API security tools scan and monitor your API integrations to identify any vulnerabilities. These solutions offer extensive integrations across your development stack, ensuring that there are no gaps in coverage. Key features of an effective API security tool include the ability to deploy automated scans, provide actionable intelligence, and give relevant users prioritized notifications.
An API is an Application Programming Interface – it is used to enable two different computer programs to communicate. APIs enable programmers to integrate different software types, which allows them to increase the functionality and capability of their software.
As APIs are pre-packaged blocks of code that are inserted wholesale into the heart of an application, there is the risk that – should the API have a security flaw – an attacker could compromise your entire solution. While the code that you have created may be secure and robust, the only way you will know if this is the same for your integrated API is through careful analysis. This is what API security solutions do.
In this article, we’ll consider the top API security tools designed to monitor and address any vulnerabilities within your API code. For each solution, we’ll consider its key features, the ways in which it stands out from the competition, and the type of organization that it is best suited to.
What Is An API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs are used to communicate between products and services that haven’t been designed to be compatible. You can think of an API like an adaptor – it is a way of making two separate software technologies compatible.
APIs are predominantly used by developers when creating new applications and programs. They can use an API to combine two pre-existing technologies, thereby enhancing their own solution.
What Are The Benefits Of APIs?
One of the major benefits of using an API is that it can vastly speed up the development and implementation of new applications. Rather than having to spend time and resource designing custom code, an API can allow you to combine technologies with ease.
Why Is Securing Your APIs Important?
APIs play a critical role in connecting user to services, and connecting individual services with one another. To do this, API code is inserted wholesale into the heart of an application. This means that – even if a development organizations has implemented extensive and comprehensive security directly on their application – if the API’s security is not as extensive, the API will act as a vulnerability.
And if your vulnerable API is targeted, it can act as a backdoor to your critical services.
APIs are often developed by third parties, then integrated into new systems wholesale. There is often little inspection of the API itself, meaning that developers have no way of knowing how secure it is, or even how it runs. API security tools cover this ground, ensuring that there aren’t any backdoors that would allow an attacker to access your solution – and spread to the rest of your network – via the API.