API Security FAQ

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API endpoints are proliferating, fueled by the growth of mobile apps, server-to-server applications, microservices, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Forbes described 2017 as "the year of the API economy." 1 In 2018, at least 85 percent of organizations surveyed said they consider web APIs and API-based integration fundamental to their business strategy and continued success. 2 However, the explosion of APIs is creating incremental security risks that must be addressed. In 2017, APIs appeared for the first time on the OWASP Top 10 Application Security Risks list, with the warning that "attackers may steal or modify such weakly protected data to conduct credit card fraud, identity theft or other crimes." 3 One report states that APIs are becoming the primary attack vector for criminals and others with malicious intent. 4 1 "2017 Is Quickly Becoming the Year of the API Economy," Forbes, Jan. 29, 2017 2 "State of API Integration 2018 Report," Cloud Elements, 2018 3 OWASP Top 10 Application Security Risks, OWASP, 2017 4 Ibid. footnote 2 Securing API endpoints is vital to doing business on the Internet today. Not only are API endpoints growing exponentially—one researcher predicts more than 30 billion IoT devices by 2020 5 —but they also have unique characteristics that challenge traditional authentication protocols. Organizations need to address API security in innovative new ways, not just as a responsibility of DevOps teams but of cybersecurity and IT teams as well. In fact, research shows that API security is still overseen by IT a vast majority of the time. 6 As an IT security professional, how do you go about reducing risk and increasing protection for your organization? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about API security. 5 "Internet of Things Connected Devices Installed Base Worldwide from 2015 to 2025," Statista, 2018 6 "Survey: APIs a Growing Cybersecurity Risk," Security Boulevard, Jan. 30, 2018 Frequently Asked Questions: Understanding API Security W H I T E PA P E R

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