Cisco AAFAA Wins CSO50 Safety Award


    Enterprise software program builders are more and more utilizing quite a lot of APIs of their day-to-day work. With this enhance in use, nevertheless, it’s turning into tougher for organizations to have a full understanding of these APIs. Are the APIs safe? Do they adhere to the group’s insurance policies and requirements?  It could be extremely useful to have a set of options that gives insights to those questions and extra. Luckily, Cisco has launched our An-API-For-An-API mission to handle these issues.


    An-API-For-An-API (AAFAA) is a mission that controls the end-to-end cycle for enterprise API providers and helps builders, from code creation to deployment right into a cloud, provisioning of API gateways, and stay monitoring of API use whereas the applying is in manufacturing.  Leveraging APIx Supervisor, an open-source mission from Cisco, it combines CI/CD pipelines the place API interfaces are examined to enterprise (safety) insurance policies, computerized deployment of purposes behind an API gateway in a cloud system, and dynamic evaluation of the API service by way of.

    Determine 1. supplies an outline of how the varied items of the AAFAA resolution match and work collectively. Let’s have a look at the items and what insights they every present the developer.

    AAFAA Suite
    Determine 1. AAFAA Suite

    APIx Supervisor

    The central piece of the AAFAA resolution suite is an open-source resolution, APIx Supervisor, which supplies API insights to builders within the day-to-day developer workflow. APIx Supervisor creates a browser-based view that may be shared with the DevSecOps group for a single supply of reality on the standard and consistency of the APIs – bridging a essential communication hole. All these options assist to handle the API life cycle to offer a greater understanding of adjustments to the APIs we use each day. These will be considered both by way of the browser or by way of an IDE Extension for VS Code. APIx Supervisor also can optionally combine with and leverage the facility of APIClarity, which brings Cloud Native visibility for APIs.

    By creating dashboards and reviews that combine with the CI/CD pipeline and produce insights into APIs, builders and operations groups can have a single view of APIs. This enables them to have a typical body of reference when discussing points reminiscent of safety, API completeness, REST guideline compliance, and even inclusive language.


    APIClarity provides one other stage of insights into the AAFAA resolution suite by offering a view into API visitors and Kubernetes clusters. By utilizing a Service Mesh framework, APIClarity provides the flexibility to match runtime specs of your API to the OpenAPI specification. For purposes that don’t but have an outlined specification, builders can evaluate an API specification towards the OpenAPI or firm specs or reconstruct the Spec if it’s not printed.

    Monitoring the utilization of Zombie or Shadow APIs in your purposes is one other essential safety step. By implementing APIClarity with APIx Supervisor, Zombie and Shadow API utilization is seen inside the IDE extension for VS Code. Seeing when APIs drift out of sync with OpenAPI specs or begin to use Zombie and Shadow at runtime, particularly in a Cloud Native software, is important for the development of the safety posture of your software.


    Including Panoptica to your AAFAA software package brings much more insights into your API utilization and safety posture. Panoptica supplies visibility into attainable threats, vulnerabilities, and coverage enforcement factors to your Cloud Native purposes. Panoptica is a vital resolution as nicely for being a bridge between growth and operations groups to carry safety into the CI/CD cycle earlier within the course of.

    Let’s take into consideration what this implies from a sensible, day-to-day standpoint.

    AAFAA in Follow

    As enterprise software builders, we’re tasked with constructing and deploying safe purposes. Many firms as we speak have outlined guidelines for purposes, particularly Cloud Native ones. These guidelines embrace issues like utilizing high quality parts, e.g., third-party APIs, and never deploy purposes with recognized vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can come within the type of all kinds of areas, from the cloud safety posture, software construct photographs, software configuration, the applying itself, or the best way APIs are carried out.

    There isn’t something new about this. How we obtain the aim of constructing and deploying safe purposes has modified dramatically up to now a number of years, with the potential of vulnerabilities ever growing. That is the place AAFAA comes into service.

    AAFAA makes use of three foremost parts in offering insights from the very starting all the best way till the top of an software growth lifecycle:

    • APIx Supervisor
    • CI/CD pipelines & computerized deployment of purposes, and
    • dynamic assessments of the API service by way of APIClarity.

    APIx Supervisor

    With its built-in integration into growth instruments, reminiscent of VS Code, APIx Supervisor is the beginning of the journey into AAFAA for the developer. It permits builders to achieve API safety and compliance insights when they’re wanted essentially the most. In the beginning of the event cycle. Bringing these matters to the eye of builders earlier within the growth lifecycle, shifting them left, makes them a precedence within the software design and coding course of. There are a lot of benefits to implementing a Shift-Left Safety design apply for the event group. It is usually an incredible profit for the Ops groups as they’ll now see, by way of APIx Supervisor’s Comparability performance, when points have been addressed and in the event that they have been a developer, Ops, or joint downside that wanted to be resolved or if there was one thing that also wants consideration. From the start of the software program growth cycle to the top, APIx Supervisor is a key element of AAFAA.

    CI/CD Pipeline & Computerized Deployment

    With the pace at which purposes are being produced and updates being rolled out as a part of the Agile growth cycle, CI/CD pipelines are how builders are used to working. Once we thought of our API options, we needed to carry insights into the workflow that builders already use and are snug with. Introducing one other app that builders should test wasn’t a practical possibility. By incorporating APIx Supervisor, for instance, into the CI/CD pipeline, we enable builders to achieve insights into API safety, completeness, customary compliance, and language inclusivity of their already established work stream.

    There continues to be super progress in Cloud Native purposes. Gartner estimates that by 2025, only a quick three years away, greater than 95% of recent digital workloads might be deployed on cloud platforms. That’s a powerful quantity. Nevertheless, as purposes transfer to the cloud and away from platforms which can be wholly managed by inside groups, we lose a little bit of perception and management over our purposes. Don’t get me fallacious, there are various nice issues about transferring to the cloud, however as builders and operation professionals, we have to be vigilant concerning the purposes and experiences we offer to our finish customers.

    Dynamic Assessments

    APIClarity is designed to offer observability into API visitors in Kubernetes clusters. As builders make the transfer to Cloud Native purposes and rely increasingly more on APIs and clusters, the visibility of our software’s safety posture turns into extra obscured. Instruments like APIClarity enhance that visibility by way of a Service Mesh framework which captures and analyzes API visitors to determine potential dangers.

    When mixed with APIx Supervisor, we carry the evaluation stage proper to the developer’s workflow and into the CI/CD pipeline and the IDE, presently by way of a VS Code extension. By offering these insights into platforms, builders are already utilizing, we’re serving to to shift safety to the left within the growth course of and supply visibility on to builders. Along with safety issues, APIx Supervisor supplies precious insights into different areas reminiscent of API completeness, adherence to API requirements, in addition to flagging firm inclusive language insurance policies.

    As a part of the An-API-For-An-API suite of instruments, APIx Supervisor and APIClarity present dynamic evaluation and Cloud Native API surroundings visibility, respectively.

    What Else?

    A number of groups right here at Cisco have labored side-by-side to create AAFAA. It’s been nice to see all of it come collectively as an answer that can assist builders and operations with visibility into the APIs they use. The AAFAA mission has additionally been acknowledged with a prestigious CSO50 Award for “safety tasks or initiatives that display excellent enterprise worth and thought management.” Please be part of me in congratulating the group for such a excessive honor for a job nicely completed.



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here