At the surface level, APIs help companies connect applications and share data with each other. This creates an easier and more seamless experience for your customers and users. If you’ve used your Google account to log into multiple sites or apps, you may be using APIs developed by Google. Such APIs work behind the scenes and naturally enhance much of the streamlined user experience. Therefore, stronger API security should be ensured across mobile apps.
Stolen API keys are responsible for some of the largest cyberattacks to date. We see headlines and news stories, but we are often unaware of the wider implications, especially the noticeable impact on enterprise mobile he security. Consider the news earlier this year about over 3,000 mobile applications. Twitter API key leakedThis means that malicious individuals can compromise thousands of personal accounts and conduct numerous malicious activities.
Imagine this was your company, with roles reversed and hundreds or thousands of mobile applications leaking API keys to your company’s Gmail, Slack, or OneDrive accounts. If this or a similar scenario were to occur, employee devices and sensitive corporate data would be at extreme risk.
The recent move to focus on API security comes at a critical time as more businesses rely on enterprise mobility. In other words, we are becoming more dependent on mobile app connectivity.a Recent research 74% of security directors and mobile application developers based in the US and UK said they feel mobile applications are critical to their business success. In addition, mobile apps have also been found to help businesses generate revenue and enable their customers to access their services.
Additionally, 45% of respondents in this same survey said attacks against APIs that take mobile apps offline would have a significant impact on their business. These results just confirm what we already know that mobile apps are essential to enterprise mobility and productivity.
API security risks can lead to complete device takeover
While APIs have many advantages, their widespread use in mobile applications is also an obvious disadvantage. This is especially true given that many businesses rely on third-party apps and APIs. If you think these third parties have the same security concerns and procedures as you or your company, think again. Third parties are often the culprits of data breaches, such as the recent discovery that a third-party hack caused Australia’s largest telecommunications company to suffer a massive data breach. Impact costs are still being quantified.
To make things even more difficult for businesses, mobile applications, especially the APIs that power mobile applications, are more susceptible to cyberattacks than web pages on computers. Even when running in the background, every time the app is used it sends and receives data via calls when the device is at its most vulnerable.
Threat actors can abuse these API calls or requests between devices and apps to steal data. Since the app resides on the device itself, attackers can take over the entire device and put the information stored on the device at great risk. It doesn’t matter if the device is corporate owned or personally owned (BYOD). I can assure you that every device your employees have access to likely has some form of corporate data.
Protect corporate mobile devices and data from API vulnerabilities
These vulnerable APIs not only threaten a company’s profits, reputation, and viability, they also pose a threat to sensitive company data and sensitive customer and partner data.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect against these threats. First, we will focus on building a shared understanding of the threats facing enterprise applications. This is important for level setting. This raises awareness of the fact that corporate mobile her apps that employees have on their phones can steal corporate data (whether these applications are controlled or clearly separated). (unless otherwise specified).
A good step to better protect against vulnerable APIs is to develop a strategy to separate data from the device itself. This process is commonly known as containerization. Leveraging advanced encryption capabilities to ensure data is protected in motion, in transit, and at rest is another key factor. We recommend using AES 265-bit encryption.
Additionally, organizations should consider incorporating stronger authentication processes to protect sensitive data.
The challenges posed by attackers trying to exploit API vulnerabilities are numerous. These challenges will only increase as the API attack surface continues to grow. While these concerns may seem daunting at first, businesses can proactively take steps to protect corporate applications and devices.
Building additional security into the development process is a great step, but it can be a luxury that businesses relying on third-party applications cannot afford or have insight into. As such, enterprises must think strategically about how these applications interact with corporate data and create additional authentication steps to protect it.