Gordon  Taylor

Gordon Taylor

1621920600

Why I Think Parsing and Transforming API Response Data in The Front-end Is Necessary

So, you got an API and you want to use it in the frontend. How do you process the response data? Are we good to go with a JSON.parse after fetch?

I have seen many frontend projects just use whatever the API returns directly without further processing, and I would say that’s not ideal— in my opinion, parsing and transforming API response data is necessary, and I am going to explain why.

The Main Reason: Runtime Type Safety

Let’s start with a quote I  stole from somewhere else:

I used to be a backend developer. And one of the most important rules I learnt was “never trust inputs coming from frontend”. That’s fair enough as we all know malicious users can bypass client-side validation to send requests carrying malformed/dangerous payload, and the client-side code may also have issues leading to an incorrect request payload.

In turn, as a frontend developer, should we just simply trust whatever the backend feeds us via API? Absolutely not — we can receive potential unexpected API response data, and we should do our best to make our frontend resilient to that (unless we want to have more things to fix on-call).

#programming #typescript #javascript

What is GEEK

Buddha Community

Why I Think Parsing and Transforming API Response Data in The Front-end Is Necessary
Siphiwe  Nair

Siphiwe Nair

1620466520

Your Data Architecture: Simple Best Practices for Your Data Strategy

If you accumulate data on which you base your decision-making as an organization, you should probably think about your data architecture and possible best practices.

If you accumulate data on which you base your decision-making as an organization, you most probably need to think about your data architecture and consider possible best practices. Gaining a competitive edge, remaining customer-centric to the greatest extent possible, and streamlining processes to get on-the-button outcomes can all be traced back to an organization’s capacity to build a future-ready data architecture.

In what follows, we offer a short overview of the overarching capabilities of data architecture. These include user-centricity, elasticity, robustness, and the capacity to ensure the seamless flow of data at all times. Added to these are automation enablement, plus security and data governance considerations. These points from our checklist for what we perceive to be an anticipatory analytics ecosystem.

#big data #data science #big data analytics #data analysis #data architecture #data transformation #data platform #data strategy #cloud data platform #data acquisition

Aarna Davis

Aarna Davis

1625055931

Hire Front-end Developer | Dedicated Front-end Programmers In India

Hire top Indian front end developers for mobile-first, pixel perfect, SEO friendly and highly optimized front end development. We are a 16+ years experienced company offering frontend development services including HTML / CSS development, theme development & headless front end development utilising JS technologies such as Angular, React & Vue.

All our front-end developers are the in-house staff. We don’t let our work to freelancers or outsource to sub-contractors. Also, we have a stringent hiring mechanism to hire the top Indian frontend coders.

For more info visit: https://www.valuecoders.com/hire-developers/hire-front-end-developers

#front end developer #hire frontend developer #front end development company #front end app development #hire front-end programmers #front end application development

Front End Development Best Practices To Follow

This is image title
As someone from a non-tech background, you might not understand the complexities of front-end development. What we see on our mobile screens or PCs is a mere fragment of intricately woven code. But if you are looking forward to developing an application, you would have to dive in and know the scopes found in front-end development with the advent of new technologies, tools, and frameworks.

In this blog, we will help you understand the best practices of Front-end development and the burgeoning trends that would help you ensure the quality development of your digital products. Learn about the future of web development is here.

GUI Development Best Practices: UX And UI

Before you start the development work, it is essential to discuss the user experience and user interface of your product. The front-end of any software is the only thing that interacts with your users. Moreover, it is important that you make incredible contact with your users. It is not just about the smoothness; also about navigation; you have to make things as simple as possible for your users to interact with your product.

User Experience Vs. User Interface

Most people confuse user experience and user interface to be one and the same thing. But they cannot be more wrong. User experience and user interface work together; they are different components of your product’s front end? Here are a few things which they share and that differentiate them.

  1. User Experience
    Starting with UX, it is a term coined by Don Norman, and when he did that, he did not contextualize it to any kind of software product. It was used for multiple disciplines, including marketing, graphical & industrial design, interface, and engineering.
    This is image title
    In software development, it focuses on building user-centric processes that optimize the user interaction with the product. The best practices of delivering a great user experience include; researching customer behavior, understanding the context in which the audience takes action, and creating a systematic vision for the target audience to reach its goal.Use your newfound knowledge to develop an actual graphic design. It needs to be analytical and action-provoking. A good UX designer would always understand the way a user interacts with your product.

  2. User Interface
    User experience helps you define the user interface design. It would include the components that make up the entire experience of the product. Additionally, it includes toggle, background, fonts, animation, and other graphical elements.
    This is image title
    If the user experience is about how the user interacts with your products, the user interface is about giving them the channels to interact with your product. So, the best practices of creating a rewarding user interface are; following brand style guidelines, intuitive design, support for various screen sizes, and effective implementation.

