We are all a bit concerned about privacy and the potential loss of our data, especially since most people don’t take a lot of time to fully protect all the data that they put online. This goes doubly so for businesses, who can be vulnerable to hacks, leaks, and dangers if they let just anyone get into their systems. Along with the standard measures of business cyber security, many businesses also use API authentication to ensure the people trying to access their data are trustworthy.
But what is an API authentication? Plus, even if the API is genuine and can be trusted, how do businesses integrate third party APIs into their systems? That is what this article hopes to explain, so let’s get started with it!
API Authentication = Verification
API Authentication is all about proving the identity of the people who want to access your system. If the identity can be proven and the API is trustworthy, then the risk of opening your cyber doors to cyber criminals isn’t as great, because the verification acts as a gatekeeper.
If someone who is unauthorized tries to get into your business, the API software is on the job. If it detects any incorrect information or a mismatch about the identity of the client, then they are blocked and denied access to anything in one fell swoop. It is a bit of a prompt solution, but it works, and it works for a reason. It’s almost the equivalent of having a massive bouncer standing by the door, turning away all of the riff-raff who aren’t supposed to be there.
The API authentication provides enhanced security, and increased trust from users who know what their data will be protected, and it can also reduce the costs and downtime associated with a cyberattack. Still, how does an API authentication work, and what are some of the methods that can be used.
How Do You Authenticate An API?
There are several methods that you can use, and the first is possibly the simplest and the one that the casual web user has encountered the most often. An HTTP authentication is done with a simple username and password, which lets users who have that information sign in, and the rest don’t.
The second method can use OAuth with Open ID, which both authenticates and authorizes users to have access to certain resources while denying them access to others. It is a very reliable method and is the one most commonly used by businesses.
Finally, the third method is the use of API keys, which are made specifically for one user and one user alone. A code or token is randomly generated and assigned to a first time user whenever they try to log in, and they then use that code that is specifically assigned to them for verification and to gain access.
How To Integrate An API?
APIs can be integrated with one another to allow for seamless transitions of data without human interaction. A good example of an integrated API are ride sharing services that often have Google Maps already embedded inside of them without the user needing to juggle both apps at the same time, which is very good for that app’s business.
For a business, instead of a business needing to code all of these items themselves, they can use API integration to get the functionality of all the APIs without having to do any extra coding, but how do you do that?
The easiest way to do this is to have an endpoint of where you want your integrated API to go, and then using a couple of third party programs and platforms to ensure that your API is fully integrated. If you are building an API yourself from scratch, it is going to be a very complicated procedure that will take some coding knowledge and the knowledge of some third party programs to help you out and to help you get everything connected.
However, if your business simply wants to connect to some existing APIs, such as a ride sharing service, a map service, or a delivery service, then most of those websites have very simple methods of connection that they walk you through. It will depend on what you need that shows how complicated the integration of an API is, so don’t be concerned if you need some extra help.
Don’t Be Afraid Of APIs
APIs might sound scary and complicated, but at the end of the day, they aren’t that much harder than any other lines of code. Any business needs to learn how to handle the world of APIs as well as their authentication and integration because they are everywhere, and they are going to get more popular as things go on with the internet.