API security is a process of securing data and services that are accessible through application programming interfaces (APIs). API security is a relatively new field, as APIs only became widely used in the early 2000s. However, as the use of APIs is rapidly growing, so has the need for better API security, preferably one that is more “shift left.”
Why is API security important?
Before we dig into “shift left,” it’s good to understand why API security is important and does it connect to “shift left”. There are two main reasons. First, because APIs allow access to data and services that may be sensitive, it is important to ensure that only authorized users can access these resources. Second, because APIs can be used to connect different systems, it is important to make sure that data doesn’t get corrupted or leaked when it is passed between systems.
API Security and shift left are living in the same universe as API Development is located at the beginning of the SDLC pipeline.
What is “shift left”?
In general, “shift left” means starting earlier in the process to identify and address problems. The idea is that it’s better to catch and fix issues earlier in the process, when they’re cheaper and easier to fix, than to wait until later.
In the software development process, “shift left” typically refers to starting testing earlier. By doing so, developers can catch errors and bugs sooner, before they have a chance to cause problems later on.
Shift left in API Security
There are many ways to secure an API, but one of the most effective is to “shift left”. This means that security must be built into the API from the very beginning, rather than being tacked on as an afterthought. Developers can ensure that security is an integral part of the API rather than an afterthought by shifting left API Security.
Shift left in API security is a practice in which security testing is performed earlier in the software development life cycle. This makes it possible to find and fix security problems faster, which can make the final product safer overall.
What tools are commonly used in “shift left” API security?
Listed below are 6 common tools / ways to approach API Security
- Automated Testing Tools:
Before the code is released, these tools help find security holes early in the software development lifecycle (SDLC).
- Static Code Analysis Tools:
These tools analyze the source code of a software application to identify security vulnerabilities.
- Code review tools:
These tools allow developers to collaboratively review code for security vulnerabilities.
- Application Security Assessment Tools:
These tools look at an application’s security from an attacker’s point of view, find weaknesses, and suggest steps to fix them.
- Security vulnerability management tools:
These tools help organizations track, prioritize, and remediate security vulnerabilities.
- API Validation Tools:
API validation is often done in the early stages of the continuous integration process. This is done to ensure that the API meets the expectations of the developers and that it is compatible with other parts of the system. API validation can be done manually or using automated tools.
Manual API validation is often done by developers who are familiar with the API. They will test the API against the specification to see if it meets the requirements. Automated API validation can be done using a tool like Swagger. Swagger is a tool that can be used to validate API specifications.
Learn more about API Security Testing
Swagger is a tool that can be used to validate API specifications.
One of the most effective ways to shift left on API security is to use machine learning (ML). ML can be used to automatically detect and block malicious requests, as well as to identify potential security vulnerabilities. ML is an effective tool for API security because it can scale to large numbers of requests and APIs, and it is constantly improving as more data is processed.
When used correctly, shift left API security can be an effective way to secure data and services. ML can be used to automatically detect and block malicious requests, as well as to identify potential security vulnerabilities. Developers can ensure that security is an integral part of the API rather than an afterthought by using ML to shift left API security.