Application Programming Interface (API) scanning plays a crucial role in detecting API vulnerabilities, along with mobile back-end servers, IoT, and other web-connected devices.
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
To make the most of an API scan, the delivery method is often only by undertaking manual assessments. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time, as this includes executing test cases and reporting vulnerabilities with proof.
This landmark technology bridges the gap between automated scanners and manual pen testers by allowing a tester to guide the scanner using minimal annotation by writing pluggable modules to extend the capabilities of the automated scanner.
Demand for API adoption is rapidly increasing, and a recent RapidAPI survey revealed that API companies across all industries are prioritising their participation in the API economy.
As cybercriminals shift their attacks beyond “traditional” targets, entry points like microservices, cloud, IoT, and mobile apps have become popular, as have APIs.
Gartner has predicted that API abuse will be the most frequent attack vector in 2022, and research from Salt Labs in 2021 found a 348% rise in API attack traffic. It is noted that while API is not insecure by design, the increased volume of API being deployed has created challenges for security teams globally.
There are four distinct types of attacks related to API security that have been recognised, highlighting the importance of why API scanning is so crucial.
Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM)
A Man-in-the-middle attack occurs when the API message transmission is not signed or encrypted or when there is an issue in the secure session setup. If an API doesn’t use SSL/TLS, all message transmissions between the API and the client can be compromised.
This can lead to attackers having the ability to alter confidential data, such as session identifiers, personally identifiable information, etc. Even APIs that use SSL/TLS encryption are at risk if they are improperly configured or if the client is not validating the secure sessions.
API injection attacks can happen when the API developer does not carefully limit the inputs to anticipated types. Hackers operate by sending the script to the application server through an API request to gain access to the software.
Stolen Authentication Attack
Indusface notes that enterprises should also be concerned about loopholes allowing attackers direct access to their customer records and data. For example, an API configured with an improper authentication mechanism creates vulnerability and enables hackers to hijack the identity of the user and access controls of an API.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attack
While DDoS has been prominent in the cyber threat space for a while now, API endpoints have turned into the new attack vectors for this type of attack. Criminals point a bot at the API and make a series of high-frequency requests at an endpoint for a certain duration. This leads to the tolerance of requests exceeding the capacity of the target to respond, making it unavailable to legitimate users.
With Indusface Infinite API Scanning, human-guided augmentation ensures API definitions are annotated, ensuring the automated scanner makes the best use of the API definition and detects further vulnerabilities across a wide range of attack surfaces.
The automated scanner is also complemented with Manual Pentesting, ensuring all business logic vulnerabilities are identified in an effective and efficient manner.
Plugin-based architecture ensures manual pen-testing findings are automated, and this means that all instances of vulnerabilities are identified, and there is an unlimited revalidation of API scanner findings.
The developer-friendly interface, zero false-positive guarantee and comprehensive reporting and support give IT professionals peace of mind and assurance when navigating the API space.
Enterprises will also be able to further understand risk posture, mitigate risk, and discover Shadow APIs using the company’s advanced AppTrana API Protection. In conjunction with other Indusface portfolio products, businesses can ensure they have ultimate cyber safety defence.
With a range of security solutions to suit all verticals, Indusface is a leader in the API security space and is trusted by over 3000 global customers. As a Gartner Peer Insight 2022 award winner, the company strives to continually provide solutions that are innovative, easy to use and provide the best protection for any situation.