Does your business use an API? What's your feeling about the increase in cyberattacks on businesses through these essential software intermediaries? Keep reading to learn everything your business should know about API attacks and safety measures that work.

What Is An API?

Application programming interfaces are ways for two or more computer programs to understand each other. They're like user interfaces (where a person interacts with a site or software) but for computer programs.

Your API works by sharing information between programs—one software makes an API request, and the other sends the requested information through the same channel.

What Makes Your Business' APIs Vulnerable?

How can businesses protect themselves from API security vulnerabilities? What makes an API vulnerable? 

The biggest risk of using an API is the potential transmission of sensitive information that your business should rather be protecting, such as:

  • Passwords
  • Financial information
  • Medical histories

Without a secure API, cyber attackers may hijack this information.

The Problem of Rising API Attacks on Businesses

Businesses of all sizes have seen a significant increase in cyber attackers using API vulnerabilities to obtain their company's critical information. 

In 2023, API attacks comprised 27% of all infiltrations (a 10% increase from the previous year). These attacks most frequently targeted a user's account in an ATO (account takeover). Financial information also showed up prominently in API-targeted attack targets.

In general, attackers use increasingly complicated methods of bypassing API security, necessitating improved API development to mitigate these rising threats. Businesses automate their API requests (one source estimates they've reached 1.5 billion requests annually), but this increase in automated requests comes with a greater likelihood of a hacker accessing your organization's or customers' information.

Protecting Your Business From API Attacks

Do you use an API for your business? Don't worry; you can incorporate several best practices to secure your information.

Don't Delay in Securing Your API Software at Work

API attacks can happen at any time. Immediate action allows your business to avoid the serious consequences of a successful API breach. Solutions like retraining your employees or implementing defensive software can take days or weeks to fully implement, so begin right now if you can.

Start with something as simple as emailing your employees or IT team. You want to make security measures a top priority and fast.

Improve Your Business Security Tools and Standard Operating Procedures

Businesses can also protect themselves from API security vulnerabilities using tools like OAuth or JWT to transmit data securely. These examples don't use a password to send and receive requests. 

You should also confirm your API key remains private. Accidentally enabling public access to these security measures is a leading cause of disastrous API attacks.

As a business owner, it's important to understand how your API dependence affects your organization's integrity. Protect yourself or get some help in setting up these measures.


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