To develop an API management strategy, you should first understand how APIs work. APIs are systems that provide access to data and other services with a set of a simple set of instructions. They are used to connect two different programs without having to write the code necessary for the connection.
APIs must be designed with security in mind before deployment. There are many attacks like CSRF and session hijacking that can compromise an API and your business’s data if you don’t take the proper precautions.
When designing API solutions and selecting technologies, the following must be taken into account:
The API design process
The API design process should have a strong focus on business objectives. The API design process should start with defining an overview of the project and work back to ensure that the technology stack, security measures, and coding standards are in line with business goals. If a project goes against the business goals, then it can be difficult to redesign or change direction after implementation. If there is not a clear understanding of what is needed for success, then you need to develop a new approach or go back to the drawing board.
Identifying problems within API design should be consistent throughout all stages of the development process.
Securing the API
The first step in securing an API is to audit the purpose of its data and functions. A common mistake made in designing the API is choosing a design that does not address security concerns. The second step is to implement security measures to prevent unauthorized access by potential attackers. It is important to use secure coding practices such as coding standards and unit testing.
Many different coding standards can be used with APIs. Even programming languages have different code standards to ensure a consistent code base. The coding standard should support security in compliance with industry standards and service level requirements.
Unit tests are used to identify defects by inspecting the source code, including testing security measures. Unit tests are usually written by developers, but they can be automated if there is a solid development and delivery process in place. Unit testing also reduces project risk and increases the quality of the product. However, it is important to keep an agile release cycle so that defects can be identified and resolved quickly.
API testing tools can be used to simulate possible bad actors who might try to interact with the application. There are many different types of tests that can be created to ensure proper functionality is achieved. The test must be able to evaluate how well the application performs in a wide range of situations. Security (e.g., cryptography and authentication) should also be considered during testing.
The API design process should start with defining an overview of the project and work back to ensure that the technology stack, security measures, and coding standards are in line with business goals. If a project goes against the business goals, then it can be difficult to redesign or change direction after implementation. If there is not a clear understanding of what is needed for success, then there is no way to improve the API design after deployment.