APIs allow software applications to leverage data and functionality from other applications by facilitating their interactions. As a key component in microservice architectures, APIs open up applications to internal and external access, allowing you to integrate services and exchange data easily.
However, while APIs may be valuable assets, they can quickly become a liability. Their endpoints are the most-exposed components of an application’s network because they open up the server to client access. As a result, attackers often target API endpoints to access sensitive data or disrupt service operations.
Because of these easily exploitable vulnerabilities, security measures must be integrated at every level to protect API systems from these threats. One way to mitigate these risks is by using visual API security implementations. Visual implementations can provide a visibility layer for teams to better understand their API security policies, consistently apply changes, and easily track and fix potential vulnerabilities before they’re exploited.
This article explores how you can increase API security through visual implementations.
API security made easy with drag-and-drop
A compromised API can expose sensitive and financial data, which is why companies are always looking for new ways to improve API security. By using visual implementations and API security solutions, you can protect your data and ensure that only authorized users can access it.
API security challenges
The distributed nature of modern applications backed by APIs makes the development landscape more complex — and increases the attack surface. APIs often lead to multiple public-facing endpoints consumed by different client applications.
Maintaining API security and regulation can be challenging because they’re used across so many endpoints, teams, and vendors with varying deployment methods. This results in a lack of visibility, making it difficult to maintain consistent security policies across all API portfolios and platforms.
APIs need close, constant attention to remain secure. You must stay up to date with API-specific threats and be vigilant about testing for vulnerabilities. However, manual checks can be difficult, as each platform may have distinct security requirements.
So, while APIs have become increasingly essential to modern software development, businesses need comprehensive solutions that can handle the inherent complexity — and lack of visibility — that comes with API security.
What are visual implementations for API security?
Visual implementation describes using an API management tool, framework, or platform to help you manage API security policies. Using visual implementations ensures that all components of an API’s system, including endpoints, servers, and clients, are clearly visible and that they can be easily moved, grouped, and verified. Additionally, policies can be dragged and dropped, making it easy to apply them consistently across APIs and platforms.
The use of visualization streamlines the security management process, making it more effective. Additionally, it eliminates the need to manually ensure that policies remain consistent across various systems.
Although automation and scripting are key components of DevOps, and a major objective of the framework is to move swiftly and thoroughly throughout the software development lifecycle. Producing quality software also requires in-depth knowledge about how your architecture is formed and how your application is performing. To do so, you need to balance the inclination towards automation and DevOps practices with understanding system-level details that can have large-scale impacts — like API security.
Implementing visuals can help DevOps teams be more consistent in maintaining API policies by implementing a visual approach to their workflows, making it possible to work together, and flag inconsistencies more effectively.
Additionally, visual implementation can help DevOps teams to communicate their workflows to other teams or stakeholders more effectively. This allows for better decision-making and faster development. A free trial of webMethods.io will help you experience and understand the benefits of visual implementations first-hand.
Benefits of visual implementations
Visual policy administration is critical to managing and securing APIs, given the potential vulnerabilities and the general lack of flexibility with API security. Visual implementations also provide numerous benefits, including:
- Visibility — Visualizing your API security system increases awareness of the various elements of your API policies. This provides a unified, easily accessible structure to give you better control when managing policies.
- Consistency — Visual implementation enables you to apply the right policies across the appropriate API, ensuring that potential security risks are appropriately addressed based on each API’s requirements.
- Verification — Visual management lets you improve the verification workflow so you can immediately tell what changes are applied — and where. This makes it easy to present information about your API security in a way that’s quick and easy to understand.
- Efficiency — It can be overwhelming to manage, enforce, and control access to several APIs, especially when applying security policies. Visual implementation increases efficiency by making it much easier to apply security policies across various APIs quickly and correctly by facilitating the drag-and-drop of policies.
- Ease of use — Visual implementation helps lower the barrier of security entry and makes security more accessible, thereby improving collaboration.
Software AG visual implementations
Software AG offers a wide range of API security solutions that work as visual implementation tools, allowing you to have a more visual workflow for security and policy management. Using Software AG’s API management solution, you can effectively manage your APIs across various landscapes and securely expose them to third-party developers by using reusable policies that govern your API’s security with increased transparency.
Some features include creating and managing security policies effectively, monitoring and responding to security incidents, and building, testing, and integrating APIs more easily. In addition, Software AG’s webMethods.io API solution provides a comprehensive set of security offerings that enable you to implement API security measures across your different APIs easily.
Software AG’s API management and security offerings include the API Gateway to facilitate request routing, authentication, authorization, monitoring API usage, and limiting and controlling API access, helping you secure and scale API offerings across different environments.
With the increasing complexity associated with securing enterprise-scale APIs across technologies, it’s crucial to address all the threats surrounding your APIs carefully. Visual implementations can help to secure APIs by providing a clear and concise representation of API policies and making it easier to enforce security policies across various APIs.
Thankfully, Software AG can help secure your APIs by providing visual implementation tools that you can use to create, govern, and move security policies across your APIs with ease.