What’s API Safety Testing?


Briefly, API safety testing includes the systematic evaluation of APIs to establish vulnerabilities, coding errors, and different weaknesses that might be exploited by malicious actors. Software Programming Interfaces, or APIs, present a lot of the communication layer between functions that home a company’s essential buyer and firm info, and API safety testing is crucial to making sure the integrity and resilience of these functions. It’s APIs’ intensive connectivity and entry to essential methods that exposes them to a myriad of safety dangers, making them prime targets for attackers.

Why is API Safety Testing Wanted?

Internet application-specific safety instruments are sometimes not designed for API safety testing and are at finest much less efficient at totally addressing API safety. Internet-oriented dynamic utility safety testing (DAST) instruments lack the context wanted to check APIs primarily based on their designed perform. Efficient API safety testing requires understanding the enterprise logic of the API – what it was designed to do. A lot of as we speak’s API assaults are associated to enterprise logic abuse, equivalent to account takeover (ATO), SIM fraud, or reward card abuse. The distinctive vulnerabilities and use instances for APIs vs. functions is the explanation that the OWASP requirements physique maintains separate High 10 lists for net functions and API safety.

How API Safety Testing Can Shield APIs

  • Defending Delicate Information – APIs typically deal with delicate info equivalent to consumer credentials, private knowledge, and monetary particulars. API coding errors or misconfigurations might result in unauthorized entry, knowledge breaches, or just delicate knowledge leakage.
  • Stopping Malicious Assaults – Previously, attackers centered primarily on the functions, however now it’s widespread for assaults to incorporate the APIs as effectively, and even bypass functions completely to assault their underlying APIs. API safety testing permits proactive identification and mitigation of potential assault vectors and reduces the danger of API assaults equivalent to account takeover, damaged authentication, and enterprise logic abuse.
  • Sustaining Regulatory Compliance – Information safety rules equivalent to GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA legally require organizations to make sure the safety and privateness of consumer knowledge. API safety testing helps organizations show compliance with regulatory necessities by figuring out and rectifying safety gaps.
  • Preserving Model Repute – A safety breach may end up in monetary losses and tarnish the repute and perceived trustworthiness of the group. API safety testing is a proactive step in direction of safeguarding the group’s model repute and sustaining buyer belief.

Key Parts of API Safety Testing

API safety testing throughout and after the event course of is an important part of the API safety lifecycle, essential to guard firm property. Some key elements of API safety testing embody:

  1. Authentication: Evaluating the effectiveness of authentication mechanisms in verifying the identification of API shoppers and stopping assaults equivalent to credential stuffing.
  2. Authorization: API-specific use instances like damaged perform stage authorization (BFLA) and damaged object property stage authorization (BOPLA) have been referred to as out within the OWASP API Safety High 10 and testing should make sure that solely approved customers have entry to particular API strategies (e.g. GET, PUT, POST) or knowledge objects (e.g. title, tackle, SSN). These are API-specific take a look at instances that aren’t coated beneath net utility testing, and as such require an API safety testing-specific answer.
  3. Cross-account entry: Vulnerabilities equivalent to damaged object stage authorization (BOLA) and insecure direct object references (IDOR) are essential API-specific take a look at instances.
  4. Encryption and knowledge integrity: Assessing the adequacy of encryption protocols employed to safeguard knowledge transmission and storage and make sure that knowledge integrity and confidentiality are preserved.
  5. Charge limiting and throttling: Testing the implementation of price limiting and throttling mechanisms to mitigate the danger of API abuse and denial-of-service (DoS) assaults with assist for customizing these values as wanted, equivalent to between improvement and manufacturing environments.

A Mandatory Part of the Improvement Course of

Integrating API safety testing early within the improvement lifecycle follows the “shift-left” strategy, whereby safety issues are addressed from the preliminary phases of improvement. Figuring out and remediating points early within the improvement course of is usually simpler and fewer useful resource intensive than fixing safety points at later phases.

One of many perceived hurdles in agile and DevOps-focused environments is that safety assessments hinder the tempo of innovation. Nevertheless, trendy API safety testing instruments and methodologies that seamlessly combine with improvement workflows allow steady safety testing with out impeding improvement velocity.

What to Search for in an API Safety Testing Answer

When selecting an API safety testing answer, search for a number of key capabilities:

  • Integration with pre-production environments – an answer that integrates with CI/CD pipeline environments equivalent to GitHub, Gitlab, Azure DevOps, Bamboo, or Jenkins.
  • Broad API take a look at protection – the answer ought to assist widespread take a look at and vulnerability frameworks such because the OWASP API Safety High 10, embody customizable assessments, and assist guarantee your take a look at instances mirror precise API utilization.
  • Assist for a number of API sources – the power to generate take a look at plans from varied sources such Postman Collections, API specs. And that is the place you possibly can embody the generate specs if none-are-available worth prop.
  • Integrations with present toolsets – along with the CI/CD pipeline environments talked about beforehand, the power to combine with SIEM, SOAR, and ITSM merchandise might help allow a number of stakeholders of their most well-liked workflows.
  • Autonomous take a look at creation – in some instances, API specs is probably not out there, so an answer that’s able to producing specs mechanically and with out human involvement will get rid of an excessive amount of guide work.
  • API safety integration – whereas most individuals consider API testing as a part of the event course of, it’s vital to think about it holistically – don’t simply shift left, however protect proper into manufacturing. The most effective API safety testing options are a part of a broader platform that may defend the whole API safety lifecycle.

A part of the Cequence Unified API Safety Platform

Cequence gives an API safety testing product as a module in API Sentinel that permits IT safety and builders to completely take a look at their APIs to establish and remediate vulnerabilities and coding errors. API Safety Testing is an integral part of the Cequence Unified API Safety platform that addresses each section of the API safety lifecycle.

API safety testing will not be merely a checkbox within the improvement course of; it’s a elementary necessity for safeguarding digital property. Embracing a proactive strategy in direction of API safety testing and integrating it into the event lifecycle permits organizations to establish vulnerabilities earlier than they’re uncovered in manufacturing environments. To be taught extra or arrange a personal demo of Cequence’s API safety testing capabilities, merely schedule a demo.

The put up What’s API Safety Testing? appeared first on Cequence Safety.

*** This can be a Safety Bloggers Community syndicated weblog from Cequence Safety authored by Jeff Harrell. Learn the unique put up at: https://www.cequence.ai/weblog/api-security/what-is-api-security-testing/


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