Akana 2015 Survey Points to API Security Becoming a CXO Level Concern

Findings Reveal API Security Gaining Priority but Implementation and Maturity Disparities Continue

LAS VEGAS, April 4, 2015 – Akana, a leading provider of API Management, API Security and Cloud Integration solutions, today released the findings of its Global State of API Security Survey 2015 of over 250 security practitioners. Respondents include CSOs, CISOs, and security architects, with over 50% of the executives from large global organizations. Aimed at quantifying the maturity of API security practices among the leading digital enterprises, the survey results reveal that while the majority of respondents are taking steps to secure API access, only few had taken steps to ensure that sensitive data was being securely handled in the Apps that access their APIs.

This is the first survey conducted by Akana on API Security. They undertook the survey in light of APIs fast becoming a dominant channel of exchanging data between both external and internal audiences and services. Just as the emergence of Web brought web-based threats and resulting countermeasures to the forefront, the survey indicated universal recognition from security practitioners of increasing threats and vulnerabilities that are unique to the API channel.

Key Survey Findings:

  • More than 65% of the respondents reported that they do not have processes in place to ensure that the data being accessed by applications consuming their APIs is managed securely. With mobile apps and IoTs increasingly acting as API consumers, enterprises face exposure to threats of unauthorized access to data once accessed through an API. Almost 60% of survey respondents indicated that they were not securing API consumers.
  • A large proportion of survey respondents (>45%) also did not rate limit access to their APIs, a control that can reduce the risk of hacking.
  • API security is as much an issue for the business as it is for IT, with 75% of respondents saying that API security was a CIO-level concern and 65% indicating it was an issue for business managers. As APIs are increasingly being adopted to drive digital initiatives, both business and IT see greater value in securing them.
  • JSON Scheme, DDoS, Message-Level security, Encryption were amongst the top API security threats.

The survey suggests an emerging digital divide as high-performing companies embrace core digital capabilities and APIs to move ahead. As APIs are gaining adoption, enterprises need to recognize and take steps to mitigate the additional threat vectors to their data and organizations.

"APIs are new enough in the enterprise that people want the latest on how industry peers are dealing with security threats," said Roberto Medrano, EVP at Akana. "We felt there was an opportunity to ask others to share their insights and worries. The survey report should be a helpful starting point for determining best practices in API security going forward."

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