In our previous article, we showed you that APIs enable companies to grow their business more quickly than ever, and that nowadays, APIs can reduce the administrative burden significantly.

But also, these days, API security has become a significant cause of concern for many businesses. Many companies have no knowledge of potential API attacks, because they are a bit unfamiliar with the concept. The reason why they may be strongly affected by an incorrectly implemented API.

Sadly, in this case, victims end up losing valuable, private information, which can cause enormous damage to their company.

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In order to help you understand what API attacks are, we’ve prepared a simple guide that will help you identify and avoid them!

Big API security attacks

Inadequate Coding

API security attacks happen because the reliability of the coding is not a priority for some companies. Coding is the basis of API, but when programmers do not pay proper attention, the effect will be an unstable code.

Projects are often assigned to developers who are beginners or who do not have extensive experience with the specific integration. This leads to poor software creation, providing opportunities for hackers to gain access to critical information systems.

Login attack

API logins must be secured with encrypted private login or full-measure protocols. Therefore, API attacks may happen. In the lack of proper user login security, there are big possibilities for an unexpected login attack, in which case vital information can be accessed and used for malicious purposes.

API DoS & DDoS attacks

Because of some companies’ lack of cybersecurity initiatives, there is often an issue regarding the database overload. Hackers will take advantage of this opportunity to carry heavy traffic to a website, which will cause the website to overload.

An API DDoS attack usually means sending traffic from multiple clients to overload an API service. Even when rate limiting controls are there to stop servers from crashing, they fall short in preventing service disruption and severe degradation of the API’s user experience.

Also, users that originally had access to specific data are denied, a moment when DoS (Denial of Services) attack takes place. This will lead to a lot of user frustration, resulting in user-required information being delayed and operations being interrupted.

These sorts of attacks are being experienced more and more by organizations. If they do not have a proper security strategy in place, they are incapable of stopping them and therefore unable to restore their users and customers to normal services.

The lack of proper parametric validation

Attacks on the API are also caused by injection attacks. This means that hackers freely access your information system to send a malicious code as a request connection, that takes all the private information in one click.
This happens due to the lack of proper parametric validation for any kind of user-requested information or query.

A correct parametric validation will set rules for any type of information or queries requested. Furthermore, the user will be bounded to the access of information based on some set parameters.

How to avoid API attacks

Some of our recommendations:

  • Choose wisely your team. Better opt for senior-level and experienced developers!
  • Always use an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) in order to ensure a private encrypting link between the server and the browser. This will result in a secured login system.
  • Use the correct input validation according to the set parameters, which are the length and category for requesting information.
  • Use various types of security software to help prevent DoS or malware attacks of any kind.
  • Build your API Cyber Security on AI – this will give you the power to transcend static rules and policies. Plus, AI will give you deep visibility into your APIs traffic and can recognize unusual behavior on your data and applications to automatically prevent hackers from abusing your APIs.

To conclude

Nowadays, every single day a new and modern technology arises and the chances of malicious invasion by a hacker willing to compromise a system are increasing. That’s why, if companies do not prepare for evolving dangers, they will be more likely to attack. The solution? Using a stable API interface contributes to information and company safety!

Start delivering quality software on time.