LAST UPDATED November 29, 2021
APIs are becoming increasingly prevalent in the web applications we use each day. As the number of APIs increase across sites, the endpoints that are unsecured can be easily exploited by attackers.
There is usually a dangerous gap between the APIs that development teams think are deployed and the APIs that are actually trafficked. When trying to wrap your arms around your API attack surface, organizations must consider not only the legitimate API endpoints deployed behind their sites, but also rogue and zombie APIs – depreciated or misconfigured API endpoints left behind in production – which are ripe for exploitation.
Tension leads to API Vulnerabilities
The long-standing tension between developers and security teams is exacerbated by this potential risk. Rogue and zombie APIs expose enterprises to attack, and erode an organization’s security posture. For highly distributed and horizontally scaled projects, it’s frighteningly easy to let an endpoint “slip” into production after sound business logic testing, but absent vulnerability scanning or static analysis. These abandoned APIs that are exposed to both legitimate and malicious traffic are backdoors, and hackers will rattle those doorknobs trying to break it.
Overcoming Challenges with API Observability
The increased exploitation of APIs has shifted the dialogue from API security towards the concept of API observability. Organizations need to see what traffic the endpoints are seeing, and the details of that traffic; things like the methods used in calls and the keys passed to endpoints.
Organizations also need to understand the overall health of the production endpoint or system, making status code heuristics critical to their situational awareness. This observability will help security teams understand whether they are combatting a massive bot attack, or simply debugging a failed login.
Need to secure your API endpoints? ThreatX is here to help
Your APIs don’t need to be at risk. ThreatX’s API Catalog will provide visibility into legitimate, suspicious and malicious requests that hit all of your API endpoints. By analyzing and profiling actual traffic, ThreatX discovers and profiles API endpoints, providing users with enhanced visibility into legitimate, rogue and zombie APIs in production.