API among various users. Once availability is controlled, the performance and security of the system can be guaranteed.
Another way to protect your API is to create more focus on specific assets; users, ensure your API stays authentic and monitors suspicious behavior.
API penetration testing is becoming one of the most important factors of security as it goes in parallel to the explosive growth in API attacks, over all API penetration testing can be done in 2 main methods one is a manual penetration testing and the other one is an advanced automatic penetration testing. Hopefully this article gave a good insight about these methods and more info and above all if you have any questions, corrections and just got something to say, please contact me.