Background checks are essential to maintaining a healthy security posture in any organization. These checks expose potential threats and reduce the risk of attackers gaining access to sensitive information or resources. In the Internet of Things era, implementing robust security controls when integrating with third-party APIs and other service providers is more important than ever.
Even though new connected devices have been on the market for some time, they still are prime targets for hackers looking to exploit weak cybersecurity practices by monetizing user data or impersonating legitimate users for identity theft.
To safeguard your organization from these risks, you must implement background verification checks on all third-neutral API integrations that involve any form of sensitive information or data. These include Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant data, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protected health information, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption keys or passwords.
What is a background check?
A background check is a process that evaluates an applicant’s history and qualifications using publicly accessible information. You can implement background check API through automated systems or manually. At the end of the day, the accuracy of information presented during the application process depends on the applicant’s honesty and integrity.
However, the lack of transparency in the background check process may lead to applicants with questionable pasts being hired, especially when the information used in the background check is not verified.
An example of this type of check can be found on the Airbnb website. Every prospective host must undergo a thorough background check to ensure they are not a threat to public safety. This check can be as simple as confirming that the prospective host does not have a criminal record.
However, the Airbnb website offers a more in-depth background check. This second check verifies that the prospective host is eligible to work in the United States.
Why is a security check required for API integration?
Security is a core part of API integration best practices. API integrations are a great way to expand your organization’s reach and improve user experience. However, they also present a potential security risk because API providers are often not part of your organization’s security team.
The lack of good API integrations can expose your organization to a host of security threats, including:
- loss of data due to downtime, data breaches, or poor API design
- impersonation by third parties through API hijacking and API spam
To address these challenges, API platforms today come with a wide range of advanced features and capabilities to help enterprises scale, maintain, and monitor their API infrastructure. This allows enterprises to enhance their API endpoints and reduce the risk of API breakages.
It also enables enterprises to scale out their API infrastructure, which allows them to integrate their API endpoints on different infrastructure components, such as API clouds, API gateways, or even on-premise infrastructure.
How to perform API integration checks?
Several online tools will help guide your process for performing background checks and monitoring API integrations. It would be best if you researched various options to find one that meets your requirements and budget. Ensure the tool you choose has the features you need, including the availability of API details, response times, monitoring features, and cost.
Record the information you need from the applicant, such as name, email address, job title, and other relevant details. Verify the information you obtained against other publicly available sources, including Google, LinkedIn, and savvy citizens, to confirm the applicant’s legitimacy.
You can also use API keys to restrict the level of access to your application so that only certain users can perform specific actions, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a payment. Access management tools allow you to control the accessibility of your application based on user role or by using API keys.
Benefits of implementing background checks
API integration checks can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and malicious activity. When performed correctly, background checks can also uncover issues with APIs causing errors or slowdowns so that you can resolve them before your users notice.
Through verification of a potential employee’s history and background checks, organizations can employ the right candidates without worry or risk of employing a candidate that can be a threat to the organization.
The more data you have in your system, the easier it is to find and correct problems. Redundant data makes it challenging to determine where things went wrong and causes confusion when searching for and troubleshooting issues.
Keeping your API management process automated will help prevent data errors, ensure compliance, and reduce the time needed to maintain your API. Spending time in each stage of the API lifecycle will give you the most value, so prioritize keeping your data lifecycle — from creation to retirement — automated.
The introduction of Internet-connected devices and IoT applications has brought tremendous benefits to businesses, households, and other organizations. However, this newfound level of connectivity has also opened the doors for cyber threats and data breaches. To protect your organization from these risks, consider integrating background verification checks API into your system.