In today's digital world, APIs have become the backbone of web applications and data exchange, making API security a top priority for businesses. Traditional web security tools like API gateways and web application firewalls (WAFs) have limitations when it comes to protecting against modern API threats. When choosing an API security solution to effectively defend against these evolved threats, certain capabilities should be considered. 

Discovery and API Inventory Management

Automated discovery is key when it comes to choosing an API security solution. Identifying all your organization’s APIs, including zombie and shadow APIs, ensures comprehensive coverage and reduces oversight. To be effective, this capability should enable continuous monitoring, scanning for new deployments or changes while maintaining an accurate, real-time API inventory. With centralized inventory management that catalogs detailed API information, organizations gain comprehensive visibility, facilitating effective risk assessment and management.

Ease of Deployment and Quick Time to Value 

The success of your API security strategy depends upon the ability to ensure it is deployed in the correct places and monitoring the right traffic and endpoints. Many API security tools require detailed knowledge about the corresponding cloud environment, oftentimes requiring months of coordination across multiple individuals at the organization before the platform is even collecting data. A streamlined, automated deployment ensures quick and efficient implementation of security measures, reducing time and effort. With an approach that requires zero technical knowledge about the details of the environment from the user, manual intervention is eliminated, and the risk of human error is diminished.

Adaptive to Rapid Changes and Scaling Requirements

Scalability is essential for ensuring that API security tools can adapt to the changing needs and demands of dynamic cloud environments. As organizations scale their operations, their security infrastructure must be able to scale proportionally to accommodate increased workload and traffic. A scalable security solution can seamlessly expand to support growing API ecosystems without compromising performance or security, enabling organizations to maintain consistent protection across all endpoints and environments.

Behavioral Analysis and Anomaly Detection

Look for a solution that incorporates behavioral analytics to establish a baseline of normal API activity and detect deviations that may indicate malicious behavior. Anomaly detection algorithms can identify unusual patterns, such as sudden spikes in traffic or unusual API usage, signaling potential security threats such as business logic attacks, data exfiltration, and those outlined in the OWASP Top 10 API Security Risks.

Dynamic API and Application Risk Scoring

Dynamic API scoring provides security teams with actionable insights into the relative risk levels associated with different API threats, allowing them to prioritize security efforts accordingly. By focusing resources on high-risk areas, security leaders can maximize the effectiveness of their security measures and optimize resource allocation to mitigate the most critical threats first.

Data Residency and Separation

Considering data residency and separation when choosing an API security solution is essential for compliance with regulations, addressing data sovereignty concerns, mitigating risks, and building trust. Most API security tools send sensitive customer data back to their own cloud for analysis which unnecessarily expands the attack surface and increases risk. No sensitive data should ever leave a customer’s environment. By selecting a solution that supports these requirements, organizations can better protect their data assets and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory mandates. This approach enhances data protection measures and strengthens the overall security posture of the organization.


When evaluating API security solutions, consider the following key capabilities to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investments: 

  • Automated discovery for comprehensive coverage
  • Streamlined deployment for efficiency
  • Scalability for adapting to dynamic environments
  • Behavioral analysis for proactive detection of modern threats
  • Dynamic API risk scoring for prioritized security efforts
  • Data residency for compliance and trust

By prioritizing these capabilities, organizations can fortify their API security and navigate the evolving digital landscape with confidence, protecting themselves from evolving cloud security threats.