In today’s interconnected world, cyber threats are increasing day by day. Therefore, the importance of security testing cannot be ignored. Hence, API security testing is important in ensuring sensitive data and resources’ confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
What is an API?
APIs are the application programming interface. It is a type of software testing that analyses multiple endpoints such as web services, databases, or Web UI’s.
What is API Security Testing, and Why is it Important?
The application programming interface acts as a bridge between two software systems to share information. However, there may be chances of data leakage and unauthorized access. They can also become vulnerable to cyber threats if improperly secured. Therefore, API Security testing is essential for systematically accessing API and to protect against unauthorized access and other security risks. Also, API security testing helps to secure the API and to save sensitive data and resources.
How Can an API be Insecure, and How Should We Secure it?
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Some API vulnerabilities are listed below, and how to secure them:
- Broken Access Control – Access control in API is one of the important security measures. This type of attack occurs due to unauthorized access to data or functionality. To protect against this attack, we need to do proper authentication and authorization. If access control is not implemented properly, then it can leave API vulnerable.
- Broken Authentication issue – If there is a broken authentication, then it can easily allow attackers to access confidential data and resources. We need to use strong passwords to protect against this broken authentication attack; our data must be encrypted and use session timeouts.
- Excessive data exposure – API developers often do not secure their API properly, which may lead to data leakage and other security issues. To avoid these risks, we must carefully control API access and ensure that only authorized parties can access the sensitive data and protect their files.
- Lack of Rate Limiting – This vulnerability occurs when there are no restrictions on the number of requests sent. If there are no limits on the number of requests made to an API, then it will overload the system and cause it to fail. This can result in loss of data.
One of the main Vulnerabilities in API is SQL Injection, in which SQL Stands for Structured Query Language, which is the standard language for accessing databases. SQL Injection occurs when attackers access confidential information from your databases.
When SQL injection attacks are successful, attackers can:
- Login into the application without a password.
- Access, modify, and delete the secured data from databases.
How Can We Prevent SQL Injection?
- Use web application firewalls – This can help filter out malicious data and block known attack patterns.
- Use Parameterized queries – This ensures that parameter passes in SQL Query are treated safely.
- Conduct Security Scanning – Security scanning ensures check the SQL injection Vulnerabilities in your code.
- Don’t Leave Sensitive Data in Plaintext – Always encrypt confidential data which is stored in a database.
- Input Validation and Input Sanitization – To eliminate any malicious code, monitoring and sanitizing user input in SQL is necessary. Input validation ensures that data is properly formatted, while input sanitization sanitizes the input by removing the invalid character.
An API is a gateway to access data. API becomes vulnerable due to several reasons such as design, coding, etc. In this blog, we have learned some API vulnerabilities and how we should prevent them. I hope you have enjoyed learning and found it helpful.