What is API Threat Mitigation?

April 28, 2023 | by Tony Bailey

API Threat Mitigation

API threat mitigation protects APIs against advanced threats that, if left alone, can result in fraud, data loss, and business disruption. If left unsecured, attackers can exploit API vulnerabilities, launch bot attack and business logic abuse impacting API security, governance, and compliance. Therefore, API threat mitigation is a critical element to any end-to-end API protection initiative.

Why is API Mitigation so Important from the API Security Perspective?

Organizations globally are experiencing a rapid proliferation of APIs driven by the fact that they are seen as a critical enabler of agile development. The use of APIs is an imperative across businesses wherein application componentization, agile business dynamics, and demanding user expectations from app experiences are the key driving force of digital transformation and tech-enabled business growth. This has led to organizations accelerating API release cycles and, in many cases, unfettered use of managed and unmanaged APIs, resulting in API governance issues. As a result, organizations lose their API visibility, meaning they no longer have a clear idea of APIs at risk; unsecured APIs that must be protected, remain unsecure. If there is no visibility and control, there will be no API threat mitigation.

While there is no doubt that organizations are well-aware of the risks posed by unmanaged and unprotected APIs, they continue using legacy API security solutions that are not comprehensive in their approach. In this case, shadow or unknown APIs pass below the radar of these tools; moreover, they are saddled with point products that offer specific security, governance, or compliance functions that are difficult to deploy, are not scalable, and therefore they remain limited in their approach. Also, many outdated solutions cannot mitigate threats in real time, which puts the whole API ecosystem at risk.

What is the Right Approach to API Mitigation?

From leveraging fragmented security offerings often incomplete in scope and scale, organizations must move towards a more comprehensive, integrated, and layered approach to API threat mitigation. The objective behind this approach should be to plan for a continuously growing attack surface and evolving attack types that, if left unmitigated, can impact the business. The first component of an ideal mitigation approach is API discovery, which provides the location of every API being used, including unknown and ‘shadow APIs’. The second critical component that enables mitigation is the real-time detection of API activity. The idea is to gain visibility into API behavior and whether it conflicts with pre-determined compliance goals. Detection is also critical for identifying any risk resulting in data exposure. Last but not the least, discovery and detection should result in powerful defense that not only sends real time alerts to the security team about potential threats, but also takes immediate, automated remedial action.

A Unified API Protection Solution for Threat Mitigation

The focus of a complete API protection solution should be on being able to identify publicly exposed APIs, detect shadow, known and managed APIs, compliance monitoring, threat detection, threat prevention, and ongoing testing.

Cequence Unified API Protection is configured to protect APIs from threats and plug unmitigated API security and compliance exposure gaps. This solution offers complete visibility into the runtime API inventory and, at the same time, provides insights into an API’s state of compliance and risk. Furthermore, to mitigate constant threats, it delivers threat monitoring that helps you find malicious traffic that can put the APIs at risk. But it doesn’t limit itself to discovery and threat monitoring alone; it offers real-time threat response with stealthy blocking and native API threat mitigation. While doing so, it minimizes false positives and manual intervention that frees up time and resources that can be better utilized elsewhere.

Organizations that have adopted an API first development methodology are using the Cequence Unified API Protection solution to view their API attack surface with API Spyder; then create a run-time API inventory and begin monitoring compliance with API Sentinel. In addition, API Spartan provides your team with ML-based detection and prevention of automated attacks against your APIs and web applications.

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Tony Bailey


Tony Bailey

Senior Director of Product Marketing

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