Front-End Development Best Practices: Design To Development

Once you are done with the design part, it is time to dive into development. The process includes turning the graphical assets into a functioning product. There are various approaches that the software community uses, but the most rewarding one is object-driven design and development as it improves the user experience tenfold.

The object-driven approach allows you to design graphical assets that follow the same design and pattern. Also, it allows you to translate the components for faster delivery and a cohesive UX and UI experience across products and platforms.

The design to development process allows you to build interfaces that include layouts, colors, typography, spacing, and more. Front-end development teams are required to work according to the guidelines of the target platform, and they must focus on the UI and UX peculiarities of product development. It is likely that you may face some temporary technical challenges during development and implementation.

It is a trend to automate the front-end development of software with Zeplin or Avocode. The tools ensure access to the updated design, accurate specs and automatically generate the code snippet that allows faster delivery. Learn about the right process of web development here.

  1. Frontend CSS Frameworks
    Depending on the project specification, a software development company would suggest you the right toolsets. The most popular front-end CSS frameworks are Bootstrap, Foundation, Material Design; they are known for increasing the speed of development and come with ready-to-use components that make it easy to replace the manual code and comply with responsive web design standards.

Here is a list of popular front-end development technologies

  • React
  • Angular
  • Vue.JS
  • Knockout and Backbone

Continue Reading

#front end web development #how to learn front end development #how to master front end development #how to practice front end development #is front end development easy

Top 10 API Security Threats Every API Team Should Know

As more and more data is exposed via APIs either as API-first companies or for the explosion of single page apps/JAMStack, API security can no longer be an afterthought. The hard part about APIs is that it provides direct access to large amounts of data while bypassing browser precautions. Instead of worrying about SQL injection and XSS issues, you should be concerned about the bad actor who was able to paginate through all your customer records and their data.

Typical prevention mechanisms like Captchas and browser fingerprinting won’t work since APIs by design need to handle a very large number of API accesses even by a single customer. So where do you start? The first thing is to put yourself in the shoes of a hacker and then instrument your APIs to detect and block common attacks along with unknown unknowns for zero-day exploits. Some of these are on the OWASP Security API list, but not all.

Insecure pagination and resource limits

Most APIs provide access to resources that are lists of entities such as /users or /widgets. A client such as a browser would typically filter and paginate through this list to limit the number items returned to a client like so:

First Call: GET /items?skip=0&take=10 
Second Call: GET /items?skip=10&take=10

However, if that entity has any PII or other information, then a hacker could scrape that endpoint to get a dump of all entities in your database. This could be most dangerous if those entities accidently exposed PII or other sensitive information, but could also be dangerous in providing competitors or others with adoption and usage stats for your business or provide scammers with a way to get large email lists. See how Venmo data was scraped

A naive protection mechanism would be to check the take count and throw an error if greater than 100 or 1000. The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. For data APIs, legitimate customers may need to fetch and sync a large number of records such as via cron jobs. Artificially small pagination limits can force your API to be very chatty decreasing overall throughput. Max limits are to ensure memory and scalability requirements are met (and prevent certain DDoS attacks), not to guarantee security.
  2. This offers zero protection to a hacker that writes a simple script that sleeps a random delay between repeated accesses.
skip = 0
while True:    response = requests.post('https://api.acmeinc.com/widgets?take=10&skip=' + skip),                      headers={'Authorization': 'Bearer' + ' ' + sys.argv[1]})    print("Fetched 10 items")    sleep(randint(100,1000))    skip += 10

How to secure against pagination attacks

To secure against pagination attacks, you should track how many items of a single resource are accessed within a certain time period for each user or API key rather than just at the request level. By tracking API resource access at the user level, you can block a user or API key once they hit a threshold such as “touched 1,000,000 items in a one hour period”. This is dependent on your API use case and can even be dependent on their subscription with you. Like a Captcha, this can slow down the speed that a hacker can exploit your API, like a Captcha if they have to create a new user account manually to create a new API key.

Insecure API key generation

Most APIs are protected by some sort of API key or JWT (JSON Web Token). This provides a natural way to track and protect your API as API security tools can detect abnormal API behavior and block access to an API key automatically. However, hackers will want to outsmart these mechanisms by generating and using a large pool of API keys from a large number of users just like a web hacker would use a large pool of IP addresses to circumvent DDoS protection.

How to secure against API key pools

The easiest way to secure against these types of attacks is by requiring a human to sign up for your service and generate API keys. Bot traffic can be prevented with things like Captcha and 2-Factor Authentication. Unless there is a legitimate business case, new users who sign up for your service should not have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Instead, only trusted customers should have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Go one step further and ensure any anomaly detection for abnormal behavior is done at the user and account level, not just for each API key.

