Published: 2 May 2023
  • Updated: 30 Jan 2024

Google's Apigee: Machine Learning for API Security

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


Google has taken a groundbreaking step forward in strengthening cybersecurity. The tech giant has introduced cutting-edge machine learning models into its Apigee platform, specifically tailored to detect potential business logic attacks. Google Cloud has made these models available to all Apigee Advanced API security customers, boasting exceptional sensitivity honed through meticulous training on internal Google data. This article delves into the details of Google's innovative approach to bolstering API security with Apigee, focusing on the keyword "Apigee" for SEO compliance.

Point of View (POV)

In a comprehensive blog post, Shelly Hershkovitz, a product manager at Google Cloud, provides valuable insights into the technology behind Apigee's enhanced security. She emphasizes, "The machine learning models that power API abuse detection have been trained and used by Google's internal teams to protect our public-facing APIs. The models rely on years of learning and best practices." This statement underscores the credibility and robustness of these machine learning models, drawing upon Google's extensive reservoir of knowledge accumulated over the years by its internal teams.

Innovative Dashboards

In conjunction with the deployment of machine learning models, Apigee introduces innovative dashboards aimed at more accurate identification of API abuses. These dashboards are engineered to distill the core attributes of attacks, encapsulating vital information such as the attack source, the frequency of API calls, and the duration of the attacks.

These dashboards serve as a potent tool in the cybersecurity arsenal. Their capability to uncover patterns amidst a plethora of alerts illuminates the complex web of potential API abuses. This approach signifies a paradigm shift from traditional methods that often get entangled in the narrow focus on individual alerts, failing to discern overarching patterns that could signify a coordinated attack.

Detecting Patterns with Machine Learning

The introduction of machine learning models and dashboards by Apigee showcases the transformative power of machine learning in augmenting API security. Machine learning algorithms excel at identifying patterns within vast datasets, making them ideally suited for the detection of business logic attacks that frequently manifest through subtle deviations in server activity.

By training these models on internal Google data, Apigee harnesses one of the world's most extensive and diverse datasets. This comprehensive training augments the models' ability to identify potential threats, furnishing a robust defense against API abuses.

Furthermore, these advancements underscore the significance of continuous learning and adaptation in the realm of cybersecurity. As Hershkovitz points out, the models draw upon years of knowledge and best practices. This reflects the iterative nature of machine learning, where models continually evolve and refine based on new data and insights.

How One Might Use Google's Apigee Platform to Enhance API Security

  • Data Collection: Gather and preprocess the data required for training machine learning models. In the case of API security, this might include historical API request/response data, logs, and information on past security incidents.
  • Model Development: Data scientists can use machine learning frameworks (e.g., TensorFlow, PyTorch) to develop models capable of identifying potential API abuses. These models should be trained to detect anomalies or patterns indicative of security threats.
  • Integration with Apigee: Integrate the trained machine learning models with the Apigee platform. Apigee offers various integration options, including custom policies, JavaScript callouts, or serverless functions.
  • Real-time Monitoring: Implement real-time monitoring of API traffic using Apigee's analytics and monitoring capabilities. The integrated machine learning models should continuously analyze incoming API requests and responses for anomalies.
  • Alerting: Set up alerting mechanisms within Apigee to trigger notifications when suspicious API activities are detected. This might involve sending alerts to security teams or administrators via email, SMS, or integration with incident response platforms.
  • Dashboard Development: Create custom dashboards within Apigee to visualize and analyze API security-related data. These dashboards can help security teams quickly identify patterns and respond to threats effectively.
  • Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop to continuously improve the machine learning models. When security incidents occur or false positives/negatives are detected, use this information to refine the models and enhance their accuracy.
  • Documentation and Training: Ensure that the development and maintenance of this system are well-documented. Train relevant personnel, including security analysts and administrators, on how to use the integrated security system effectively.
  • Compliance and Reporting: Implement features to support compliance requirements, such as logging and reporting for auditing purposes.


Google's introduction of machine learning models and dashboards into the Apigee platform represents a significant leap forward in API security. By harnessing machine learning to detect subtle deviations in server activity and offering a more comprehensive view of potential API abuses, these tools provide a robust defense against business logic attacks. This development not only underscores the pivotal role of machine learning in enhancing cybersecurity but also showcases Google's commitment to pioneering new security paradigms. With Apigee's innovative approach, the digital landscape becomes safer, bolstering the security of API interactions in an ever-evolving cyber environment.

Tyrone Showers