NOTE: The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence. To allow Application Programming Interfaces (API) to perform their intermediary role, the ‘door’ has to remain open to grant them the access required.
This access is one way to ensure that the free flow of programming resources is unhindered. But on the other hand, an open door increases the chances of intrusion.
The popular and widely used APIs are more likely to suffer these break-ins due to the access to high-value information they enjoy. In this article, we will look into some of the most popular APIs and see how you can maintain their security from intruders.
Top 7 Most Popular Website APIs
Here are seven popular APIs your website or app can benefit from.
Google Analytics API
Google Analytics is a top tool for measuring the progress of your website. It helps you access diverse statistical information (including demographics) about your website users.
Google Analytics helps you determine how helpful and relevant your website is to the viewers and if you need to change or modify your content or marketing strategy.
The Google Analytics API also uses OAuth 2.0 to authenticate users.
Read: How to Google search from Linux terminal – Build your own search engine
The YouTube API allows you to make requests, get info on and upload YouTube videos you want to feature on your website without uploading them to your server.
Now you can more easily communicate to your website visitors through your videos.
Read: How to download YouTube videos with VLC Media Player
Weather API helps your customers gain access to current weather info such as temperature and humidity from anywhere in the world while on your website or app.
They also provide the weather history of different locations and facilitate rapid response for emergencies. There are several exceptional weather APIs like the one Tomorrow.io provides for public use.
It empowers your team with the relevant weather warnings, which will help you reschedule activities to the most favorable time, mitigate the effects of hostile weather, and avoid losses or damage to infrastructure.
Tomorrow.io also provides free API services for those interested in energy, railroad, logistics, aviation, and sporting-related activities.
Twitter API helps your website viewers communicate with you via Twitter.
The Twitter API will also provide the opportunity for website or product users to share tweets and feeds straight from your website.
Read: A brief guide to testing APIs and the tools involved
Facebook Messenger API
Facebook has over 1.3 billion users globally, and the messenger API will be useful to a lot of your website visitors and app users. With this advantage, you provide your visitors or users with a more intelligent, seamless, and exciting experience.
Facebook chatbots will help your business understand its customers, provide faster and round-the-clock customer service response, communicate with multiple customers, and ultimately boost your revenue.
PayPal API is a gateway for payments that your website visitors and app users will find tremendously useful.
The PayPal API will connect your app users and website visitors to their accounts, allowing the ease of transaction that will save them the extra effort of visiting the PayPal website through their browsers.
The PayPal API also helps you track payments with ease.
Google Maps API
There are other map APIs you can use for your website or app but Google Maps is by far the most popular.
Google Maps will generate map results for location searches on your platform and provide your users with the custom navigation insight they need to locate your closest location by a simple search on your site.
Google Maps API also provides the latitude and longitude info of addresses that aren’t very clear.
Best Practices for Keeping Your Website’s APIs Secure
The higher the number of API users, the more susceptible the APIs will become.
This is why you must protect your business from attacks when you use these popular and publicly available APIs. Here are some measures to employ in protecting your website from API-related attacks.
Authorization and Authentication
One of the helpful security measures for protecting APIs is the use of solid authorization and authentication tools like OAuth 2.0. They will properly screen your API users and weed out requests from unauthorized parties.
How much of the information available through your APIs is relevant to the users? Limiting access to information, especially extraneous ones, will add to the security of your APIs.
You can achieve this by completely removing any information that the users will not need. This also involves blocking access to nonessential information.
Firewalls are the first line of defense for APIs. When there are calls to your server, the firewall ensures that these calls are legitimate. Firewalls will block out any unexpected requests to your servers.
Input validation is a roadblock for inputs that run beyond the standard format for such information.
Input validation systems will not execute input that contains characters that do not align with the input type. This is one of the ways to obstruct API-breach attempts from malicious actors.
Most popular APIs are available to the public, thereby increasing the risks of data breaches.
Organizations can lose money and credibility once a data breach occurs. This is why it is crucial for API developers to employ necessary security measures to protect both their data and infrastructure.
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