Supplement API Security Testing with Functional API Testing and Integration Testing

Posted Mar 30th, 2022

The OWASP API Security Top 10 identifies the top API vulnerabilities that pose the greatest risk to mobile, web and SaaS applications as well as internal, partner and external API programs, highlighting which vulnerabilities must be detected and mitigated promptly. Gartner predicts that APIs that expose private information such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) will be the most common attack vector in 2022.

What Is API Testing?

The Application Program Interface (API) is a set of protocols, processes, tools, and routines for developing and maintaining mission-critical software. It is a user interface that allows software applications to connect, and it’s leveraged in the development of graphical user interface (GUI) components.

API testing is a way to guarantee high-quality applications by regularly checking API functioning in response to API calls and interactions with the system against established input parameters, data formats, error codes, and HTTP status codes.

Improve API Security with Full-Lifecycle API Testing

One of the primary vulnerabilities that OWASP discusses in its API Security Top 10 is “API 10:2019,” which is insufficient logging and monitoring. This vulnerability results in longer Time to Detect metrics as well as longer Time to Remediation when hackers cause API issues. To address these flaws, penetration testing is used in conjunction with E2E fuzz testing to simulate these attacks against the API and identify any security flaws and abnormal behaviors. Mass assignment, security misconfiguration, database injection, excessive data exposure, lack of resources, and rate limitation are among the other issues addressed. All of these flaws have one thing in common: they act as weak links in security that hackers can exploit. 

The general strategy for full-lifecycle API testing is to continuously examine the above vulnerabilities by introducing unexpected values and anomalies to the parameters. Continuous API testing is recommended throughout the API lifecycle due to the complexity of security vulnerabilities. One major benefit is that API contract and functional tests can be employed as API functional, integration (E2E), and performance monitors to ensure that APIs continue to deliver expected results despite frequent changes to the user interface.

One key security best practice for API testing is to ensure that modern API functional testing (and mobile testing) is able to validate OAuth authorization flows for vulnerabilities. Access tokens can be used to implement authorization validation. To maintain the right level of permissions, users are given access tokens when they join up. The access tokens are then validated each time a user makes an API call. Make sure that you add the ability to revoke or reset the tokens as well. To learn more about authentication and authorization in API testing, check out Sauce Labs’s authorization scheme.

Why Is API Testing Important?

A growing number of businesses are adopting an API-first strategy. This is because the world of software composition is becoming progressively API-driven. The decision to build systems as APIs is often a business decision rather than a technology decision because APIs are increasingly serving as the central building blocks of major software systems. APIs are well-known for ensuring software system security, performance, and stability. As a result of this transformation, API testing is now a top priority when developing and deploying APIs. API testing provides several advantages, such as ensuring that the program can handle the desired load, improving the user experience, ensuring correct business rule implementation at the API level, improving application performance across all platforms, and ensuring seamless integration with the GUI.

APIs have risen to the forefront of software development as a critical tool for bridging the gap between disparate applications and systems. Unit testing, integration testing, performance testing, validation testing, and fuzz testing are all examples of API testing methodologies targeted at increasing API efficiency. The best approach to API testing is determined by the software development stage as well as the available test case scenarios.

One of the most important objectives of testing APIs is to guarantee that they pass security and compliance checks. API attacks will be the most common attack vector (for data breaches) in 2022, according to Gartner. This blog article looks at why functional tests aren't enough to identify potentially serious API vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. You need to identify when your APIs fail, why they fail, and which vulnerabilities might expose them to successful attacks. While functional tests can help validate user scenarios, they are rarely meant to simulate hacker behavior. They rigorously check and validate that contracts, endpoints, and API flows provide expected rather than unexpected results.

APIs are one of the easiest access channels for a hacker to exploit throughout the SDLC, making comprehensive security testing necessary to prevent API data breaches. Due to the differences in contexts, this cannot be accomplished with only one testing technique. The dynamism of API needs and the changing API lifetime demand a variety of API tests, including functional, end-to-end (E2E), performance, trusted contract, and fuzz testing. Continue reading to learn how to uncover API vulnerabilities and employ API stress testing to improve the security of your APIs across their entire lifecycle.

Learn More

In today's environment, API security is a critical component of web app security. APIs must be evaluated regularly for vulnerabilities, and any threats must be dealt with following security best practices. As previously stated, complete API lifecycle testing is essential because individual unit tests are not sufficient to improve API security. Full-lifecycle API testing allows you to create a dependable, fully-automated testing cycle that exposes code coverage and simplifies troubleshooting. Sauce Labs even offers automated API testing to get you started.


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Sauce Labs


Topics

API Testing


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