API Inventory and Cyber Security

In recent years, the Software Bill of Materials has become an essential part of Cyber Security management and software supply chains. Maintaining an up-to-date and comprehensive application programming interface inventory (API) is critical for creating and managing an effective SBOM.

This article will examine the minimum elements of SBOM, as defined by the United States National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It will then explore API Inventory and its importance in SBOM.

API Inventory and SBOM

A reliable SBOM is only possible with a current API inventory. APIs are essential components of modern software, allowing data and communication to be exchanged between software systems.

Included API information is a crucial benefit. These benefits are known as CSMD at BLST security.

  • Compliance By including API information in an SBOM, you can ensure that any licensing or usage restrictions relating to APIs or components are met.
  • Security: By tracking API versions, vulnerabilities, and known flaws, organizations can assess and manage security risks. Knowing which APIs an application uses allows better control and monitoring of data access.
  • Updates and maintenance: Keeping an API inventory current can help organizations manage patches, updates, and changes to their APIs, ensuring that software applications continue working correctly and securely.
  • Dependency Management: Understanding dependencies between APIs, other components, and the code can help identify risks and vulnerabilities.

The relationship between API sprawl, SBOM, and SBOM

  • Maintaining an SBOM that is effective and secure requires managing API sprawl. API sprawl can cause several problems, including:
    • An incomplete or inaccurate SBOM The API sprawl makes it difficult to maintain a current and accurate SBOM.
    • Increased Security Risks: Multiple API versions can increase security risks. Attackers can exploit these vulnerabilities, undermining the security measures described in the SBOM.
    • Compliant and maintainable? The proliferation of APIs can make it challenging to comply with licensing and use restrictions, as well as manage patches and updates for the different APIs in use.
  • To minimize the risks of API sprawl, organizations must incorporate API governance, monitoring, and version control in their SBOM management. This will result in a better SBOM, better management of software supply chain risks, an improved cyber security posture, and a stronger API position.

Risques of redundant API inventories

  • A company that does not maintain an up-to-date API inventory or version control could be vulnerable to unauthorized access to user data and Account Takeovers (ATOs) via the API. If older API versions aren’t properly retired or locked down, they could have security flaws that malicious actors can exploit.
  • These vulnerabilities can allow attackers to manipulate API versions, gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or perform an ATO. Organizations can reduce the likelihood of cyberattacks by maintaining an accurate list of APIs and using version control.
  • Nir Chevroni is the head of data protection at Booking.com. He explains that an SBOM is helpful because it helps developers and application security teams identify and track dependencies. This is even more important if you have a large-scale environment.
  • With an SBOM, they have greater visibility and can quickly determine the components used, their versions, and any potential vulnerabilities in these components. This information is vital for managing risks, ensuring compliance, and maintaining the integrity and security of API inventories.

Future of SBOM Implementation

  • The importance of SBOM for managing the software supply chain risk will continue to grow as the cyber-security landscape evolves. The development of SBOM guidelines and standards will become more widespread with government directives like Executive Order (EO) 14028. This will lead to an increase in their adoption by various industries.
  • We expect further refinement and standardization in the SBOM elements over the next few years, including the addition of API inventory management. SBOM is scheduled to become an integral part of cyber security practices as organizations recognize the importance of SBOM for mitigating risks associated with software supply chains.

Combining API and SBOM to secure your network

  • SBOM’s history shows its increasing importance in cyber security and supply chain management. API Inventory Management is a crucial component. The implementation of EO 14028 emphasizes the need for a standardized SBOM approach, underlining its importance in promoting security, transparency, and accountability in the software supply chain.
  • The NTIA’s minimum elements of SBOM help organizations manage the risks, vulnerabilities, and compliance requirements associated with their software. A comprehensive API inventory provides enhanced visibility and control of software dependencies.
  • API inventory management will play an increasing role in the future as SBOM standards and guidelines continue to evolve. By adopting SBOM and integrating robust API Inventory practices, organizations can better secure their software, mitigate vulnerabilities, and ensure their success and resilience in an increasingly connected world.


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