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Application Programming Interface (API)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: HT

 Context: CERT-In and CSIRT-Fin’s whitepaper on API security is a step in the right direction.


What is API?

DefinitionAPIs facilitate communication between software components by providing a set of definitions and protocols. For instance, a weather app on your phone communicates with the weather bureau’s software system through APIs to display daily weather updates.
ImportanceIntegral for innovation in the digital sphere, empowering seamless integration and interoperability.
UsageWidely used in various industries, including finance, healthcare, e-commerce, social media, and more.
FunctionalityAllows applications to access and interact with the features or data of other applications or platforms.
TypesIncludes Web APIs, RESTful APIs, SOAP APIs, GraphQL APIs, and more, catering to different use cases.
BenefitsEnhances efficiency, accelerates development, fosters collaboration, and enables cross-platform integration.
Security ChallengesVulnerabilities include data breaches, unauthorized access, injection attacks, and denial-of-service attacks.
Security MeasuresImplementing strong authentication, encryption, rate-limiting, input validation, and regular cyber security audits.
Emerging TechnologiesIntegration with artificial intelligence (AI) for anomaly detection, predictive analytics, and threat mitigation.
Future TrendsIncreasing adoption of APIs in the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, machine learning, and blockchain technologies for enhanced functionality.
Government initiativesOpen Government Data platform (it has over 1 lakh APIs); API Setu
Policy on Open Application Programming (government’s approach to the use of Open APIs to promote software interoperability)
National Data Governance Policy (aims to standardize APIs for secure data management)
National Data and Analytics Platform (or NDAP) (NITI Aayog’s initiative that hosts datasets from across India)