Cybersecurity incidents caused by poor security API cost companies $75 billion a year

Cybersecurity incidents caused by poor security API cost companies  billion a year

Threat intelligence firm Imperva quantified the cost of cybersecurity incidents caused by poor API security. An application programming interface (API) refers to software that enables seamless data exchange between applications.

the Quantifying the cost of API insecurity A study by the Marsh McLennan Cyber ​​Risk Analysis Center found that API-related data breaches cost billions of dollars.

The study analyzed 117,000 cybersecurity incidents and found that API insecurity was responsible for annual losses of between $41 billion and $75 billion worldwide and between $12 and $23 billion in the US. .

The researchers noted that threat actors exfiltrated sensitive data by leveraging API calls to bypass network security and target underlying infrastructure. APIs therefore offer an alternative attack path because they connect directly to back-end systems.

However, unlike enterprise web applications, they lack multiple layers of application security, leading to broken object-level authorization. This situation allows attackers to bypass authentication/authorization and access restricted resources.

API security cyber loss quantification

Imperva estimated total cyber loss, which represents any damage, loss, claim or cost directly or indirectly attributed to a cyber incident.

Consequently, the average annual API-related cyber loss in the US was $300 billion, $1 trillion in global annual total cyber loss, and $5 billion in global average annual insured cyber loss.

With an incident frequency of 4.1-7.5%, the effective cyber loss was $12-23 billion in the US, $41-75 billion globally, while the annual average API-related global insured cyber loss it was $205-376 million.

“These estimates provide insight into losses that are completely avoidable,” the researchers wrote. “If companies made an upfront investment to properly secure all of their APIs, their API-related losses could decrease significantly even if their API adoption continues to increase.”

Large organizations are more vulnerable to API-related cybersecurity incidents

On average, API security incidents accounted for 1 in 13 cybersecurity incidents globally. However, the number of API-related cybersecurity incidents depends on industry, organization size, and geographic location.

According to the study, larger organizations experienced API-related cybersecurity incidents more frequently than their midsize and smaller counterparts. For example, organizations with annual revenues of more than $100 billion experienced 3-4 times more API-related cybersecurity incidents than the average. These companies attributed 1 in 4 or 25% of their cybersecurity incidents to API security.

While larger companies had higher frequencies, most API security incidents occurred at companies with annual revenues of less than $50 million.

The researchers explained that the increased frequency of API-related cybersecurity incidents targeting large enterprises was due to digital transformation, with larger organizations leading the way in technology adoption.

Geographically, the United States experienced more API cybersecurity incidents than other countries. The US experienced 9 times more API attacks than the next largest country, the UK, while 57% of all API attacks occurred in the North American country. Like larger organizations, the US relies on complex software systems and is digitally mature, attracting more API attacks.

Although the US experienced more API attacks than other countries, the proportion of similar attacks in the North American region was much lower than elsewhere. The researchers attributed the small percentage of API attacks in North America to the high volume of other cybersecurity incidents in the region, including ransomware.

On average, most countries experienced a frequency of 3-6%, with the Netherlands experiencing the highest rate of 18-24%.

By industry, the top victims of API security incidents were IT and information (18-23%), professional services (10-15%), and retail (6-12%). Manufacturing, transportation, and utilities had API security incidents that accounted for between 4% and 6% of their cybersecurity incidents.

The report showed that the API adoption rate was an indicator of related cybersecurity incidents and associated costs depending on the characteristics of the victim.

Improved API security to reduce costs and protect data

Imperva advised companies to improve data security by taking stock of their API inventories and understanding and classifying the information flowing through them.

Similarly, automating the discovery of underlying APIs would eliminate rogue or shadow APIs. Additionally, it would help the security team take stock of API inventory and create visibility for development teams.

The researchers also advised highly regulated industries to adopt API governance by monitoring endpoints beyond their organizations. In addition, they must monitor the data that flows through them to ensure that sensitive information is protected.

Failure to implement #APIsecurity is responsible for 1 in 13 #cybersecurity incidents with losses amounting to $75 billion annually. #respectdataclick to tweet

“The rising costs associated with API insecurity correlates with the reality that many organizations simply don’t have the right tools in place to monitor and protect their API ecosystems,” said Lebin Cheng, vice president of API security at Imperva. “Furthermore, even if organizations believe they have adequate defenses in place, they are not protecting the underlying data, which is ultimately the target of a cybercriminal.”

Cheng proposed a mutual working relationship between cybersecurity professionals and developers while integrating tools that can be integrated into the development cycle.

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