Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow different programs to interact and communicate with each other. They have been described as acting like a translator to foster new lines of communication across your network. APIs underpin much of our modern infrastructure, playing a vital role in keeping operations up and running. Due to their pivotal role, it’s essential that your APIs are secure and don’t threaten the safety of your organization.
API Security Testing tools help companies to rigorously test their APIs and ensure they meet relevant security requirements. By identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses within your APIs, Security Testing tools can prevent any potential breaches and attacks. This is achieved through automating inspections and deploying advanced testing to detect issues faster and more effectively. They tend to run penetration testing, fuzz testing, and runtime testing to identify vulnerabilities such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), and cross-site request forgery (CSRF).
Not only does implementing an API security testing tool improve the chances of detecting flaws before it is too late, but they also help you meet a range of compliance requirements. With a crowded market and a range of viable solutions, choosing one that fits right for your business can be a complex process. In this article, we’ve compiled a buyer’s guide covering some of the top API security testing tools currently available. Each listing explains the platform’s key features and suggestions of the ideal use case.
Everything You Need To Know About API Security Testing Tools (FAQs)
What Is API Security Testing?
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a software solution that allows for two or more computer programs to communicate with each other. As APIs are so widely used, they are an enticing target for attackers. They have deep and intricate access within a network – they act as the intermediary between systems, giving them trusted access to both.
Ensuring that APIs remain safe and secure has become a key consideration in a threat landscape where attacks are imminent, and software is constantly being hacked. API security testing solutions will run tests and inspect API setups to ensure that they are secure. Admins use API security testing tools to search for any potential vulnerabilities and ensure that data is kept secure.
How Do API Security Testing Tools Work?
API security testing tools run a series of tests on your APIs to mimic the behavior of hackers and malicious actors. The results of these tests can be inspected to understand how your API holds up to attacks, and what its vulnerabilities are. They typically run penetration testing, fuzz testing, and runtime testing to gain a comprehensive understanding of your APIs and the threats they are exposed to.
API security testing tools create “fake” inputs that matches the input the API is expecting. This is done to see how easy the API is to trick and infiltrate. Once it has gained access, the API security testing tool will explore and see how much further access it can be granted.
The results of this testing are generated into a report that details all vulnerabilities and weak points. Things that are common to find issues with include authorization and authentication bypasses, broken authentication, data exposure, and misconfigurations. This information can be used be security teams to patch holes and ensure their APIs are secure, rather than allowing malicious entry.
What Features Should You Look For In Your API Security Testing Tool?
The API security market features a broad range of solutions with a plethora of features and advanced capabilities. Deciding which features are most important can be a complex and time-consuming decision. To help ease this process, we’ve identified the top features that you should look for in an API Security Testing tool.
- Deployment: Effective solutions should have a range of deployment possibilities, including agent or agentless, SaaS or self-hosted, and in a distributed or centralized environment.
- Reporting: The platform should provide robust, detailed, and timely reports relating to test results and vulnerabilities.
- Integrations: Ideally, your chosen solution should integrate easily with your existing (and future) tech stack.
- Testing: Your platform should offer testing based on dynamic traceable payloads. There should be considerable scope to the tests, including session-based anomalies such as BOLA and various API protocols including REST, SOAP, and GraphQL.
- API Discovery And Inventory: Search for solutions that can identify and assess all types of API, including HTTP, RESTful, GraphQL, SOAP, XML-RPC, JSON-RPC, and gRPC.
- Cataloging: Your solution should discover shadow, legacy, and rogue APIs that aren’t protected by a gateway. Admins should also be able to catalog data types for all APIs.
- Automation: Tools should offer automation to enhance workflows and reduce manual tasks.
- Machine Learning: Machine learning can help to analyze API behavior and detect threats more accurately. ML can assist with identifying data leakage, tampering, data policy violations, suspicious behavior, misconfigurations, as well as suggesting effective resolution methods.
There are API Security Testing Solutions with other features, many of which may benefit your organization. This list of features is not comprehensive but is offered as a starting to point to suggest some of the key features that are useful to have.