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Managing External API Dependency Risk

Discover how Qpoint can help operators manage third-party dependencies and increase operational resilience with a holistic approach to egress traffic observability and management.

Tyler Flint
Tyler Flint
June 13, 2024

Third-party APIs. Developers love and use them extensively, but the growing operational and security risks that they pose need to be taken seriously by operators and platform teams. Even modest-sized engineering teams can leverage hundreds of third-party API dependencies intertwined across their production environments. Core applications that have access to production databases and sensitive customer data are making thousands of requests per hour out to third party services and business partner APIs with little to no governance.

This proliferation of third-party API usage has platform engineering teams concerned, and for good reason. Cyber attacks and catastrophic data breaches are on the rise, many of which exploit the constantly morphing attack surface that now extends outside of the organization's direct control.

 

The Risks of API Dependency Sprawl

Managing vendor relationships is challenging. Throw in a sprawling, interconnected web of APIs with access, dependencies and privileges that you can’t easily see or control, and the real pain begins. Third-party API dependencies can make your platform vulnerable to:

  • Vendor outages and rate limits. If an API stops responding, it can cascade failures to your applications.
  • Compliance risk. Without visibility into what data leaves your network, you may be in breach of compliance standards.
  • Slow remediation. If you can’t find it, you can’t fix it. Issues with third-party APIs often require significant technical acumen and can be time consuming and costly to fix.
  • Missed SLA penalties. Your customers have high expectations of you, and problems with third-party APIs can snowball into problems with your product if they go undetected and unresolved.
  • Improper third-party API configurations. A poor configuration can trip up business and application functions.
  • Tedious API token assignment. Provisioning, rotating and monitoring API tokens isn’t just a pain, it’s a potential security risk.

 

Limitations of In-House Tooling and First Party Solutions

Deploying and maintaining tools in-house to take control of the egress traffic out to third-party APIs is challenging for platform teams, given the increasing complexity of cloud infrastructure and the sprawl of applications and technologies. Managing this traffic requires a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team performing extensive detective work, all while application failures continue to occur from outages and rate limits - and unseen liabilities cause major concerns for management.

Existing first party API management solutions are primarily focused on provisioning, managing, and securing internal APIs and ingress traffic. These solutions are not designed to monitor and secure egress traffic or to reduce the risk of an external API causing an outage for an internal application.

 

Improve Egress Visibility and Control with Qpoint

Enter Qpoint.

Our flexible toolkit enables a platform team to get unparalleled visibility into and control over the egress and third-party API traffic from their core applications.

Tap into Your Egress Traffic with Qtap

With Qtap, your team can get easy visibility into the egress traffic from your core applications and quickly get a handle on which applications are making external requests, what the payloads are, and what the destinations are. Qtap deploys as an eBPF agent on the host and supports:

  • Endpoint Discovery: Create a catalog of the sources and destinations for all egress traffic.
  • Monitoring & Alerting: Continuously monitor egress traffic and set up real-time alerts for anomalous behavior.
  • Audit Logging: Maintain detailed records for all outbound requests and responses.
  • Third-Party API Reliability: Rapidly detect anomalies or issues in third-party API traffic.
  • Rate Limit Detection: Proactively alert when third-party API usage nears capacity limits.
  • Enhanced Debugging: Enable developers to swiftly pinpoint and resolve egress-related production issues. 
     

Learn more about Qtap

Take Control of Your Egress Traffic with Qproxy

Qproxy enables a platform team to go one step further by taking control over their traffic with a zero trust approach to increase overall operational resilience and minimize the risk of sensitive data exfiltration from one of their core applications or third-party libraries. Qproxy deploys on the network as an Envoy-based egress controller and supports:

  • Egress Access Control: Restrict outbound access with identity-based security policies.
  • API Token Injection: Inject short-lived, highly scoped access tokens on-the-fly.
  • PII Scrubbing: Selectively filter out personally identifiable information from outbound traffic.

Learn more about Qproxy

 

Getting Started with Qpoint

Are you interested in reducing third-party API dependency risk by taking a holistic approach to egress traffic management?

Arrange a demo with our solutions engineering team or explore on your own how Qpoint's flagship products Qtap and Qproxy can enable your team to enhance observability, increase operational resilience, and lock down your egress traffic with a zero trust approach.