How to secure a HTTP-based RESTful API in the cloud?

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A lot of web-based RESTful APIs are used in cloud computing. We ought to ensure that those plugins stay secure. Apart from having a robust architectural design, there are other ways to have a double check on keeping them safe.

The best practices include utilizing signatures and the HTTPS protocol.

a)Appending signatures with every ping

It is based on the concept of cryptography. One end is labeled as Server, while the other as Client and a set of 2 keys – public & private, which is shared between them.

The former is exposed to public. There isn’t any serious threat in this scenario as it is backed by a private key encryption with a value, which is just known to the end points.

Client calls the Server by using two arguments –the Public key and the signature, which consists of a hash code. A hash is nothing but a value formed by accumulating the factors that forms a query into a string variable of fixed length and then passing that string and the private key via hashing algorithm. The server is smart. Not only does it receive the REQUEST but deciphers the private key from the public key but works backwards simultaneously to retrieve the original string. If the #hash generated matches between the two entities Bingo! Else, theaccess is denied for that ping and an error message with appropriate code is generated.

At times we do act ignorant by using hash as a session ID, which might turn fatal in the long run. Also, manual intervention must be minimized to make it a fool-proof arrangement.

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b) Following HTTPS protocol meticulously

It is the most secure and the preferred way as it allows the user to authenticate the API, fetch a session key on the run anduse it further in the algorithm. The only drawback in this approach is that consumes a lot more of your resources than anticipated. Also, the turnaround time takes a heavy toll, which is a con.

Ultimately, it boils down every company how they wish to incorporate these security mechanisms. Usually, large scale set ups go for option 2 and vice-versa. For more such insights and executions partner with Nxtra which is leading cloud based server storage which provide seamless access to your data from any part of the world. Nxtra is India’s premier Cloud Solutions provider which offers the finest colocation services in Mumbai. Be it managing Data Centers for your organization in Chennai or offering Cloud Computing Services, Nxtra would surely add wings to your business.