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Top 5 API Security Principles to Remember


Businesses have been heavily investing in APIs to offer safe and secure integration solutions so that information between applications or technologies goes uninterrupted. Looking at the scale and sophistication of cyber security attacks, businesses have severe concerns over API security. To assist businesses in ensuring better API security, we present the best-in-class and industry-proven API security principles for businesses.

Security Design Principles

SmartBear research in its State of APIs Report-2019, states that 42 percent of people say API security is the biggest challenge, despite its capabilities.

The state of API security in SmartBear research

To better understand the concerns over API security, let’s take a simple example of a mobile application. Here the information sent from server to mobile or mobile to server happens through API only. When the data needs to be exchanged between technologies or applications, data needs to be secure to ensure that only verified user authentications process.

API security mechanisms should guarantee protection of the integration of APIs, both the side you create and the use of API.  In any environment, proper security controls need to be put in place to allow access on the bases of proper authentication and authorizations. Proper authentication system enables API’s to properly identify consumers and evaluate their access level. To better security for APIs, here are the industry-proven API security principles for businesses:

Fail-Safe Defaults

API should have the required set of permissions to perform the actions. Implement authentications to access API endpoints and unauthenticated access should be denied by default. This principle approach was suggested by E. Glaser in 1965, it means lack of access and protection scheme identifies under what access should be granted. Whenever any access, privileges or any security-related configuration is not implemented, this mistake leaves systems vulnerable and it will be mostly unnoticed.

The Design and Implementation

This suggests about design and implementation should be made as simple as possible. When design and implementation are simple, it reduces the possibility of errors. Intricate solutions are always difficult to implement, inspect and improve. This principle also applies to the area of information system development and usages.

End-to-End Mediation

Always place validation in accessing resources to ensure that they are allowed. It means API endpoint should have authorization mechanism. This principle is suggested to restrict the caching of information. It brings security considerations to a system-wide level.

Open Design

This emphasizes following of open design API methodology, meaning that security of design shouldn't be secret. API design should be designed by security standards, and credentials can be secret in that case. The security design or algorithm is separated from protection keys, thereby allowing people to review and contribute to this design without the risk of being allowed to access the system.

Psychological Acceptability

The API security system should emphasize on  protection for the system and shouldn't create difficulties to access the resources, thereby making the user experience worst.

Cyber Security Guide For Business

PramodAbout the Author

Pramod Jaiswal works with V-Soft Consulting as a Technical Architect. He has more than 12 years of experiences in Open Source technology. He has a very good amount of skills in web & mobile application designing, development, database designing. Apart from these, he also holds deep knowledge in developing IoT (Internet of Things) and Chatbot applications.


Topics: API, API Testing, API Security

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