API-Led Data Integration: Key Questions to Ask When Securing an API

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Securing an API

Data has become an incredibly powerful tool that helps brands streamline processes and improve customer services. To facilitate this, you will often need an API that moves data between applications without compromising the value of your information or creating vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Securing an API therefore becomes a crucial aspect of any data integration project. An API solution that meets security essentials will make it much more resistant to cyber threats. Before you choose API-led data integration tools, make sure you ask the following questions and consider how each service provider’s answers give — or do not give — you peace of mind.

Does the platform or development process enable role-based access controls (RBAC)?

Role-based access controls (RBACs) assign specific levels of access to individuals based on factors such as:

  • What types of data employees need to complete their project tasks.
  • A person’s role within the company (the CEO, for example, will have a much higher level of clearance than someone in an entry-level position).
  • Whether an individual has the technical skills to keep data secure when moving it between apps.

RBAC is the critical first step in securing an API. Talk to your application’s development company and your API developer to make sure they offer role-based access controls that will improve data security. You can prepare for the conversation by reading Everything You Need to Know About Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Do you support layered security without sacrificing performance or availability?

Today’s cyber threats have advanced knowledge of internet technology. While some of them simply buy malware from the dark web, others have years of experience finding and exploiting vulnerabilities. They’re extremely talented thieves, so you must take a multi-layered approach to security. At the same time, you don’t want additional levels of security to diminish the performance and availability of your analytics apps or databases.

Review DreamFactory’s security measures to see how many features you can use without slowing down your workflow. Features include:

  • JSON Web Tokens (JWT)
  • Record-level permissions on the database
  • SSO authorization
  • OAuth
  • SAML authentication

You can always learn more about layered security by contacting the experts at DreamFactory. They can explain all of the benefits and potential challenges API with layered security offers.

Does my platform or development process integrate with common authentication services?

Common authentication services play critical roles in the security of API-led data integration. Some of the most popular services include:

  • OAuth
  • API keys
  • OpenID Connect

Have you leveraged the utility and benefits of an authentication service? When used in-conjunction with RBAC, authentication services can provide a powerful method to securing an API and preserving the integrity of your data. DreamFactory has custom integrations for all the leading authentication services to help ensure the security of your data no matter where you send it.

Is your platform compliant with ISO 27001, SOC 1, SOC 2, PCI DSS, and HIPAA?

Regulatory compliance has become a big issue for businesses that store client, customer, and patient data. Considering that practically every successful business collects information when they interact with people, that means you probably need to follow some set of regulations.

The most critical regulations currently include:

  • ISO 27001 (a set of international security standards)
  • SOC 1 (a level of requirements enforced by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA))
  • SOC 2 (a slightly more in-depth version of SOC 1)
  • PCI DSS (regulations for anyone processing payments)
  • HIPAA (which ensures you protect patient information)

Obviously, some of these requirements will matter more than others to your business. If you manage data for a doctor’s office, your API-led data integration must meet HIPAA standards. Otherwise, you could face substantial fines. If you work in accounting or tax services, SOC 1 and SOC 2 will matter a lot to you.

Realistically, though, you should choose an API generation and management platform that meets all of these standards. Maybe your industry doesn’t enforce HIPAA rules. Don’t you still want a tool that meets that level of security? Ask yourself whether you want a tool with limited security features. It’s unlikely that you don’t mind missing out on the most effective standards.

DreamFactory Improves the Security of API-Led Data Integration

Don’t let a subpar API tool make your organization vulnerable to attack. Losing control of your data could damage your brand’s reputation, cost you significant money, and force you to pause your data integration project while you rethink the best approach to data security. Ensure that you are set up for success from the outset by employing a robust platform that makes securing an API easy!

Experience the incredible security that DreamFactory offers. It won’t cost you anything. Just sign up for the 14-day free trial. Again, no credit card number required, so you don’t have any obligation to continue your membership. Once you see how well DreamFactory works, though, you will become a convert. It happens all the time.