30 Apr 2023
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API Security Neglect: A Wake-Up Call

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


The recent article by Venture Beat, titled "Report shows 92% of organizations experienced an API security incident last year", sheds light on the precarious state of API security across numerous organizations. The Enterprise Strategy Group survey of 397 respondents revealed that a staggering 92% of organizations encountered at least one API-related security incident in the past year. Furthermore, 57% of the surveyed organizations experienced multiple API security incidents, and 75% updated their APIs daily or weekly. This opinion piece posits that organizations frequently regard security as an afterthought, and the lack of governance or expertise exacerbates the situation. Moreover, even when organizations employ security experts, they often dismiss their valuable insights, resulting in a precarious security landscape.

The Neglect of Security

APIs facilitate communication between software systems and enable organizations to create innovative and scalable solutions. Regrettably, protecting these vital components is often relegated to a secondary concern as organizations prioritize rapid development and deployment of applications. This oversight fosters a pernicious environment, leaving APIs susceptible to attacks and exposing sensitive information to malevolent actors.

Many organizations need to gain the requisite knowledge and experience to devise and implement comprehensive security measures for their APIs, leaving them vulnerable to a panoply of threats. The dearth of robust governance and expertise compounds this issue. Additionally, the rapid pace of API updates exacerbates the challenge as organizations need help maintaining security in a continuously evolving landscape.

Disregarding Expertise

When organizations employ security experts, they often fail to heed their counsel, rendering the investment in expertise futile. This intransigence stems from several factors, including organizational inertia, prioritization of short-term gains, and an unwillingness to allocate resources to fortify security measures.

Organizational inertia is a formidable barrier to implementing comprehensive security measures. Many companies resist change, clinging to outdated practices and systems that leave their APIs vulnerable. This obstinate adherence to the status quo stifles the efforts of security experts to implement vital security enhancements.

Organizations frequently focus on accelerating product releases, neglecting security measures in favor of rapid development and deployment. This myopic approach undermines the efforts of security experts and exposes the organization to significant risks.

Moreover, prioritizing short-term gains often supersedes the long-term benefits of a robust security infrastructure.

Lastly, reluctance to allocate resources to bolster API security is pervasive in many organizations. Despite employing security experts, companies may not provide them with the necessary tools, budget, or personnel to effectively fortify API defenses. This resource constraint hampers the experts' ability to protect the organization and leaves APIs vulnerable to attacks.

The Imperative of Security-Centricity

Organizations must adopt a security-centric approach to address these challenges and protect their APIs. This paradigm shift involves placing security at the forefront of the development process, embracing comprehensive governance, and valuing the expertise of security professionals. To adopt a security-centric approach, organizations should:

  • Foster a culture of security awareness, ensuring that employees at all levels understand the importance of API security and are equipped to mitigate risks.
  • Establish robust governance structures, including clearly defined security policies, procedures, and best practices that govern API development and management.
  • Invest in continuous security education and training, empowering security experts to stay abreast of emerging threats and equipping them with the knowledge to devise and implement effective defense strategies.
  • Allocate adequate resources to security initiatives, providing security experts with the necessary tools, budget, and personnel to safeguard the organization's APIs.
  • Encourage collaboration between security experts and other stakeholders, fostering a culture of open communication and shared responsibility in addressing API security concerns.

By adopting these strategies, organizations can cultivate a security-centric mindset, ensuring that API security is treated as a priority rather than an afterthought. This proactive approach mitigates the risk of security incidents and fosters a culture of vigilance and preparedness that is essential in today's ever-evolving threat landscape.


The Venture Beat article and the accompanying report paint a disquieting picture of the state of API security in many organizations. The neglect of security and the lack of governance and expertise is deeply concerning, as is the propensity to disregard the insights of security professionals. Organizations must shift their focus to a security-centric approach to safeguard their digital assets and mitigate the risk of API-related security incidents.

Embracing a security-centric mindset necessitates fostering a culture of security awareness, establishing robust governance structures, investing in continuous education and training, and allocating adequate resources to security initiatives. Furthermore, organizations must value the expertise of security professionals and foster a collaborative environment that encourages open communication and shared responsibility.

By adopting these strategies, organizations can protect their APIs and create a more secure digital landscape for all stakeholders. As the pace of technological innovation continues to accelerate, it is incumbent upon organizations to prioritize security and recognize the vital role it plays in ensuring long-term success and resilience.

Tyrone Showers