Choosing appropriate API security options will help you gain developer trust, increase API adoption, and build an effective API ecosystem. While APIs are the ‘coolest’ and most effective mechanism to expose business functionalities out towards the outside world and inward to other teams, API security requires learning new technologies (i.e. OAuth, MAC token profiles, and JSON Web Token [JWT]) and retrofitting existing identity management architecture with token chaining and identity brokering.
Many mobile application developers and architects find API security and identity options are arcane, jargon-filled, and confusing. They frequently ask whether selecting one choice over another is appropriate – and you need to cautiously identify and isolate tradeoffs. A robust API security platform can help guide you in the right direction.
API Security Basics
Security is not an afterthought. Incorporate security as an integral part of any application development project. The same approach applies to API development as well. API security has evolved significantly in the past five years. The recent standards growth has been exponential. OAuth and bearer tokens are the most widely adopted standard, and are possibly now the de-facto standard for API security.
What API security decisions should you consider?
Cloud API popularity is fueling interest in creating service ecosystems across organizations, teams, and applications. By externalizing software platform functions from containers, operating systems, and on-premise data center environments, new business opportunities emerge, and development teams gain faster time to market when building scalable business solutions. Is the time right for you to build a cloud ecosystem architecture based on APIs and supporting rapid application development?
A system integrator serving the U.S. Federal government market is reviewing next-generation architecture components and middleware platform technology, leading best practices, and vendor support. The goal is to provide the system integrator with a competitive edge in re-competes and new project wins. The desired middleware infrastructure platform will reduce development and run-time operation cost by at least 25% when compared with incumbent platform offerings.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO),
For decades, DOD has been attempting to modernize about 2,200 business systems, which are supported by billions of dollars in annual expenditures that are intended to support business functions and operations.
Can government IT programs and projects increase their efficiency and reduce expenditures? A new software delivery paradigm is required.
WSO2 is an open source middleware vendor with innovative components that help teams obtain repeatable agile delivery and adopt SOA & DevOps best practices leading to faster program spirals. Additionally, WSO2’s middleware infrastructure platform delivers high performance at high transaction rates while securely capturing, streaming, transforming, analyzing, and presenting mission information.
The system integrator is exploring three specific focus areas:
- Information Hub Attribute Based Access Control
- Enhance mission situational awareness and improve information transfer efficiency
- Deliver High Quality Solutions on Faster Spirals
In the security, identity, and entitlement space, popular 2013 WSO2 webinars described single sign-on (SSO), access control patterns, federated identity use cases, and API security practices. As you prepare your 2014 plans, review how WSO2’s Identity and Entitlement Platform can simplify security best practice adoption. The following best-of 2013 resources are recapped below:
Enterprise Identity Management has reached an awkward adolescent period, with prior success, tumultuous present, and uncertain future. My colleague Ian Glazer at Gartner, published a thought provoking video entitled “Killing Identity Management in Order to Save It.” The basic premise, conventional Enterprise Identity Management inhibits dynamic business relationships across today’s prevalent web interactions. Traditional Enterprise Identity Management leads to lost customers, poor revenue growth, and inefficient business interactions.
Given the large historical investment in Enterprise Identity Management, how can IT Teams move beyond legacy practices and embrace New Web interactions, ad hoc team formation, and promote business relationships?
WSO2 Identity Server supports many leading identity management specifications, and work is underway to support interoperable Simple Cloud Identity Management. Â The Simple Cloud Identity Management (SCIM) specification is designed to make managing user identity in cloud based applications and services easier.