Key Questions to Ask When Monitoring an API

Table of contents

Computer monitors: API monitoring

Securing and monitoring APIs is difficult work. According to Gartner, "application leaders independently must design and execute an effective API security strategy to protect their APIs." But many IT departments struggle with knowing how APIs are behaving. API monitoring has become an essential tool for today's businesses because of its ability to provide assurance in your system’s health by providing visibility into all 3rd-party services that could impact uptime, application performance, and end-user experience. Read on for more insight into this topic and learn how a comprehensive API management platform can help.

What are the API limiting features?

API limiting features should allow you to associate volume-based limits with a particular user, API key, REST API, or even a particular request method. If you're a savvy SaaS developer, then you probably know that managing API limits can be a tedious and time-consuming task. 

DreamFactory will monitor the configuration in real-time, returning an HTTP 429 status code (Too Many Requests) once the limit is reached. You can also programmatically manage these API limits.

What are the logging capabilities? What about audit trails?

The fundamentals of an API management tool should offer advanced monitoring through their logging and audit trail features for easier troubleshooting. Logging allows you to pinpoint system problems before they grow into a full-blown failure or outage, while the audit trails allow users to figure out what went wrong after something serious has occurred in order make sure it does not happen again.

DreamFactory plugs into Logstash, which is part of the formidable ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack. This amazing integration allows you to create dashboards and reports which can provide real-time monitoring of API key activity, and hundreds of other metrics.

What’s the SSL Certificate monitoring capability?

SSL certificates are a crucial part of the trust equation for any service. But they can be easy to miss: if your site or API fails due to an SSL certificate expired error, it will impact the public's perception of you and your company as trustworthy. Make sure the API is keeping track of when certificates expire so that security is never compromised.

DreamFactory runs atop a standard web server such as Apache or Nginx, both of which support SSL-based communication. Provided HTTPS is enabled, all correspondence between DreamFactory and clients will be encrypted. DreamFactory’s integration with ELK provides real-time monitoring of HTTP status codes.

What other security measures should be monitored?

According to a recent survey of API developers, 91 percent of respondents admitted they had suffered an API security incident within the past year. API monitoring should include routine vulnerability scans and periodic penetration tests designed to find security issues before they’re discovered by an attacker.

While API security seems straightforward, it is much more complicated in practice. There are many different types of attacks that hackers can use to compromise systems and data: SQL injection, denial-of-service (DoS), cross site scripting (XSS) injections... the list goes on. 

Dreamworks role-based access controls allow information to be hidden from certain roles and their assigned users or applications. For example, individual sales people might not have access to salary information, while this data might be available to managers. This capability prevents accidental data loss or disclosure of sensitive information.

How do the internal systems keep from getting shut down due to too much traffic?

You should be able to use your API manager to throttle requests when they exceed certain limits, trigger additional fees for new calls/requests, or determine whether new calls/requests will trigger an error code. 

DreamFactory’s API manager will monitor APIs and implement API rate limiting, API quotas, and spike arrest features to prevent your internal systems from getting shut down by too much traffic. 

What type of safeguards are in place to ensure data governance?

An API should have safeguards in place to meet all data governance laws and guidelines. With DreamFactory’s built-in safeguards. By implementing these features, businesses can be sure they’re complying with regulations like HIPAA and GDPR.

With the ever-changing landscape of privacy regulation, our product has been engineered to incorporate regulatory compliance safeguards. This way your company can remain compliant with GDPR and HIPAA regulations while still delivering an innovative solution that will delight both engineers as well as legal departments by streamlining development time.

DreamFactory’s Makes API-Led Data Integration Easy

Today, every company has to have a strategy for managing all of the APIs they may use to remain competitive. There are three ways this can be accomplished, but it's not always about what is right or wrong - sometimes people just need more information in order to make an informed decision. As Harvard Business Review states, “APIs aren’t just for tech companies.” 

DreamFactory allows you to migrate your applications between development, test and production environments. DreamFactory lets you push package files around with the REST API or Admin Console for easy deployment. At DreamFactory, we’re passionate about managing your company’s APIs, connectors, and integration flows will no longer be met with hurdles, roadblocks, or unnecessary complexity. Let DreamFactory take your API management strategy to the next level and ensure the visibility, speed, and analytics your company requires.