API (application programming interface) is used for communication between applications. The use of API by cyberattacks is increasing explosively in recent years. Since it is difficult and time consuming for businesses to develop a variety of functions from scratch every time, frequently used functions are organized and delivered in the form of OS and middleware. APIs offer protocols, and tools for software developers to enable them to extract and share data in a manageable manner. For example, a web API links an application with another platform such as games, social platforms, devices, and databases.
So many companies are using different forms of APIs and due to the increase in hacking technologies API security has become a concern for them. As most companies are unfamiliar with APIs security, there is a high risk for any company to get an API attack, and how a poorly developed API can cause damage to the business. Most important thing is that companies are not fully aware of how to prevent these attacks they end up losing client information. So, in this article, we will discuss different API attacks and how to prevent these attacks.
The followings are the common API attacks and methods of how to prevent them.
Broken object-level permission:
This type of attack can occur when APIs communicate with each other but object-level permission is not activated properly.
To prevent this, it is suggested that organizations manage proper user authorization policies. Moreover, it is best to verify all logged-in users using an authentication process. Penta Security’s WAPPLES reacts quickly to this weakness by detecting and blocking all forgery that could occur on the web through its 36 predefined rules.
Too much data exposure:
This type of attack can occur during API calls and searches for complex and sensitive data.
And to prevent this, it is very important to filter all the sensitive data. It is important to review the API’s response and calls to verify that it has only authentic data with the surety of responses not to raise any cybersecurity concerns. In simple words, it is important to design a security planner from the start to save sensitive data from exposure during the development process.
Lack of resources & rate limiting:
Lack of resources occurs when attacks exploit the API’s use of system resources such as network, memory, CPU, and storage to adjust the API’s requests to inappropriately exhaust all resources.
To avoid this type of API attack, they use a Docker environment is recommended that can easily limit access to memory, CPU, file descriptors, and processes in the cloud. Moreover, it is also good to implement a frequency limit for API calls and set notifications when a response time is out. WAPPLES are the best to detect and block forged responses and prevent attacks.
Broker user authentication:
A credential stuffing attack is a method of extracting personal information by randomly replacing login information leaked from other places to other websites or apps method taking benefit of a vulnerability that does not verify authorized users.
And to avoid this type of API attack developers must stick to the API standard and avoid using API keys for user authentication and implement multi-factor authentication. WAPPLES prevents the environment from such attacks through two-factor authentication organized within the management tool and swiftly detects such vulnerabilities through the access control functions.
Improper assets management:
This type of attack targets APIs due to poor system management.
And to avoid this, make of list of all API hosts and documents of data exchanged. Even after documenting information on all APIs in your system with the latest version of API you still have to use it after sufficient security tests. In simple words, developers must apply security tests to APIs used within the system to manage them with documentation.
Security misconfiguration occurs when an attack targets loopholes in any system management due to outdated systems.
To prevent this API management should limit the access environment a process that supports quick organization. Moreover, you can update the configuration in the entire API and have a secure communication channel to access static properties.
Broken function level authorization:
This occurs when an attack aims to loopholes in the endpoints of an API and eventually forces administrator privileges.
To prevent this type of API attack it is very important to check if the authentication process is properly set when an access request. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that calls were made after an authentication process. WAPPLES play important role in this by using 36 predefined detection rules to check if all the API requests and responses were legitimized or not.
API injection attack:
This type of attack happens when an application runs on poorly developed code. The hacker injects different code into software, like SQLi (SQL injection) and XSS (cross-site scripting) to gain access to your software.
To prevent this type of attack, data provided to all clients must be verified. It is important to firmly manage data types and patterns first for all variables with a web application firewall. WAPPLES detects and blocks attacks that can occur in parameters by injecting different types of rules.
Cross-site scripting attack:
This type of attack happens with client-side as cross-site scripting and clickjacking, which can restrict the type of content the browser is going to execute.
To prevent this attack, developers must use security headers such as CSP (content security policy) and X-XSS protection to prevent cross-site and clickjacking attacks. These security headers force the browser’s cross-site scripting to detect XSS attacks and stop the pages from loading altogether.
So, if you don’t want your business to be a victim of harmful API attacks, the following above mentioned are the ways to focus on API security during its development to prevent it from outside attacks. It is very important to already design and develop products and services safely to keep in mind the major security threats. If you want web development services, then contact xtenxion.