How Edge Computing Improves API Security

Find out how edge computing technology gives APIs a superior level of protection and integrity. Check it out!

Jonas Ferreira - Solutions Architect
Vivian Seixas - Technical Researcher
How Edge Computing Improves API Security

Although the security of APIs has improved a lot recently, a study by Gartner places them as the most significant vector of attack and data leakage in 2022[1]. Have you ever thought about whether your APIs are secure and whether you’re using the best protection possible?

In today’s hyper-connected economy, where a new threat emerges every day and security is one of the main pillars that can affect business, you must protect yourself against the numerous vulnerabilities that the web presents. So one of the best ways to improve the security of your APIs is with edge computing technology.

How to Make an API More Secure

The importance of APIs for data and systems integration or the modernization of legacy architectures is unquestionable, so we created a list of best security practices for APIs[2] to keep your digital transformation journey safe and reliable. Check it out below:

Image with best security practices for APIs

Do you have them all? What if I told you that with edge computing technology—like Azion’s—you can get it all on a single platform?

But What Is the Relationship Between Applications and APIs?

APIs are vital for integrating data, systems, and services, so if applications have access to them, they have access to the integrated systems’ data. As APIs allow applications to share data to improve end-user experiences and outcomes, businesses use APIs to connect their services and transfer data.

APIs are practically the foundation of the internet and are in almost everything built in the digital world—the list is immense. Still, some basic examples include the apps from your bank and your favorite online stores, which have your bank details.

The Importance of Secure APIs

In the same way that APIs make life easier for developers and users, they also attract bad actors in search of the data they integrate—remember that we said earlier that APIs allow the connection and transfer of banking data.

And because businesses use APIs to connect their services and transfer data, secure APIs protect data from being breached by hackers, and unprotected APIs can be breached and publicly expose personal, financial, and institutional data.

That is, an unsecured API is synonymous with losing customers. According to the 2022 API [In]Security Threat X: The Consumer Perspective[3] report, this is how likely customers are to leave brands if these types of data are breached:

Image with API security data

Why Does Edge Computing Make APIs More Secure?

Edge computing technology guarantees that your APIs have a superior level of protection and integrity because network and security controls are at the edge, much closer to users and devices where data is exchanged.

In addition, the architecture of an edge platform boosts the security of its APIs because it adds a layer of protection at the edge; that is, it avoids direct contact between the API and the client’s infrastructure. But how?

How Does the Edge Provide API Security by Design?

Azion’s Edge Platform was built with security at the forefront. That’s why the edge design allows for more advanced protection for APIs built into our infrastructure.

Image about API security design

How Is Edge Security Architecture Designed?

Accessing Azion’s multilayer edge protection services starts with its infrastructure, which is delivered through a global, distributed edge platform.

And this more robust security that the edge offers is not just for APIs but extends to enterprise websites and applications and, consequently, to the end user. But how does this happen?

Imagem showing more secure APIs with edge architecture

Edge Architecture With Multilayer Security

Our protection is multilayered, and this is possible with Edge Firewall, our complete digital security stack, which includes Web Application Firewall, DDoS Protection, and Network Layer Protection.

Azion Edge Firewall is a security product that protects from the network to the application layer. In one place, your security team can find the most advanced features to protect your applications against attacks.

With Edge Firewall, the security perimeter is extended to the edge of the network since your access control rules are processed directly on the Azion Edge Network, closer to the users, preventing unwanted requests from reaching their origin or having access to your applications.

Want to know more about Edge Firewall?

Check our documentation here.

Advanced edge protection also includes:

  • Zero-Trust Security

The zero-trust model at the edge provides an all-in defense stack and another barrier to APIs. It ensures that networks, users, and workloads are secure and provides continuous visibility and orchestration so that malicious traffic is automatically detected and handled at the edge without contacting the API.

  • Web Gateway

The edge web gateway offers more protection for your APIs because it unites network functions and multiple security functions from a single global network, making it possible to deploy, build, secure, deliver and observe your networks and their security with a single vendor. In addition, it allows managing all tasks involved in receiving and processing APIs.

  • Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is another security enhancement for edge APIs to prevent network penetration. This security mechanism combines two or more forms of identification: what the person is (via biometric verification methods) and what the person has (such as a security token or password).

  • Web Application Firewall

Web Application Firewall (WAF) at the edge detects and blocks malicious activities before they reach the origin infrastructure and without impacting API performance, protecting applications against threats such as SQL Injections, Remote File Inclusion (RFI), Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and much more.

  • Bot Manager

Bot Manager at the edge enhances the security of APIs by detecting and blocking automated, aggressive, and sophisticated attacks at the edge, thus reducing the pressure at the origin.

  • DDoS Protection

DDoS Protection immediately detects and stops DDoS attacks at the network and transport layers at the edge. It protects APIs, content, and web applications from the most common DDoS attacks, such as volumetric attacks, Slow Reads, and SYN/ACK flood. It also allows you to monitor traffic in real time using anomaly analysis algorithms and traffic signatures.

  • Personal Tokens

API and user security are substantially strengthened at the edge with a personal token. This unique key creates long strings of characters that make it virtually impossible to breach data by brute force, a popular, easy-to-execute method used by malicious actors.

  • Rate Limit

Malicious bot activity can also be stopped at the edge with rate limiting. Rate limiting is a method of controlling network traffic that limits the number of times someone can perform a specific action—such as trying to log into an account—in a given period.

Security First at Azion

Today’s hyper-connected world demands incredible digital experiences, and API security is one of the fundamental pillars needed to deliver those experiences. And since there’s no way to get away from API integrations, why don’t you invest in more robust security and get ahead of the competition?

And the path is simple: bring your IT infrastructure and integrate your APIs into Azion’s Edge Platform, which was specially developed to give you security first.

Azion offers a 100% complete stack for your digital security, Edge Firewall, which includes Web Application Firewall, DDoS Protection, Network Layer Protection, Edge Functions, and much more.

Azion’s Edge Platform was named “the best choice for companies that need global edge performance…” in The Forrester New WaveTM: Edge Development Platforms, Q4 2021, so it’s a key piece for anyone who wants maximum security for APIs.

Want to Know More About Azion’s Security Products?

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[1]API Security Protect Your APIs From Attacks and Data Breaches. Gartner

[2]API Security: 12 Best Practices

[3]API [In]Security Threat X: The Consumer Perspective

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