API Security in Smart Mobility Devices

API Security in Smart Mobility Devices

Smart mobility devices for rehabilitation and old age are becoming more prevalent as the world’s population continues to live longer. Engineers are creating smart mobile devices, often IoT-enabled, that can help people navigate the world in safer, faster ways.

Self-driving cars are a prime example of smart mobility that will allow many people unable to drive safely to have their own means of transport.

These devices can include multiple industries:

  • Automotive
  • Smart mobility

One question that comes up often when discussing cybersecurity in Miami is the API security risks that exist with these mobility devices.

API and the Growing Risk of Applications and Services

Applications and services in the smart mobility industry help fill industry gaps for users, but they often tie into a device’s API. In 2022 alone, there was a 380% increase in API attacks. APIs are used for multiple purposes:

  • Generate revenue for the device stakeholders
  • Create new services

Imagine a backend for a mobile trucking fleet that uses an API to gather data from all of the fleet’s trucks on the road. The trucks are managed through the same API, which often lacks cybersecurity prevention platforms running it.

In a hypothetical situation, a hacker can use an API flaw to cause traffic to come to a halt, mimicking a traffic jam that simply doesn’t exist.

Automotive and OEM designers lack the experience necessary to tackle the cyberattacks they face, so they put products on the market that have never been scrutinized by cybersecurity teams.

The result?

  • Rise in attacks
  • Transportation disruptions
  • Increase in cybersecurity spending 

Many challenges exist in the smart mobility sector, even with charging stations, which are also susceptible to many of these attacks. Hackers will use these API flaws for nefarious reasons, such as:

  • Disrupting industries to cause significant revenue loss
  • Fraudulent activities and to gain access to use data
  • Service disruptions that can impact businesses and end users

Cyberattacks in 2022 show just how an API attack can lead to chaos in the industry. Moscow experienced an attack on a ride-sharing platform that sent all taxis in the fleet to one location. The attackers were able to impede traffic for hours and even threaten the public’s ability to move around the city freely.

Managing API security requires diligence and a lot of precautionary measures to lower the risk of an attack being a success. A few of the opportunities available to help reduce attacks include:

  • Traffic monitoring and detection
  • Anomaly detection
  • Threat mitigation

Through monitoring and anomaly detection, it’s possible to better understand security risks and learn how the API’s flaws are being used. Then, security experts can patch these vulnerabilities.

Monitoring and permitting data streams are crucial to API security because it has the potential to identify network requests and block them if something seems amiss. For example, in Moscow, it may have been possible to monitor traffic and then determine that all ride-hail vehicles were being sent to the same location. Alerts could have then been sent to a verification team for approval.

As smart mobility devices continue to grow in popularity, more API security measures and guidelines must be put in place to stop massive disruptions in the industry.