Cloud Hacking – Why API is still the biggest threat?
Cloud computing is central to digital transformation. Most companies use cloud-based services today. They help businesses remain agile and resilient in a time of constant change.
92% of companies host resources and functions in the cloud. These resources and functions are essential for business operations. But how secure are clouds? Not very.
98% of businesses faced cloud hacking, according to a 2021 study. This figure has increased over 18 months from 10% in 2020.
The main reasons for skyhacking have evolved over the years. Currently, APIs are among the biggest threats to clouds. And API security risk is a disturbing trend in cyber security today. Two-thirds of cloud breaches are due to misconfigured APIs.
Why are APIs the biggest threats to your clouds? What can you do to protect your clouds and the resources that host them? Keep reading to find out.
Cloud Hacking: A Snapshot
First of all, can the cloud be hacked? Yes absolutely! CISA warned us last year.
Hackers are aware of how critical the cloud is to businesses today. They also know that many companies use public clouds. Private/on-premise clouds are more difficult to hack than public clouds.
With public clouds, companies and suppliers share security responsibility. There is an increasing number of public vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.
Several companies also fail to use sufficient security controls to secure the cloud. As a result, we are seeing an increase in cases of cloud hacking.
Why are APIs the biggest threats to cloud security?
Insecure APIs and interfaces are among the biggest threats to cloud security today. They are second on the list for inadequate identity, access and key management.
Ascent of APIs
APIs were not considered a major threat to cloud security in 2019. Back then API dependency was minimal. Today, our dependence on APIs is growing rapidly. We are moving away from web-based infrastructures to API infrastructures for apps. Monolithic apps and websites are fewer.
APIs provide developers with agile, seamless building blocks for developing cloud services. They offer much better connectivity. But these benefits also come with several risks. So we see those are the biggest security concerns for CISOs.
APIs expand the attack surface
APIs make cloud hacking easy by expanding the attack surface. How do they expand the attack surface? Because they are everywhere. Their omnipresence creates an interconnected architecture.
A misconfiguration here or a broken access control there is all a hacker needs. They can hack clouds using these vulnerabilities.
Furthermore, there is a massive increase in the use of external APIs and third-party cloud services. You have to face the damage if your provider doesn’t take API security seriously. 90% of data breaches are aimed at cloud resources and servers.
APIs create data security issues by their very nature
APIs ensure easier access and connection to resources and data. In other words, they expose data and resources programmatically. You will expose sensitive data residing in the cloud to attackers if you do not secure APIs. Attackers can then easily change, delete or steal data.
APIs threaten cloud security because most companies don’t have:
- proper access controls
- visibility in real time
- robust guidelines for data security
Managing APIs is complex
Companies use an average of 15,564 APIs. API usage has grown exponentially in enterprises in the last year by 201%. Larger companies use an average of 25,592 APIs.
This makes it difficult for developers to monitor, manage and secure all their APIs. The lack of centralized visibility further exacerbates this challenge.
As a result, more vulnerabilities and security weaknesses occur. These unmanaged shadow APIs enable attackers to perform cloud hacking easily. Here are some examples of such vulnerabilities:
- SaaS misconfigurations
- Disabled security controls
- Unauthenticated endpoints
- Disabled logging and monitoring
API security myths cause poor security posture
Some of these API security myths are:
- Port-based blocking works
- Signature-based techniques are sufficient to secure APIs
- Firewalls, API gateways and IAM tools are enough to secure APIs
- Certain automated tools work effectively against API threats. For example – next-generation WAFs and intrusion prevention systems (IPS)
But the reality is quite different. You need multi-layered, comprehensive API security solutions that combine
- The next generation WAF
- API-specific rules
- Global threat feeds
- Centralized real-time visibility
- Advanced bot and DDoS mitigation
- Self-learning AI, automation and analysis
- Behavioral analysis to detect malicious behavior
- Expertise from certified security experts to handle more complex issues
Only such solutions ensure that you are not confused by exposed APIs.
Skyhacking caused by exposed APIs is a big problem for your business. It causes multiple layers of damage to cloud security. Avoid these harmful consequences by strengthening your API security.
Choose solutions that Indusface API protection for real-time, context-aware, data-aware, fully managed security.
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