Accidental key exposure

APIs are used in a way that increases the probability credentials are leaked:

  1. APIs are expected to be accessed over indefinite time periods, which increases the probability that a hacker obtains a valid API key that’s not expired. You save that API key in a server environment variable and forget about it. This is a drastic contrast to a user logging into an interactive website where the session expires after a short duration.
  2. The consumer of an API has direct access to the credentials such as when debugging via Postman or CURL. It only takes a single developer to accidently copy/pastes the CURL command containing the API key into a public forum like in GitHub Issues or Stack Overflow.
  3. API keys are usually bearer tokens without requiring any other identifying information. APIs cannot leverage things like one-time use tokens or 2-factor authentication.

If a key is exposed due to user error, one may think you as the API provider has any blame. However, security is all about reducing surface area and risk. Treat your customer data as if it’s your own and help them by adding guards that prevent accidental key exposure.

How to prevent accidental key exposure

The easiest way to prevent key exposure is by leveraging two tokens rather than one. A refresh token is stored as an environment variable and can only be used to generate short lived access tokens. Unlike the refresh token, these short lived tokens can access the resources, but are time limited such as in hours or days.

The customer will store the refresh token with other API keys. Then your SDK will generate access tokens on SDK init or when the last access token expires. If a CURL command gets pasted into a GitHub issue, then a hacker would need to use it within hours reducing the attack vector (unless it was the actual refresh token which is low probability)

Exposure to DDoS attacks

APIs open up entirely new business models where customers can access your API platform programmatically. However, this can make DDoS protection tricky. Most DDoS protection is designed to absorb and reject a large number of requests from bad actors during DDoS attacks but still need to let the good ones through. This requires fingerprinting the HTTP requests to check against what looks like bot traffic. This is much harder for API products as all traffic looks like bot traffic and is not coming from a browser where things like cookies are present.

Stopping DDoS attacks

The magical part about APIs is almost every access requires an API Key. If a request doesn’t have an API key, you can automatically reject it which is lightweight on your servers (Ensure authentication is short circuited very early before later middleware like request JSON parsing). So then how do you handle authenticated requests? The easiest is to leverage rate limit counters for each API key such as to handle X requests per minute and reject those above the threshold with a 429 HTTP response. There are a variety of algorithms to do this such as leaky bucket and fixed window counters.

Incorrect server security

APIs are no different than web servers when it comes to good server hygiene. Data can be leaked due to misconfigured SSL certificate or allowing non-HTTPS traffic. For modern applications, there is very little reason to accept non-HTTPS requests, but a customer could mistakenly issue a non HTTP request from their application or CURL exposing the API key. APIs do not have the protection of a browser so things like HSTS or redirect to HTTPS offer no protection.

How to ensure proper SSL

Test your SSL implementation over at Qualys SSL Test or similar tool. You should also block all non-HTTP requests which can be done within your load balancer. You should also remove any HTTP headers scrub any error messages that leak implementation details. If your API is used only by your own apps or can only be accessed server-side, then review Authoritative guide to Cross-Origin Resource Sharing for REST APIs

Incorrect caching headers

APIs provide access to dynamic data that’s scoped to each API key. Any caching implementation should have the ability to scope to an API key to prevent cross-pollution. Even if you don’t cache anything in your infrastructure, you could expose your customers to security holes. If a customer with a proxy server was using multiple API keys such as one for development and one for production, then they could see cross-pollinated data.

#api management #api security #api best practices #api providers #security analytics #api management policies #api access tokens #api access #api security risks #api access keys

Autumn  Blick

Autumn Blick

1601381326

Public ASX100 APIs: The Essential List

We’ve conducted some initial research into the public APIs of the ASX100 because we regularly have conversations about what others are doing with their APIs and what best practices look like. Being able to point to good local examples and explain what is happening in Australia is a key part of this conversation.

Method

The method used for this initial research was to obtain a list of the ASX100 (as of 18 September 2020). Then work through each company looking at the following:

  1. Whether the company had a public API: this was found by googling “[company name] API” and “[company name] API developer” and “[company name] developer portal”. Sometimes the company’s website was navigated or searched.
  2. Some data points about the API were noted, such as the URL of the portal/documentation and the method they used to publish the API (portal, documentation, web page).
  3. Observations were recorded that piqued the interest of the researchers (you will find these below).
  4. Other notes were made to support future research.
  5. You will find a summary of the data in the infographic below.

Data

With regards to how the APIs are shared:

#api #api-development #api-analytics #apis #api-integration #api-testing #api-security #api-gateway