API Gateway Platform and Vendor Analysis Best Practices
When evaluating API Gateway platforms, there are a number of capabilities to consider. Below I have provided a list of such capabilities for API Gateways that you should score the platforms (and vendors) on. This is a high level list, and I have a more detailed list if interested in reviewing for evaluation purposes. Also, this article is focused just on API Gateway capabilities. I will publish 2 more articles focused on 2 more capabilities to evaluate platforms (and vendors) on: (1) API Management (2) API Portals.
Please reach out to me if you would like to discuss or review these capabilities in more detail with your team at: Jordan.Braunstein@visualintegrator.com . I have personally evaluated and score-carded the following API Gateway Platforms (in no particular order):
- AWS API Gateway
- Azure API Gateway
- Redhat 3Scale
- CA Layer 7
Pricing and Vendor Overview
- Core Product Pricing Model
- Product Support Model
- Support for HIPAA and PHI Protection
- PCI Compliance
- Use of Open Source Software and Plugins that are vulnerable to Security
- Support for OAuth 2.0, JWT, OpenID Connect and SAML
- Security Policies provided out of the box (OAuth 2 validation, IP Filtering, Client Certificates, JWT Validation, OpenID Connect, Integration with External Identity Provider)
- Integration with Identity Management Platforms
Infrastructure and Architecture
- Scalability and Redundancy
- Support for Containers, Docker, etc.
- Cloud vs On-Premise Installations
- Support for Serverless Architecture on a Cloud Provider
Configuration and Development Features
- Installation Complexity
- Custom Policy Development Kit
- Throttling solution
- Documenting APIs on the Gateway
Enterprise Runtime Features
- Monitoring and Alerts, including Integration with External Monitoring Platforms
- Technical Analytics
- Micro Gateways
- Business Analytics (Scraping or dripping Payloads for BI)
- Debugging and Testing Tools
Microservices and API Security Best Practices Cheat Sheet
Here are the top Security Best Practices when architecting your Microservices and API solutions. To review a complete Microservices and API Security checklist and guide, please contact me at Jordan.Braunstein@visualintegrator.com and I will be happy to share with you or your team.
External Facing Microservices or APIs:
Use OAuth 2.0 security policy with the grant type based on the type of the application consuming the microservice or API:
- For mobile and SPA apps, best practice is to secure using Implicit or Authorization Code grant.
- For trusted partners (i.e. Trading Partners), use client-credentials grant but only if the communication is secured via MTLS or IP-based filtering
Internal Facing Microservices or APIs
- Client ID Validation policy to validate Client ID/Secret
- Enable Client ID security on all internal APIs
- For example, Experience API is secured by JWT, which, in turn, invokes internally facing Process or System API secured by Client ID/Secret/
User Identity or Role Based Authorization
- Recommend using JWT token with digital signature
- Create a custom API policy to validate the digital signature if needed, or invoke the validate endpoint of the Identity Management platform.
- “Bundle” user credential such as customer_id or LDAP ID as part of the JWT token payload.
- In the custom policy or inside the API itself, validate the JWT token contains the bundled customer id.
- Custom API Policies for schema validations, SQL injections, HTTP Inspections, Size Limits, Pattern Scans.
- Data Sensitivity and encryption techniques
- Sidebands to API Gateway for outside threats on API Gateways
- Source Code and library scans.
- Network security
- WAF rules
- API Gateway policies (i.e. rate limiting)
- Audit logging on the gateway
- Security monitoring of the Microservices or API infrastructure
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