by CData Arc Marketing | June 17, 2020

How to Secure Your B2B API Connections


For decades, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has been the lingua franca for B2B exchanges spanning dozens of industries, from retail and supply chain to ecommerce and healthcare. But in recent years, many organizations have increasingly moved from complex, EDI-based systems to modern API-based systems — often adopting hybrid API-EDI solutions and processes.

One critical issue when making this change? Security.

While EDI-based systems require and incorporate robust enterprise-grade security, API-based systems don't natively include the same measures. Given the integral importance of B2B/EDI exchanges, it's key to maintain the authenticity and integrity of your data and APIs, protect access to your APIs & SOA endpoints, and negate potential attacks.

In this article, we cover the most crucial API security best practices you can implement to protect and maintain your data and integrations throughout disparate systems.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication, or MFA, is a common access management measure, ensuring only users with verified credentials can gain access. In addition to a primary authentication mechanism, such as a username and password, MFA involves additional authentication methods, such as a code from the user's smartphone, a fingerprint, security question answers, or even facial recognition.

Token-Based Authentication

Token-based credentials are a popular method for securing application and data access. In the token-based method, once the user gets access to an identity provider with their credentials, a token is delivered. Tokens are distributed to each client application, such that all applications can access the API individually, even if an application's token expires. A major advantage of tokens is that users can keep credentials private to avoid potential threats over the network.

Digital Certificates

Digital certificates are packets of information used to verify the sender's validity. They contain data identifying the sender's server as well as identifying information about the sender's business. Certificates are trusted because independent certificate-issuing authorities can verify their authenticity. These certificates are useful for ensuring secure communications between clients and servers over a network, a critical part of partner file transfer and API integrations.

Secure DMZ — Demilitarized Zone

A Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a physical or logical subnet that separates an internal local area network (LAN) from other untrusted networks, usually the Internet. It acts as a buffer between your LAN and the outside world, keeping web and email servers out of your network so you can transport files without compromising your firewall and putting your network at risk.

Data Encryption At-Rest & In-Motion

Encryption is the process of encoding data, or a message, such that only authorized parties or applications can access the data. It works by encoding data using an encryption algorithm that makes the data look like a random series of characters, instead of plain text. The data, or message, can only be read by a party or application that possesses a cipher, or key, used to decrypt the algorithm and make the data readable as plain text.

API-based EDI solutions use various methods of encryption to secure messages in transit. Popular data transport encryption options include:

  • TLS/SSL - Transport Layer Security
  • SSH - Secure Shell

CData Arc: Modern API-Based EDI

Organizations are increasingly moving toward modern, API-based EDI systems.

Adopting a modern EDI solution gives you a full set of capabilities to eliminate duplicate tools, save money, and implement better security. In addition, solutions offering API connectors make it easy for you to produce and consume APIs for business processing at the click of a button.

CData Arc gives you the best of both worlds with standardized EDI and API-based integrations.

Learn More