REST API Security vs SOAP Security
API, Application Programming Interface never runs scarce of its wide number of benefits in today's modern web application development. As it offers flexibility, scalability, and rapid development, most business users consider it the best development method.
Understanding the REST API Security
Most APIs are HTTP protocol-based, which makes it essential to secure the API from fake and fraudulent users. Several web users have integrated the website with the security system to protect the data. There are two things to keep in mind when talking about REST API security.
It is a process that api manager assures the business owner that the users accessing the REST API are who they claim to be. In this process, the user logins to the web with a username and password or security tokens provided beforehand. It ensures that the company's web access does not fall into the wrong hands.
REST API commonly uses security methods like:
Third-party access like (OAuth, API token)
SAML to access multiple applications with a single login credential
For a web application only, cookies (XSRF, JWT, and XSS) and token-based authentications work well. If you consider securing the REST API for web applications and mobile access, token authentication is the best option.
It is a set of rules that determines the user's activity. It restricts the users from performing certain actions and keeps track of what a user does. Without authorization, any user can easily access the system and delete any sensitive information on purpose or by accident. Authorization prevents this from happening. So, it is important to consider both factors using API security tools.
Understanding The SOAP Security
SOAP security is a messaging protocol that prevents unauthorized users from accessing messages that contain user information through api gateway. Usually, it is achieved using the WS (Web Standard) security. As cyber security has become the top concern for every renowned company, it has become necessary to ensure that web API security stays intact and prevents malware attacks and fraudulent activities.
The WS security consists of a set of principles that provide confidentiality and certain authentication processes to ensure that the SOAP security is tight. WS security includes passwords, digital signatures, and encryption. SOAP security protects sensitive data by integrating security with the API infrastructure in end-to-end api management.
Difference Between REST API Security vs SOAP Security
While SOAP API is its Protocol, rest api management is an Architectural Style The SOAP API makes use of the service interface, and the REST API uses URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers). SOAP API is designed according to the functionalities that the API exposes. The SOAP API is an XML-based protocol that enables the communication between two or more users. The SOAP API's sole concern is to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive information in the messages. On the other hand, REST API is HTTP-based. It uses HTTP to request and access data, which can be used to GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE different types of data types.
REST API Accesses Resource Data, Whereas SOAP API Performs the Operation
REST API offers a plethora of data formats like HTML, XML, JSON, and plain text. It accesses data when you enter the URL and select the HTTP method for GET, POST, or PATCH. It sends numerous responses to the REST API, which accesses the resource data. Whereas, SOAP API is limited to only XML. The data format includes the SOAP envelope, header, and body. SOAP API helps create, recover, and delete previous records like passwords, customer information, and leads.
SOAP API Requires More Bandwidth, But REST API Only Requires URL as a Resource
Although SOAP API has an envelope-style of payload transport, REST API is a web service that does not require many resources. SOAP API requests require a considerable amount of bandwidth as it contains more volume of data compared to the REST API. As a result, more bandwidth can incur more unnecessary traffic.
The Security Method Is Different In Both APIs
SOAP API supports Web Services security, WSS, which is ideal for integration with enterprise-level API security tools. It also supports the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for end-to-end encryption. It is enterprise-level protection, which is not present in the REST API security.
Some common ways of securing the REST API are:
Authentication and authorization
Always use HTTPS
User-machine-generated API keys
OAuth 2.0 to secure a wide number of REST APIs
OpenID, an open-source authentication protocol
The best practices for WSS are:
Keeping track of auditing and logging management
Keeping track of phone calls to the web service
Avoiding adding sensitive information
Maintaining a proper authentication
Tracking the overall business operation
REST API supports HTTP protocol and HTTPS. Both APIs use SSL to protect sensitive data. However, WS security offers an additional layer of security in the SOAP API to ensure that the right server only reads the message content.
REST API Calls Can Be Cached, But SOAP API Calls Cannot Be Cached
Caching the data means that it can be reused in the future without sending another request to the server. REST APIs require you to implement the cache method to ensure scalability and performance go hand-in-hand. The SOAP APIs requests are sent through the POST request, and it is likely that the responses to not be cached at the HTTP level.
REST And SOAP API Handle The App Payload In A Different Way
REST API uses HTTP and JSON to lighten the payload of your application. However, SOAP API only uses XML, which makes it more challenging and complex. SOAP API has a strict communication policy that is tightly coupled with the server compared to the lightweight REST API. On the other hand, REST API offers a higher level of security between the two technologies, which makes it convenient to update and make changes while also maintaining good interaction with the clients.
Methods Of API Security Testing
API security testing plays a major role in ensuring that the API remains secured and under load. It provides confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the data and resources. Some of the best-advanced security methods to secure APIs are:
Run tests using specific API testing tools
Create test cases
Authentication and authorization
Having a resource-level of access control over the APIs
Conduct regular API security tests and automation of the process at an early stage
Use API security tools to integrate with the existing workflow
Run dynamic API security tests to mitigate vulnerabilities
Run static API security tests to check the code and identify the root cause
Use software composition analysis to capture open-source vulnerabilities and remove bugs
Conduct invalid inputs from an API as an untrusted source to check the agility
Try injection attacks to see if the API rejects the requests
Alter the parameters to see if the API sense-checks and validates them
Check the server access controls
Have a tight and confidential password management
Send unhandled HTTP requests to ensure unnecessary methods are not allowed on the server
Summing It Up
When it comes to determining the right API for web services, business users prefer the REST API security method unless the enterprise-level application demands tight security provided by SOAP API. REST API offers lightweight communication using HTTP protocols and small payloads like the JSON data format. It enhances the use of caching and requires fewer resources. However, SOAP API offers enterprise-level security, which should be integrated with the legacy system using SOAP.
In conclusion, whatever technology you prefer to choose, the key to it is developing a feasible API using the best and easy practices and security tools. The Unified.cc API platform developed by 500apps helps you connect with multiple APIs through a single API. The Unified.cc application enables you to boost your delivery speed and provides advanced levels of API security for your application development. For more information on API security tools and tricks, visit the 500apps website now.
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