Inconsistent API Security Puts App Economy At Risk

April 8, 2016

Better ownership and accountability needed in security APIs, report finds.

As APIs increasingly serve as the essential glue in today's app economy, many enterprises are struggling to keep pace with a consistent API-security strategy, according to a survey out today by Ovum on behalf of Distil Networks. And with many APIs intentionally made public to the outside world, a lack of a singular strategy could be adding undue risk in the wake of innovation and open development communities.

“The use of APIs to enable applications to interact across single and multiple infrastructures is skyrocketing and innovation is being fueled by companies finding new ways to monetize their software assets by exposing APIs to outside developers,” says Rik Turner, senior analyst at Ovum. “However, exposing APIs to developers outside the company creates significant risk and APIs are becoming a growing target for cyber criminals."

Conducted among 100 midmarket and enterprise firms across North America, Europe, and Asia, the survey found that at least 40% of organizations were maintaining, building, or publishing 25 or more APIs. About one in five said they were running more than 50. Ovum reported that the vast majority of APIs respondents build and maintain are public, with interfaces exposed to developers outside the company. This largely comes from the fact that the majority of API initiatives are driven either to enable an external developer ecosystem or to establish partner connectivity with their software assets.

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