How to Secure Your REST APIs From Unauthorized Access

How to Secure Your REST APIs From Unauthorized Access


Authentication is the process of confirming the user’s identity. Authentication is a subset of authorization, which determines what resources a user can access. In this article, we’ll discuss how to secure your REST APIs from unauthorized access.

Authentication method

Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a client or server (usually called a peer) in a network protocol. It is used to detect unauthorized access attempts as well as fraudulence between peers who have previously been authenticated. In computer security, authentication refers to any process that verifies an identity or data integrity before granting access rights or allowing interaction between parties

JSON Web Tokens (JWT)

JSON Web Tokens (JWT) are an open standard for creating access tokens that assert some number of claims. They’re often used to transmit information between two parties that can be verified and trusted.

JWT consists of three parts: a header, the payload and a signature. The header contains information about how the token was created, who created it and when it expires (if applicable). The payload contains information about what’s being asserted about an end user or resource owner such as their name or email address etc., while the signature ensures that no one else can tamper with your JWT without knowing your private key!


OAuth2 is more secure than OAuth1.0a, because it uses JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) to exchange an authorization code for a token and secret pair. JWTs are digitally signed tokens that can be verified by the server without sending sensitive information back and forth over the network. This means there’s no need for SSL/TLS certificates or encryption keys between the client and server–all you need is your public key certificate (used to verify signatures).

OAuth2 is also more flexible than OAuth1.0a, because it allows multiple authorization flows (e.g., web browser or mobile app) with different permissions levels depending on how users want access your resources (e.g., read only vs write). In addition, each authorization flow has its own set of scopes which further limit what data can be accessed by clients based on their permissions level (e.g., read-only vs full access).


OAuth1.0a is an authorization framework that enables a third-party application to obtain limited access to an HTTP service, either on behalf of a resource owner by orchestrating an approval interaction between the resource owner and the HTTP service, or by allowing the third-party application to obtain access on its own behalf. OAuth1.0a is not only useful for web applications but also for desktop and mobile applications.

Application access tokens (shared secrets)

In this section, we’ll go over how to secure your REST APIs from unauthorized access. The first method is using a shared secret to authenticate the client application. This means that each client application must have its own unique key, which is stored in the client application and used to sign every request it sends to the server. The signature can then be validated by comparing it against an expected value stored on the server side.

The problem with this approach is that shared secrets are not very secure because they’re easy for attackers who gain access to one application’s secret key (by stealing cookies or man-in-the-middle attacks) to use against other applications as well (assuming those applications use similar signing algorithms).

REST API Authentication

Authentication is the process of confirming the identity of a user. In REST API authentication, you create an API key for each user who wants to access your REST API. The API key can be passed as a parameter in all requests made by that user or client application. REST API Authentication is an important part of securing your RESTful application.


REST API Authentication is an important aspect of building a secure application. It’s important to choose the right method for your application, as each method has its own pros and cons. If you’re looking for more information on this topic, check out our other blog posts on Authentication Methods and Authentication Strategies!

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