Robust API Authentication: How Does It Work?
Application Program Interfaces, or APIs, are a crucial component of the data-based infrastructure that we all rely on in daily life these days. API frameworks are a key to creating ease of access for website and program developers, and they allow for a seamless user experience when perusing aggregated data online or on a company system.
One great example of the usefulness of APIs is in the travel sites that many people have been jealously scrolling through while waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to subside and allow for prime vacation time once again. Travel sites bring in real-time data from a variety of unique sources: airline websites, hotel booking services, car rental companies, cruise lines, and much more. The integration of API infrastructure here is essential in making this process work. Rather than creating a continuously updated database of tens of thousands of flight details, hotel rooms, and cruise cabins, developers are able to implement a quick and easy API integration that calls up the latest prices on whatever the user’s search parameters had homed in on.
While the API function provides a far superior user experience on the internet and within service requests that originate within corporate infrastructure, they also allow for a key vulnerability that must be handled with care. Robust API authentication is a mindset and framework for approaching API endpoint management that all business professionals must ensure compliance with in order to secure their team and company’s data, infrastructure, and future. The truth is that malicious actors exist in droves all around the world. The shadowy nature of hacking often materializes in the form of a black hat pen tester simply exploring what they can of a vulnerable corporate infrastructure simply for the thrill of the chase. However, there are others out there who are looking to penetrate firewalls and database systems with the intention of stealing sensitive data or financial information that can be used or sold off for a profit.
With a robust authentication approach, maintaining high quality data security surrounding this vulnerability can become habit rather than hope. APIs are natural weak points in the overall data-based infrastructure of a company. These are programs that interact with systems that exist outside of your “internal” digital space. As such, the endpoint—or server—that these programs rely on is typically more vulnerable to attack than any other node in a corporate system as a result of ownership elsewhere. Utilizing authentication tokens and encryption practices provides the best results for businesses looking to prioritize security headed into the future.
In addition to these data-centric approaches, it’s important to understand that system penetration isn’t solely relegated to the networked realm. Social engineering attacks are on the rise, and users themselves must be cautious regarding access and login credentials. Employing the principle of least privilege is a great way to stem any vulnerabilities that exist within the natural makeup of your team. This is simply the use of access granting in strategic ways. Rather than allowing comprehensive access to everyone in the office, building a hierarchy of need allows your security team to block off access to data and API infrastructure that individual members don’t need or won’t use in their daily role. Segmenting access means that a data breach enjoys marginalized potential to inflict harm.
API authentication and the security procedures that go along with this approach to integrated digital solutions are essential in the growing digitally dominated world that we share. Make sure that your team is prepared for the security threats that come along with this helpful application infrastructure.