Posted by Marbenz Antonio on March 16, 2023
Last year, 60% of businesses shifted their workloads to the cloud, leading to more traffic and direct cloud instances to manage. This increased complexity requires greater customization and integration, which can be achieved through the use of APIs. APIs are performing the same functions in the cloud as they did for on-premises resources by segregating, simplifying, specializing, and integrating services across a network. By using APIs to future-proof their architecture, companies can keep up with digitization. However, many organizations are not investing in building APIs despite their importance in building innovative solutions. In the end, companies that understand and use cloud APIs to their full potential will be better equipped to keep up with the demands of digital transformation.
A cloud API is a software interface that enables developers to connect cloud computing services. APIs facilitate the sharing of functionality and information among programs, which is particularly critical in the interconnected environment of the cloud.
Think of APIs as waiters in a restaurant; the better the waiter, the simpler the ordering process for you and your customers. The ideal cloud API seamlessly connects backend cloud components, services, and platforms, handling all the behind-the-scenes work so that users only see a smooth customer experience on the front end. As more work transitions to the cloud, it’s becoming increasingly important to invest in this functionality now to minimize risk in the future.
Cloud APIs can be categorized into several types, depending on the four significant areas that necessitate integration in cloud computing, which include integration with another platform or cloud provider.
Cloud APIs face similar security threats to any other cloud-based resource and pose the same challenges. However, one industry report revealed that malicious API traffic surged by over 117% last year, with the average number of calls increasing from 12 million to over 26 million. The study also showed that more than a third of respondents experienced authentication and data exposure-related incidents with their APIs, while 54% postponed rolling out a new application due to API security concerns.
Without proper safeguards, an unsecured cloud API could provide access to not just one but several cloud providers, their workloads, resources, and assets, essentially granting the attacker access to the keys to the kingdom. Standard authentication and authorization practices such as OAuth2.0 and OpenID Connect can help reduce the risk of lateral attacks and protect cloud-based APIs.
The use of cloud computing is only expected to increase and become a standard way of operating. Businesses that have not yet migrated their workloads are doing so in larger numbers, while new ventures are being built on cloud-native infrastructure. To manage the complexities of the cloud, cloud APIs are a natural solution. Without cloud APIs, user experience can suffer, and companies risk falling behind their competitors who are utilizing them.
APIs provide a safe and efficient way for companies to innovate and release new applications in 2023. Additionally, as more cloud-based services become API-dependent, the reusability of applications is another factor that highlights the need for cloud APIs. Furthermore, given the complexity of cloud products, platforms, and ecosystems, even within one organization, cloud APIs are necessary to ensure smooth interoperability. Cloud APIs also enable scalability by allowing individual components of a cloud-based service to be updated and refined separately, without affecting the whole. This level of customization is essential for organizations looking to refine their edge in the market.
Cloud APIs have become an essential component of modern cloud computing, as they allow for seamless integration and customization of cloud-based services. They enable different services to share functionality and information, providing a better customer experience and making application development and innovation easier and safer. Different types of cloud APIs exist, including PaaS APIs, SaaS APIs, IaaS APIs, and cross-platform APIs, each serving a unique purpose.
However, with the rise of cloud-based services, cloud API security threats have also increased. Companies must protect their cloud-based APIs with standard authentication and authorization practices to reduce the chance of a lateral attack. As cloud usage continues to grow and become ubiquitous, cloud APIs will play an increasingly crucial role in ensuring a smooth and scalable cloud infrastructure.
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