Over the past three years, attackers have begun actively targeting the digital keys used to secure Internet infrastructure. The creators of Stuxnet stole code-signing keys and used them to allow malware to bypass host-based security more easily. A suspected Iranian hacker broke into  Comodo’s registry her partner and bought her Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) keys for key domains to eavesdrop on activists. An unknown attacker also stole critical information about her  SecureID token from RSA. Her SecureID token from RSA is a device that generates one-time keys for added security online. 

The unique code that applications in the cloud use to identify each other could be next, security experts say. 

Application programming interfaces (APIs) simplify software development by allowing applications to communicate with each other. Developers add functionality from other existing solutions or build applications using third-party services. APIs power enterprise digital transformation initiatives, exposing apps and data to partners, suppliers, and customers. 

In addition to increased usability and benefits, APIs often pose security concerns and threats because organizations fail to protect them. Research shows that authentication, vulnerability,  and visibility are the top pain points that allow malicious actors to exploit insecure APIs and turn them into attack vectors. 

Despite the growing threat posed by unprotected APIs, organizations continue to struggle with security due to a lack of security policies and strategies and the risk of exposing critical and sensitive corporate data. Failure to adopt a holistic and robust approach. An (ISC)² Certified  Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) helps organizations strengthen API security and establish and implement appropriate security controls to protect data integrity and confidentiality. 

Why are unsecured APIs a threat? 

One of the reasons cybercriminals are attracted to cloud APIs is that they have become the norm in IT infrastructure. A recent study by Imperva found that more than two-thirds of his companies have published APIs, allowing business partners and external developers to access their software platforms. The survey results also show that a typical organization manages an average of 363 APIs, with 61% of organizations saying their business strategy relies on API integration. 

Poor Authentication Exploit – 

In some cases, developers create APIs without authentication. This makes these interfaces completely open to the internet, allowing anyone to use them to access corporate systems and data. Imagine walking around your neighborhood trying doors until you find one that is unlocked. 

Leveraging the Growing Use of Open Source Software – 

Component-based approaches to software development have become commonplace in the IT  world. To save time, many developers integrate open-source software into their code. This can expose many applications to supply chain attacks. For example, developers may unknowingly download components from online public Docker hubs that are contaminated with cryptocurrency mining code. 

Sharing Information on the Web – 

Modern development processes focus on efficiency and speed. As a result, many configuration objects are leaked onto the Internet, with potentially disastrous consequences. A simple Google or GitHub search can discover this information in seconds. This information includes API keys for AWS and other cloud service providers, root passwords configured in Dockerfiles, and so on.