Cybersecurity is a growing concern amid businesses from all quarters. It has become even more crucial amid COVID-19 pandemic when many businesses relying solely on the online medium for business transactions. Organizations all over the world have lost nearly 1$ trillion due to cyberattacks in 2020. Data security breaches, payment hacks, and security risks can cripple your business and ruin your brand image. Hence, it has become business-critical to get your apps tested thoroughly for any security loophole.
Why API security testing?
Application Programming Interface or API, as the name suggests, is the intermediating software or application that allows two endpoints to communicate with each other. Each time, we use an app like social networking app, gaming app, or any other application to send or receive the message, our action passes through a programming interface that connects sender and receiver.
That means securing the data sent to the receiver through an API is very important. Hackers may extract the data and use it in their illegal acts. Ensuring the security of an API before, during, and after the production of any project through testing is what we are going to discuss in detail under API security testing.
Developers use security tests to ensure their applications and web services are 100% safe from unwanted attacks and are not disclosing any sensitive information to the hacker. API Security tests pass through various types of security checks. Each of them has been designed to detect certain vulnerabilities. One security test with multiple security scans gives you the guarantee of your service and you can get assured that your services are well-protected against malicious attacks.
API Security Testing is the only way to ensure that any web service is protected from foreign attacks or not before communication is established between the two endpoints.
Let us highlight the Benefits of API security testing:
- Tester can detect error without the user interface
The main advantage of API security testing is that the tester can easily access the application without the user’s involvement. Under this testing system, testers can detect the error at an early stage without running the software application. This is beneficial because it helps QA rectify the error before it impacts the Graphical User Interface.
- Removes vulnerabilities
API testing is done under extraordinary conditions and inputs, which protects the application from unlawful code. API testing adds connecting limits to the software and removes any type of vulnerabilities.
- Less time-consuming than functional GUI testing
API testing consumes less time as compared to functional GUI testing. Under GUI testing, developers poll all webpages elements so it takes time. API, on the other hand, requires less coding, and so deliver faster results. A team of engineers analyzed the test results and found that 3000 API test results consumed 50minutes whereas 3000 GUI test consumed 30 hours.
- Testing cost is reduced
As we just said, API testing requires less code than GUI so we can expect to get faster results. The faster results mean, less time, and overall, less testing cost. Early error detection reduces the manual testing cost as well.
- Does not depend on Technology
API Security Testing uses XML or JSON languages consisting of HTTP requests and responses. These languages do not depend on technology and are used for development. That means testers can use any core language while using automated API testing services for an application.
With so many benefits of API security Testing, the demand continues to rise and so is the challenge to close security holes that may impact the safety of the corporate and customer data. Businesses need to make sure that their API testing does not create any security problem and is flawless.
We are here with some of the best practices for API security testing:
- Think out of the box
It is generally seen that developers work on one small set of services while testing to make that particular set as strong as possible. The problem these days is, front ends and back ends are connected to so many components that Hackers can easily find out one or the other way to enter the software; so developers need to think out of the box to fix this issue.
- Open communication between a tester and a developer can solve the problem
Communication has been a challenge. It can be used as a solution when an open channel of interaction between the testers and developers is established to reduce the defects making the API security testing process easier and faster.
- Thorough check-up of add-on software
The easy usage of API often creates problems. One popular usage is that allows third parties to write add-on apps. Mobile solutions and social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, depend on others to add value to their platform. Hackers grab those opportunities and try to get maximum information from such systems or platforms.
- Take standards judiciously
Suppliers work on standards to improve API security, but not all follow these standards. The Internet Engineering Task Force’s OAuth is an open authorization standard, that gives clients secured restricted access to system resources without highlighting their credentials. Most Internet users use this standard to log into third-party websites via their Microsoft, Google, Facebook, or Twitter accounts.
The problem comes when the standard is based on HTTP, which already has errors, and APIs add extra feasibility for hackers in such cases.
- Try to get authorization and authentication on the front end
Developers tie APIs into other elements of the software. To secure any code, developers need to adopt a strong approach. The process starts with authentication, which checks to see if a person is the same as he or she says they are. Enterprises have moved from simple password systems to multistep authentication emphasizing biometric solutions like fingerprints. Once the authentication process is done, they move to the authorization check to get access to more information.
- Don’t forget to check data on the back end
Developers work hard to protect the data on the front end but hackers are smart and they find their way to attack your system. Businesses must incorporate another checkpoint on the back end. If any hacker accesses confidential data, it should have value only when he or she moves the data to their systems. In simple words, we can say, if you miss any criminal on the front end, you still have a chance to catch him or her on the back end.
These are some of the API testing best practices that every business should adopt to close the security holes that may impact their application in the future.
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