In today’s world, you should really have no excuse for not using encryption to keep your backend API secure from any attackers who might be looking to get in and steal your data or use your servers for their own purposes. Luckily, there are a variety of methods you can employ to make sure that this doesn’t happen, so long as you take the necessary steps and pay close attention to detail. Let’s take a look at 5 ways you can secure your backend API.

Encrypt data in transit

One of the simplest ways you can protect your backend data is by encrypting it in transit. This technique employs encryption software that scrambles the information as it's being sent over a network, and then decrypts it once it reaches its destination. There are many protocols for doing this; some of the most popular include SSL, HTTPS, and TLS.

Minimize the amount of data exposed

The first step to securing your backend API is to minimize the amount of data that is exposed. This means making sure not to store any sensitive information such as passwords or credit card numbers. The next step is to reduce the amount of data that is returned in an API request. You should only return data that the user has requested. If a user requests a list of all published posts, don't also include unpublished posts in the response. The third and most important step is to validate all incoming requests before sending any data back. This will ensure that only legitimate requests are processed by your backend and kept away from unauthorized users.

Use firewall

A firewall is a software or hardware system designed for protecting an information technology (IT) network from the outside world. Firewalls are often used in combination with other security mechanisms like anti-virus, intrusion prevention, and content inspection. To keep your backend API secure, you should make sure that it has a firewall installed.

Consider using HTTP Signatures to verify the authenticity of requests coming from third parties

There are a variety of ways that you can secure your backend system against potential exploits. One way is by using HTTP Signatures. HTTP Signatures were designed for APIs and web services, but they also work for any TCP-based connection, including database connections. The signatures use certificates to verify the authenticity of requests coming from third parties, which prevents man-in-the-middle attacks that could steal data or alter results. HTTP Signatures can be used with PHP's cURL extension, Java's HttpClient library, Python Requests module, Ruby's Curl module and .NET's HttpClient library.

Keep your API keys, secrets and certificates private and out of the hands of hackers

When hackers get their hands on API keys, they can use them to access your backend API. So make sure you don't leave them lying around or hand them out too easily. When it comes to encryption certificates, you should not keep the private key and the certificate together, but rather have a separate location for each one. This way if someone does manage to access one of the files, they won't be able to access the other file with it.

Dominic Johnson
Dominic Johnson
Software Developer

I'm a Software Developer that loves to code and build my ideas big or small. I write about what I learned and my experiences and some tips that are helpful.