The Importance of APIs In the Information Security Industry: A Walkthrough
The information security industry is booming as never before – from one side, we have cyber security vendors selling various services helping us secure our infrastructure, however, from the other, we have a bunch of cyber criminals stealing the data from apps, websites, databases, and almost every other device imaginable. In the cyber industry, though, that’s to be expected – where there’s data, there are thieves. And where’s data, there are API solutions – a variety of API solutions to choose from means that interacting with data is as simple as never before; API solutions essentially allow two applications to “talk” to each other – an API delivers a request to a service provider holding some sort of data, and the service provider delivers the response back to you. Both big and small players in the information security industry certainly have a lot of use cases for API solutions – some companies utilize API solutions to build up their own software offerings, others use API solutions to help their company accomplish data mining goals, some use API solutions hand in hand with big data backing their web applications, some companies have other use cases.
All that brings us back to the information security industry – since big data is playing a bigger and bigger part both in enterprise environments and in our everyday lives, interacting with it properly is of immense importance. For many, the statement “API security” refers to the practice of preventing or mitigating attacks on API solutions, but for others, the same statement might mean safeguarding their most precious asset – data – from outside threats.
API Solutions and Information Security
Securing data from outside threats might seem like an easy thing to do – however, once we dig into the process, we would quickly realize that’s not the case. These are just some of the things we need to consider:
- What kind of data are we keeping safe? Banking details, usernames, email addresses, passwords, or notes we want to keep out of prying eyes? The actions we take should reflect what kind of data we want to keep safe in the first place, meaning we shouldn’t invest in enterprise-level security solutions if all we’re keeping safe is access keys to games.
- What functionality does the API need to have? Does it need to let us search for notes? Email addresses? Usernames? Orders? Some variation of the web archive?
- What kind of data we want to access? Perhaps one of the most important questions in this list – we shouldn’t pay for any API service that doesn’t let us access the kind of data we want to access. That should come as kind of a given.
- How much money we are ready to spend? Keeping in mind that enterprise-level solutions are generally much more expensive than trial versions of products targeted at small companies or individuals, that’s something we need to keep in mind as well.
After all of these questions have been answered, we should choose the API solution we want to use carefully – the more of our conditions are met, the bigger the probability of our satisfaction with the service.
The BreachDirectory API
A popular API in the cyber security world is the API provided by BreachDirectory. BreachDirectory, as you might already know, provides a data breach search engine that helps individuals and companies protect themselves from identity theft: simply provide the data breach checker with your email address, username, email address, or domain, and it will tell you whether your digital assets are at risk or not. It all works in a very simple fashion:
- We collect data breaches.
- We load them inside of the data breach search engine.
- People search through the data breaches loaded inside of the search engine and the BreachDirectory data breach search engine tells them whether they’re at risk of identity theft or not.
The BreachDirectory API works hand-in-hand with the data breach search engine and compliments it – the API lets companies and individuals keep themselves safe online by letting them scan a single account (or a bunch of accounts) through all of the leaked data breaches at once and returns a response. Based on that response, companies know how best to secure their employees, contractors, and other staff – they might start by changing their passwords, some might inform them of their appearance in a data breach, some might put them through training, etc.
Aside from the API solution provided by BreachDirectory, there are various other companies providing API solutions for monitoring and analytics relevant to IT and DevOps teams – these solutions can be used for monitoring, determining performance metrics via dashboards, and other things.
To sum up, API services in the cyber security industry can help companies and individuals solve a very wide variety of problems ranging from identity theft to data analytics. When choosing an API solution around the information security space, always consider what kind of data you want to keep safe, what kind of data you want to access using the API, and what kind of features the API offers to keep your company, your employees, your family and yourself safe from cyber crooks – if the features don’t satisfy you, keep searching and you will find a service that fits all your needs. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post and we will see you in the next one – stay around our blog to get educated in the information security space, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for updates, and until next time.