Common Causes of REST API Security Vulnerabilities
Learn more about common REST API security vulnerabilities and what causes them.
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As part of this article on REST API security vulnerabilities, we have gone through a few types of vulnerabilities, and with this week’s post, we observe a few common concerns or causes that make our APIs vulnerable to various attacks. Also, at the end of this article, we will quickly dive into security tests that help expose vulnerabilities as part of regression tests.
API Design and Development Flaws
Missing or non-adhering of API security principles and best practices may lead to defects that expose the business-critical data. As another aspect of design and development, we need to keep the APIs as simple as possible (less intricate) as complexity may lead to less coverage and being vulnerable. Inadequate user input validation, SQL injection loopholes, buffer overflows are a few other causes. Understanding and implementing various aspects of design strategies and RESTful API design practices in APIs helps reducing design and development flaws to a greater extent.
Poor System Configuration
Not necessarily the best design and development is enough to safeguard the system if the system configurations (where the APIs are) do not adhere to security compliance. This introduces loopholes that attackers use to steal the information.
Non-adherence of organization security compliance, inadequate knowledge of security measures such as documents shredding policies, secure coding practices, choosing passwords, maintaining the confidentiality of passwords, periodical resets of passwords, no access to the unknown/unsecured sites create loopholes in the API, and more lead to security breaches.
Internal and External Connectivity
APIs are the part of unsecured internal and external network connectivity is one another major causes of the vulnerability. Also, due to APIs exposure to large and unique channels like mobile networks, poor risk management, and lenient authorization practices within the network are a few to list for this category.
So, how do we find the vulnerabilities in APIs? APIs should go through security tests.
Security tests ensure that APIs are secure from external threats and protected from the vulnerabilities that we have discussed above. The primary focus of the API security tests and security testers is finding the vulnerabilities of the API they intend to test by running penetration tests, fuzz tests, validations, and sensitive data exposure determination.
Security functional testing and security vulnerability testing are the two categories of security tests. The functional test is to execute manual tests and manual checks for the presence of security mechanisms within APIs implementation. The security vulnerability tests intend to execute automated test cases that may expose vulnerabilities.
So, with a rigorous run of security tests over APIs, one can expose all possible vulnerabilities in great time, get them fixed, and protect the APIs from those potential vulnerabilities.
Published at DZone with permission of Hari Subramanian. See the original article here.
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