The increasingly digitalized world we live in has a lot of benefits in business and in relationships, but with it also comes a whole new host of problems, including a rise in API data breaches.
A number of high-profile companies have been affected by API data breaches in recent years, allowing other businesses to learn from their mistakes in regard to cyber attack prevention. It can be difficult to regain public trust once a breach has occurred, not to mention the legal ramifications of not carefully storing your users’ information properly. Performing a vulnerability test on your system can help identify areas of weakness.
Given the vast variety and differences between potential attacks today, there is no easy solution to data breaches, and the right approach to prevention can depend on numerous factors. API security, in itself, is complex, and before you can come up with a good game plan, you must understand what you’re up against. While today’s cyber attackers are finding new ways to infiltrate networks all over the globe, there are a few common attacks you’ll need to keep an eye out for. Familiarizing yourself with these will help you form an effective plan for prevention.
What Are Some Different Types Of Data Breaches?
Data breaches can be the result of a variety of different attacks. Three of the most common include man-in-the-middle attacks, session cookie tampering, and distributed denial of service attacks. Each of these is unique in the way it is conducted, and which type of information may be at stake. Here, we’ll break down what these are and how you can shield against them.
Man-in-the-middle attacks are common in today’s cyber world. In this scenario, there is the victim, the system they are interacting with, and the “man in the middle”, which refers to a person attempting to intercept a victim’s data. In order for this cyber breach to be successful, the victim must not know about the man in the middle. Some tactics man-in-the-middle attacks utilize include IP spoofing, DNS spoofing, Email hijacking, HTTPS spoofing, Wi-Fi eavesdropping, and stealing browser cookies.
The typical MITM attack requires that the attackers gain access to a poorly secured Wi-Fi router, which is commonplace in public areas that offer free Wi-Fi hotspots for guests. This may also be the case in a person’s home, where a Wi-Fi network may not require a password. Once attackers detect vulnerability in a network, they can intercept a victim’s data using different tools, then insert these tools accordingly to gain access to the different sites a user visits. Once the data is intercepted, the attacker will unencrypt the data to gain access to protected information.
Session Cookie Tampering
Cooking poisoning and cookie tampering are used to describe an attack where cookies, or pieces of data stored in a particular user’s browser to track information from websites, are modified to bypass security in hopes of infiltrating a network. A cyber attacker, who is using cookie tampering, might gain access to a user’s account via false information, such as tricking a particular server into accepting the new version of the intercepted cookie once it’s been modified.
It can be fairly easy to carry out cookie tampering if a web developer of the application didn’t carefully store information prior to the attempted attack. This is especially true when key parameters have been labeled and are therefore simple to identify. A strong web application firewall can help prevent cookie tampering by detecting a cookie’s “set” commands and only accepting them if the information held within is verified.
Distributed Denial Of Service Attacks
DDos, or distributed denial-of-service attacks, are also common in today’s digital realm. This is a type of attack in which more than one compromised system attacks a target, causing the denial of service for other users. This type of attack has been utilized by a variety of groups, including individual hackers, government agencies, and even organized crime rings.
Once an assessment of your network and potential vulnerabilities have been conducted, you should take the appropriate steps to alleviate the issues found therein.
To begin, start with the basics. Maintaining a solid inventory of your APIs is the first step you should take to ensure you’re protected against attacks in the future. Once you’ve done this, you can begin to develop and implement an effective set of security policies, which can include authentication and authorization, traffic management, and training on how to detect content threats.
You might even consider an API management gateway to up the ante on protection. It is also a wise idea to evaluate your existing platform vendors. Often, third-party vendors represent a weak security link. Remove sensitive data in your API URL path as well.
As you can see, network security requires a layered approach. There are certain techniques that work better for some businesses. A great IT specialist can help you find the best combination to provide your business with a good line of defense against the wide range of cyber threats.
Published On: 20th August 2018 by Ernie Sherman.