When working with microservices, the client must deal with all of the complexity that comes with a microservices architecture, such as aggregating data from multiple services, maintaining multiple endpoints, increased chattiness between client and server, and having separate authentication for each service. Because clients rely on microservices, refactoring the services is also difficult. An easy way to accomplish this is to

At the start, all client requests routed through the API Gateway Security first. Requests are then routed to the appropriate microservice centers using api management tools.

Typical API Gateway Security model includes:

  • Security (authentication and potentially authorization)

  • Access quotas and throttling management

  • Caching (proxy statements and cache)

  • API synthesis and processing

  • Routing (and perhaps processing) to a ""internal"" API

  • Monitoring the health of APIs (performance monitoring)

  • Versioning (possibly automation)

Advantages of API Gateway Security

  • implemented in a single location

  • Because these concerns are externalized, the API source code is simplified.

  • Provides a centralized and unique view of the API, increasing the likelihood of a consistent policy.

Challenges with API Gateway Security

For the best api development and establishing API Gateway Security following are key pointers.

  • Single point of failure or bottleneck

  • Because all of the API rules are in one place, there is a risk of bit complexity.

  • There is a risk of lock-in, and migration that may be difficult.

API Expansion Generates Both Opportunities and Vulnerabilities

To get a sense of the API explosion, look no further than the statistics compiled by Programmable Web, which has been tracking publicly exposed APIs since 2005. There were only about 100 APIs listed at the time; today, there are over 10,000 publicly known APIs.

This expansion is increasingly supporting an economy that is reliant on vast amounts of user data. Salesforce.com reportedly generates more than half of its $3 billion in annual revenue through APIs, and Expedia generates nearly 90% of its $2 billion in annual revenue through APIs.

API revenue is generated by companies metering access to APIs and the resources that support them in a variety of ways. Twitter, Facebook, and others, for example, provide ad-based APIs that enable targeted advertisements based on reporting and analytics, but ad agencies and other brands must pay for access to those APIs.

The API Gateway Security’s Role in Security: Identity and Access

Access control is the most important security driver for API Gateway Security technology, acting as a sort of governor to allow an organization to manage who can access an API and set rules for how data requests are handled. Access control almost always includes the establishment of other policies, such as rate limits on API calls from specific sources or even payment requirements for accessing all or specific resources via an API with the correct api gateway pricing mechanism.

.IT security experts are more confident that they have their finger on the pulse of an organization when all traffic is routed through a gateway.

A gateway API Access control capabilities in security typically begin with authentication mechanisms to determine the true source of any API calls. Currently, the most popular gateway is OAuth, which acts as an intermediary for accessing web-based resources without exposing a password to the service, with key-based authentication reserved for cases where the business can afford to lose the data because complete key secrecy is difficult to ensure.

Message Security

Gateways are an excellent way to route all API transactions through a single channel for message evaluation, transformation, and security across an organization. IT security experts are more confident that they have their finger on the pulse of an organization when all traffic is routed through a gateway.


API Gateway Security can add message security between internal services, making them more secure and encrypting messages sent back and forth between the services.

Ignoring proper authentication can lead to problems, even if transport layer encryption (TLS) is used. Anyone with a valid mobile number in an API request, for example, could obtain personal email addresses and device identification data. Strong authentication and authorization mechanisms such as OAuth/Open ID Connect, in conjunction with TLS, are essential.

Protection from Threats

The API Gateway Security, its APIs, and the integration server's native services are all insecure without threat protection. That means that potential hackers, malware, or other anonymous outsiders could easily attempt to spread a series of attacks like DDoS or SQL injection.

APIs are the digital gateways that allow businesses to connect with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, malicious users are attempting to gain access to backend systems by injecting unintended commands or expressions to drop, delete, update, and even create arbitrary data accessible to APIs.

Drupal previously disclosed a SQL injection vulnerability that allowed attackers to gain access to databases, code, and file directories. Because of the severity of the attack, attackers may have copied all data from clients' sites. SQL Injection, RRegEx injection, and XML Injection are the most common types of injection threats. We've seen APIs go live without threat protection more than once — it's not uncommon.

Key Logging In

Many API developers has grown accustomed to using 200 for all successful requests, 404 for all failures, 500 for some internal server errors, and, in extreme cases, 200 with a failure message in the body on top of a detailed stack trace. When a stack trace reveals underlying design or architecture implementations in the form of package names, class names, framework names, versions, server names, and SQL queries, it can potentially become an information leak to a malicious user.

It's best to return a ""balanced"" error object, with the correct HTTP status code, the bare minimum of error messages, and no stack trace during error conditions. This improves error handling while also shielding API implementation details from an attacker.

The API Gateway Security can be used to convert backend error messages into standardized messages, ensuring that all error messages look the same; this also prevents the backend code structure from being exposed.

Whitelists and Whitelist-Allowable Methods

When it comes to API traffic, there should be a known list of devices, servers, networks, and client IP addresses. This list will vary in size depending on how tight the network is.

RESTful services frequently allow multiple methods to access a given URL for different operations on that entity. A GET request, for example, might read the entity, whereas a PUT request would update an existing entity, a POST request would create a new entity, and a DELETE request would delete an existing entity.

It is critical that the service properly restrict the allowable verbs so that only the allowed verbs work and all others return a proper response code (for example, a403 Forbidden).

Validation of Inputs

A hacker can find gaps in a system by taking advantage of loose input validation. An attacker will use existing inputs to investigate what is accepted or rejected and push what is possible until they find a way into an API and compromise the system's integrity.

The following are the most common input validations.

Message Size

Having message size restrictions is a good thing. If you are certain that you will not receive large messages (for example, those larger than 2MB), why not filter them out?

SQL Injection

SQL injection protection enables you to block requests that may result in a SQL injection attack.

JSON Threat Protection

JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is vulnerable to content-level attacks. Such attacks attempt to overwhelm the parser and eventually crash the service by using large JSON files.

XML Threat Protection

Malicious XML application attacks typically use large, recursive payloads, XPath/XSLT or SQL injections, and CData to overload the parser and eventually crash the service. Please see this page for more information on input validations.

Rate limiting

By requiring authentication for all API users and logging all API calls, API providers can limit the rate of consumption for all API users. Many API Gateway Security features allow you to limit the number of API calls that can be made for any single API resource, dictating consumption by the second, minute, day, or another relevant constraint.


API Gateway Security: Open Source

Some of the products worth checking out for API Gateway Security

  • Unified.cc

  • Tyk

  • WSO2 API Manager

  • Kong Community Edition

Wrapping Up

When discussing API security, it is important to remember that security is the top priority for companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies considering investing more resources in their API infrastructure, as well as companies ramping up their existing efforts. At the same time, it is the most deficient area in terms of existing API providers' investment in API infrastructure. API Gateway Security is one of the most popular and efficient solutions for the many security problems you'll face. API Gateway Security is one of the most popular and efficient solutions for the many security problems you'll face. Many companies are building APIs as products on their own, deploying web, mobile, IoT, and other applications but rarely stopping to properly secure things at each step along the way, but API Gateway Security is one of the most popular and efficient solutions for the many security problems you'll face.

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