Why companies are safer when they combine API protection with identity access controls

Application programming interface Security, Application programming interfaces (APIs) are one of the most important new things in computing (APIs). Even though they may not be as sexy or exciting as other disruptive technologies like smartphones or clouds, these chunks of code are the glue that holds modern business frameworks together. They are basically sets of rules that connect applications.

Application programming interface Security

APIs connect a wide range of systems, devices, and applications together today. They make it possible for companies to connect with their vendors and share functionality across the supply chain. But the increasing complexity of these environments also makes it harder to know who you are. It’s important to know that APIs are safe and that only people who are allowed to use the app can use it.

It’s not an easy job. In today’s connected world, basic authentication methods don’t offer the level of security that is needed. Many tools can’t provide the level of control that is needed, or they don’t work across groups of APIs. In the real world, these problems mean that once a user logs in to an API, they can pretty much do whatever they want.

All of this shows that API identity management needs to be improved. One that can manage and control APIs and the risks they bring to organizations that use a mix of vendors and technologies. When businesses have the right strategy and technology in place, they can build a foundation for secure API interactions inside and outside the business.

Use your connections well.

No one questions how useful APIs are. They have become a tool that businesses of all sizes can’t do without. But as they add up, problems and challenges get worse. Organizations often end up with a mix of legacy, homegrown, and modern APIs that use different authentication protocols. It’s not surprising that their security standards are very different.

It’s also important to know that APIs and software applications are not the same things at all. They also use different protocols and can be found in many different computing environments and ecosystems. Unlike many other tools, you can’t just set them up and forget about them. In fact, it can be very hard to keep track of and control API applets and code.

Taking care of dozens or even hundreds of APIs is now a difficult task. Because of this, organizations often have to use a variety of tools and methods to get strong and effective API authentication. Also, as businesses add more APIs to multi-cloud frameworks, it can get harder and harder to manage and map everything. The process can take a lot of time and lead to mistakes while providing only average protection.

Orchestration can solve this problem by mapping identities across APIs and acting as a de facto translator between different standards and protocols. If a system finds a modern REST API, for example, it might use the OpenID Connect standard (OIDC). If it runs into an old API that uses SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) messages, the system can figure out how much functionality is available and use authentication controls like OAuth 2.0 to match.

Organizations use modern APIs

Organizations that use modern APIs can also benefit from this approach. When building APIs, vendors use a wide range of protocols and mechanisms. Some might make a token, and others might use OIDC. All of these APIs have one thing in common: they must all stay visible and easy to manage. When companies use different tools or vendors for identity management, like Active Directory, Okta, and Google, the job can get even harder.

But if identity orchestration is in place, it is possible to set up access controls that are very specific. A systems administrator can look at groups and individual users, manage different levels of access, and make quick changes to individual settings or to the whole system. There is no need to rewrite code or change settings and controls over and over again.

In this more advanced area, you can also use push notifications on your phone to authenticate important API calls and quickly set up and shut down machine accounts. Along the way, weak API access controls can also be made stronger with multi-factor authentication (MFA) or more advanced passwordless methods. In the end, you don’t have to worry about sensitive or private information being seen or accessed by an employee or someone outside the organization.

Put your identity to work.

Integrating API security with identity access management has become an important step forward. With higher-level orchestration, you can get the level of insight and control you need in today’s world of multiple clouds and borderless computing. The fact that legacy APIs are still around becoming less important. Now, no matter how many applications or identity stores you have, you can map an API environment and push out the right identity authorizations.

It’s a good way to do things. In the end, an organization sets up a way to manage and secure API identity information and authentication requirements that is more flexible, scalable, and easy to use. Managing multiple ways to log in no longer needs to be done. Now, identity tools from different vendors can be mixed and matched. The orchestration layer is in charge of keeping things moving. It makes sure that controls for authentication are set up and that they can happen in any way that works best.

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