Why you should beef up your API security

Why you should beef up your API security

Why you should beef up your API security

May 12, 2021 8:16 am

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented number of companies requiring their employees to work remotely. This new way of working has exposed corporate infrastructures to countless networks that are not always reliable and, in some cases, to unauthorized devices.

This requires companies to make an extra effort to protect their own data and those of their employees. This has made cybersecurity more crucial than ever. When it comes to cybersecurity, the focus is on APIs. The term API (the acronym for “Application Programming Interface”) indicates a set of definitions and protocols, with HTTP/s being the most common one, with which application software is created and integrated.

APIs have assumed and are playing an increasingly central role in the integration of applications, data sources, and users. On the downside, they can also constitute a dangerous vector of new types of cyberattacks against companies in all sectors.

In fact, the tools and methods used to ensure application security are not enough to protect APIs from cyber-attacks. While application security is tied to web applications (and apps), individual APIs serving as part of applications can also be subject to various types of attacks stemming from different applications and different types of users. Furthermore, API attacks often trigger a chain reaction; by attacking a single API, a hacker can target numerous applications. This usually does not happen with cyberattacks on applications where the damage is generally limited to the affected application.

That’s why API security is a separate discipline regarding application security in general and requires companies to have a specific set of protection tools for APIs at their disposal. Protecting APIs requires a level of attack-discovery accuracy that should be proportional to their vulnerability to attack and business-related risk. API risks can range from loss of (transactions-based) revenues and sensitive corporate data, employee and customer data to the inactivity of IT systems, damage to reputation, and legal actions.

A novel “API resolution” cybersecurity approach, based on the key concepts of customization and automation, is required to protect the company’s infrastructure, applications, and data from the growing risk of API-borne attacks. The most innovative and effective solutions to actively and specifically protect APIs and API-based applications from the risk of cyberattacks are using Artificial Intelligence, usually Machine Learning (ML) based technologies.

L7 Defense’s Ammune™ solution, which is recognized by Frost & Sullivan as a leader in the API security market, is a new inline solution that implements unsupervised ML technology to detect and protect APIs automatically at an “API resolution” level. Each API is protected with a full instance of ML protection layers that are adapted to its traffic profile and built automatically. The API defense layer protects with very high accuracy from a wide range of common, yet sophisticated, API attacks. It also protects from more complex attacks that involve multi-APIs, such as typical financial transactions. Since Ammune™ is fully automated without needing any previous knowledge about APIs functionality or threat intelligence, it is able to detect and protect in APIs real time, even from subtle attacks.

L7 Defense’s Ammune™ offers several benefits. It is precise and guarantees extremely accurate attack detection and active protection in real time without compromising the user experience. It defends and detects thanks to its Zero Trust methodology where any request is considered to be potentially hostile and therefore subject to a full Deep Pocket Inspection (DPI) process as part of the risk analysis process.

Source: Softec Spa. The original article (in Italian) was written by Andrea de Pasquale and can be read here.