API Posture Management
Assess your APIs and broader infrastructure for…
If your mother ever told you to sit up straight at the dinner table, then you’ll understand that posture refers to being in the correct position. In cybersecurity and IT, the word has a similar meaning, but it also connotes readiness. Having a strong security posture means your cyber defenses are well-planned and thoroughly implemented. You’re in the correct position to defend your digital assets. API posture management follows this meaning, as well. It’s about how well you can protect your application programming interfaces (APIs) from threats and misuse.
API posture management is a part of IT and cybersecurity practice that seeks to ensure maximum protection of APIs. The specifics of API posture management vary by organization, as well as by the toolset used for its implementation. However, in general, API posture management covers the following areas:
API posture management is an important workload because APIs represent a serious and expanding attack surface for malicious actors. Compromising an API allows a hacker to access sensitive or valuable data. The result might be a data breach or destruction of data. Compliance problems can follow. Additionally, given the centrality of APIs to business operations today, a denial of service (DoS) attack on an API can impair a company’s ability to function.
API posture management delivers a range of benefits for organizations that practice it. One is the reduction of “API sprawl,” the problem of having undiscovered and potentially unnecessary APIs running in one’s infrastructure. These may be old versions of APIs, or APIs created by “shadow IT” processes. Better cybersecurity is another benefit. By making APIs a smaller attack surface, API posture management reduces the likelihood of a security event like a data breach. Some of the benefits of API posture management are preemptive in nature. For example, by identifying where sensitive data needs the most robust protections, API posture management can help mitigate the impact of a breach.
API posture management includes the API discovery process, but people sometimes conflate the two practices. An organization might conduct API discovery and conclude that it has done its API posture management work. This is not accurate. Rather, true API posture management also includes API monitoring, vulnerability detection, and remediation. API discovery is essential for these other workloads, but API discovery on its own does not do much to improve API security.
APIs comprise a substantial attack surface. API posture management enables IT managers and their partners in cybersecurity to reduce API-based risk by inventorying and monitoring APIs, detecting vulnerabilities, and then remediating them. These processes help protect an organization from data breaches and compliance problems that can result from API vulnerabilities that have not been remediated.
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