Common Mistakes in Designing and Managing Public REST APIs

Here are some common issues that can occur in the development of APIs:

  • Inadequate Authentication and Authorization:
    • No proper way to verify users.
    • Weak security measures for authentication like using simple API keys or Basic Authentication without any additional security measures.
    • Not controlling access based on user roles.
    • Exposing sensitive information without restrictions.
  • Lack of Input Validation:
    • Not checking the type of data received.
    • Allowing attacks like SQL injection or script injection.
    • Not handling unexpected input values like out-of-bounds.
  • Exposing Sensitive Data:

    • Returning too much information, including passwords, personal data, API Keys, etc.
    • Not encrypting or protecting sensitive information properly.
  • Poor Error Handling:
    • Revealing internal system details in error messages.
    • Not handling exceptions that can cause application crashes.
  • Rate Limiting and Throttling:

    • Not controlling the rate at which requests are allowed.
    • Allowing excessive requests that can overload the system.
  • Not keeping things safe:
    • Not using secure communication protocols or encryption.
    • Failing to protect data at rest or in transit.
  • Not writing down the rules:
    • Insufficient or outdated documentation for developers.
    • Missing information about API endpoints, parameters, and responses.
  • Versioning:

    • Making changes that break compatibility with existing clients.
  • Logging and Monitoring:

    • Not keeping records of requests, errors, or suspicious activity.
    • Failing to set up alerts for monitoring the system.
  • CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing):

    • Allowing unauthorized access from any origin, potentially leading to attacks.
    • Not specifying which HTTP methods are allowed.|
  • State and Session Management:

    • Not implementing statelessness properly.
    • Relying solely on client-side sessions without server-side validation.
  • Secret Management:

    • Storing secret keys or credentials in the source code.
  • Not Keeping Dependencies Updated:
    • Using outdated libraries or frameworks that have known vulnerabilities.

Dattatraya Kale

Aspiring agile software craftsman, clean code, polyglot, in love with different programming paradigm. I am on a never-ending journey towards mastery of software.

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