The REST API (Representational State Transfer) is a web services API based on the URI. It conforms to all the architectural style constraints and allows the business users to download and run the code with ease, using JavaScript and HTTP protocols. On the other hand, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is its protocol. SOAP can get more complex in terms of security and messaging.

Understanding the REST API Security

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:

-Cookie-based authentication

-Token-based authentication


-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 the API security tools.

Understanding The SOAP Security

SOAP security is a messaging protocol that prevents unauthorized users from accessing the 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

Difference Between REST API Security vs SOAP API 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 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 texts. 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 the 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 using 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 API platform developed by 500apps helps you connect with multiple APIs through a single API. The application enables you to boost up your delivery speed and provides advanced levels of API security for your application development. For more information on the API security tools and tricks, visit the 500apps website now.

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