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API Spotlight: Security APIs for Content Threat Detection
1/20/2023 - Brian O'Neill

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Most companies' servers contain a plethora of sensitive and lucrative information. As a result, their web applications will always present a target for attack. When attackers are successful in their attempts to hack a company’s web servers, they can leave their victims reeling to recover losses - or put them out of business entirely. They can do this by exploiting even the smallest vulnerabilities in our data parsers, web browsers and databases. To make matters worse, their methods are evolving all the time, making it critical for companies of all shapes and sizes to stay ahead of the curve.

Thankfully, with Cloudmersive Security APIs in your arsenal, many common methods of web application security breach can be deterred in only a few lines of code. The Cloudmersive Security API offers a variety of content threat detection iterations, all of which can be deployed as a crucial layer of security between malicious client-side actors and the sensitive server-side information they seek. Below, we’ve highlighted three of our most popular Security API iterations which aim to prevent Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), XML External Entity (XXE) attacks, and SQL Injection (SQLI) attacks respectively.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Detection & Prevention API

The goal of a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attack is to steal important information from our website visitors. An attacker can accomplish this easily if a website doesn’t properly validate user inputs; they’ll inject their own code into our website, and that code will subsequently execute in the browser of an unsuspecting visitor, allowing the attacker to strip information (like login credentials, for example) from that visitor. The Cross-Site Scripting Detection API identifies and removes XSS attacks automatically through normalization, rendering the attackers’ actions inert and returning the normalized result string (“NormalizedResult”). The information returned by this API also includes a Boolean (“ContainedXss”) indicating if an XSS attack was identified, along with a string (“OriginalInput”) which displays the original XSS input.

XML External Entity (XXE) Detection API

If a web application parses external XML entities, it’s critical to protect it against XXE attacks. Because XML format can store a variety of complex information, it’s possible to trick poorly configured XML parsers into referring to & accessing sensitive data based on malicious references hidden within an XML string. Preventing XXE attacks starts with evaluating the parser itself: do we need to enable external entity processing in the first place, or can we configure our parser to only process XML data from sources we trust? Regardless, it’s vital to involve a rigorous security policy in this process. The XXE detection API makes a huge difference in the data validation process, immediately identifying malicious references buried within XML schemas and supplying a simple Boolean response (“ContainedXxe”) when an XXE attack is detected.

SQL Injection (SQLI) Detection API

When our client-side users search our servers for information, their search is normally transformed into a standard SQL query which attempts to access server information on their behalf. SQL Injection attacks specifically attempt to exploit this process by adding malicious queries in the user input phase. If user inputs aren’t properly validated, these queries can be inadvertently processed, bypassing our security policies and giving the attacker unrestricted access to our server data. The SQL Injection Detection API acts as a critical security policy in the process of validating user input. It provides a Boolean response (“ContainedSqlInjectionAttack”) indicating if an SQLI attack was detected in a particular string.

For more information about our Security APIs (and additional security products), please contact our sales team.

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