API security is critical in the enterprise. But securing APIs can be challenging.

Consider this your guide to securing APIs with API security best practices.

Read along or jump ahead to the section that interests you most:

What Is API Security?

API security is the practice of protecting application program interfaces (APIs) from misuse and malicious attacks. This is critical for your own internal APIs, as well as external third party APIs you may be leveraging. Because APIs interact with your company's applications, securing APIs is essential.

External APIs have public-facing endpoints. So, their vulnerabilities are often the target of hackers. Internal APIs face the risk of improper access or misuse.

By adopting API security best practices, you can protect your business.

Security is just one of the API basics you need to know. Learn them all.


Common API Security Vulnerabilities

There are common API security vulnerabilities you need to know. The most important ones are complied annually by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).

Their most recognized resource, the OWASP top 10 API vulnerabilities, is produced by security experts around the globe. Each year they highlight the most critical security risks. More information on OWASP >>

So, which ones do you need to worry about the most? And how can you protect your APIs from these vulnerabilities?

Learn more about the most common vulnerabilities:

What About API Attacks?

API attacks can happen any time. And you need to be sure that your APIs — and the applications behind them — are safe.

Learn about the five common weaknesses that can tempt an API attack.

API Security Breaches Make Headlines

API security breaches make headlines. That's because they often lead to the exposure of company and/or customer data. 

A single breach of trust can result in a dramatic loss of credibility. With how effortlessly people can change the providers they work with, this could have severe impact on any organization.

Many security breaches have made headlines in recent years, putting businesses in jeopardy and creating global security risks. Take the NSA spying case, WikiLeaks, or Snapchat's hack for example. These instances put a renewed focus on how important it is to secure APIs to ensure the privacy of data, while still keeping it flexible enough to do its job.

So, what causes API security breaches? And how can you make sure your company doesn't make headlines?

Learn more about some of the most famous breaches:


Best Policies For Securing APIs

Applying the best security policies is a critical step for securing your APIs.

So, what are the best security policies? 


OAuth is one of the most well-known security policies. It allows applications to request access from third party systems. And you can apply OAuth to ensure secure authorization. 

Get a complete overview >> What Is OAuth?


JWT is another well-known security policy. It allows you to share security information between two parties: a client and a server. 

JWT is powerful, but there are some best practices you need to know to apply JWT security properly. 

Explore JWT:


API Security Best Practices

API security is one of the biggest concerns for any business using APIs to deliver data. Data is essentially the currency with which companies attract users and conduct business. So, securing APIs is critical. 

Here are the API security best practices you need to know.

1. Implement Security Early

Implement API security as you create APIs. It's important to prioritize security early on, in order to best protect your data — and avoid a security breach.

▶️ Avoid Security Breaches by Securing the Development Process


2. Use the Right Security Policies

Apply the right security policies to your APIs, including OAuth or JWT. This helps you ensure proper authorization and authentication.

▶️ How to Create Security Policies in Akana


3. Know Your Compliance Requirements

Security is essential for everyone — but it's absolutely critical for businesses with regulatory compliance concerns. It's key to know your API compliance requirements. 

▶️ How Security and Compliance Impacts ROI


4. Secure Everything

Security isn't just for your APIs. It's for all of the applications in your stack. And it's especially important in the microservices mesh. Using an API gateway is key to protect your APIs and service mesh applications.

📕 How to Secure the Edge API and Microservices Mesh


5. Use Security to Drive Transformation

Security shouldn't slow down your digital transformation strategy. Security should be your competitive differentiator and help you accelerate digital transformation in the enterprise. 

▶️ Disrupt or Be Disrupted: How to Use Secure APIs to Drive Digital Transformation


Success Stories: How Leading Companies Secure APIs

Securing APIs drives success in the enterprise. And the Akana API platform offers the best security available for your APIs.

Find out how securing APIs with Akana made a difference in key industries like...


Financial data must be kept secure. That means addressing compliance and security requirements from PSD2 and open banking, among others. These requirements include strong customer authentication (SCA)

Here at Akana, we help banks secure APIs and gain competitive advantages.

For a large bank, we provided automation for securing APIs that helped them accelerate delivery. They use Akana to protect against OWASP API vulnerabilities like malicious code injection. And they use Akana to apply OAuth security policies. Find out how they did it. Read the case study >>

A multinational banking corporation also chose Akana for its security strength. They use Akana to deploy strong security in different application layers to keep sensitive data safe. Plus, with Akana, they leveraged Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) to externalize cryptographic functions. Find out how they did it. Read the case study >>


The insurance industry must also keep APIs secure and protect customer information. This is incredibly important in open insurance for insurance APIs.

Here at Akana, we help insurance companies secure APIs and drive digital transformation initiatives forward.

For a global insurance company, we made it easy to deploy security both internally and externally. They chose the Akana API gateway to secure access — and ensure consistent security. Find out how they did it. Read the case study >>


Security is key in retail, especially with PCI DSS compliance requirements. 

That's why the world's largest retail businesses trust Akana to secure APIs and protect customer data.

For a multinational retailer, Akana made it easy to conquer security challenges. The Akana API gateway helps this retailer enhance security and regulatory compliance through authentication, authorization, and audit capabilities. Find out how they did it. Read the case study >>



API Security Solutions

Akana offers a powerful API and application security solution.

With Akana, you don't have to choose between security and speed. You get both — APIs backed with powerful, automated security and the ability to create and deploy APIs fast.

Secure APIs

In this short video, you'll see just how easy it is to secure your APIs with Akana.


Test API Security

In this short video, you'll see how easy it is to test API security using Akana. 


Try the Akana API Management Solution

See how easy and intuitive it is to apply security across your entire API portfolio with the Akana platform.

Try Free