SecurityTrails Blog · Sep 14 · by Gianni Perez

The ROI of Security APIs: Investing in Protection and Peace of Mind

Reading time: 5 minutes

Finding and investing in suitable cybersecurity measures can make or break any modern organization, as the process is awash with enormous conceptual and practical challenges stemming from the interaction of individuals with diverse training and skills with the underlying technologies.

Furthermore, excessive investment in certain areas over others may be impractical and unsustainable, leading to unnecessary expenses.

But despite the potentially harmful implications, many organizations, both public and private, must inevitably deal with the ambiguities and tradeoffs associated with securing such a volatile space; in fact, sound cybersecurity investment models call for strategic approaches always under the assumption that return on investment (ROI) is difficult to achieve and measure.

This short read emphasizes the role of Security APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) as a cost-effective, low-maintenance solution with focal options extending well into the attack surface management domain. Join us as we explore their unique contribution to bottom-line ROI initiatives in the search for resilience against cyber threats.

Understanding the basics: What are Security APIs?

Security APIs are a style of API that provides programmatic access to security-related services and third-party threat intelligence applications. Some of our previous articles have consistently highlighted the main advantages of incorporating Security APIs into your daily workflows, including:

  • Exploring website reputation: Security APIs are useful when checking a website's reputation, as well as searching for spam, phishing, and even malware.

  • Exploring attack surface areas: Security APIs can identify potential attack vectors for a particular endpoint or application, usually in the form of coding vulnerabilities, open ports, and other misconfigured settings.

  • Monitoring brands: Security APIs allow businesses to monitor brands for online abuse. This area includes behaviors like trademark violations, copyright infringement, and defamation.

  • Supporting bug and data bounty programs: Security APIs can effortlessly support bug and data bounty programs, providing researchers with tools to find and report software vulnerabilities, publicly exposed databases, and similar cases, allowing the removal of any security gaps quickly and effectively.

The SecurityTrails API™ exemplifies the best of these criteria by providing a comprehensive dataset about domain services, DNS servers, DNS records, IP addresses, open ports, and SSL certificates, to name a few. Additionally, our API integrates with other cybersecurity tools, including Spiderfoot, Splunk, Phantom, AMASS, and, as well as technical references for languages like Node.js, Ruby, Javascript, and Python.

APIs have also revolutionized the threat-hunting landscape by providing enhanced visibility into diverse data sources, both internal and external. Today, security teams can leverage APIs to integrate threat intelligence feeds, vulnerability data, and security event logs from various platforms and tools. This unified approach enables a comprehensive threat landscape analysis, facilitating proactive detection and rapid response to emerging threats.

Measuring the ROI of Security APIs

Measuring Security APIs' ROI involves assessing their tangible and intangible benefits. But first, let’s briefly revisit the concept of ROI and see how it has evolved through decade's worth of experience dealing with different frameworks and maturity models.

In essence, ROI measures the financial performance of an investment or business activity. More specifically, ROIs dealing with cyber readiness seek to promote business value via a carefully planned decision-making process of understanding, evaluating, and quantifying cyber risks and their security control counterparts. ROI is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. It can help companies make informed decisions about where to invest their resources and track the success of those investments.

A well-constructed cybersecurity ROI model should flexibly adjust to the business's evolving digital infrastructure, otherwise known as its attack surface. For instance, it should consider or leave room for the potential of emerging threats without falling into the incident-driven cybersecurity trap. Lastly, a well-designed ROI model should offer user-friendliness, presenting information clearly and concisely while ensuring data remains easily accessible and interpretable.

Now, regarding the tangible benefits of investing in Security APIs, some strategic advantages exist. First, Security APIs have shown cost-reduction benefits by facilitating, streamlining, and automating threat detection. For instance, by using our SecurityTrails API™ to access and analyze data programmatically, security professionals can quickly search large datasets, correlate indicators of compromise (IOCs), and identify patterns that may indicate malicious activity by combining threat intelligence feeds, vulnerability data, and security event logs from various platforms and tools.

As hinted, this unified view enables a comprehensive analysis of the threat landscape, making detecting and responding proactively to emerging threats easier. In turn, organizations can experience substantial cost reductions in labor, incident response, and other savings by preventing potential breaches.

Second, Security APIs can streamline compliance efforts by automating reporting, monitoring, and audit trail creation, ultimately reducing the resources and time required to meet regulatory obligations.

Subsequently, such tangible benefits lead us to a handful of intangible ones. For example, organizations that invest in Security APIs gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. While difficult to measure precisely, this intangible benefit can increase market share and business opportunities.

Most importantly, knowing that an organization has implemented strong security measures and is continuously assessing its cyber preparedness can provide peace of mind to employees, customers, and partners. This intangible benefit promotes a positive work environment and strengthens relationships with stakeholders.

In closing

Amid perennial and steep budgetary constraints, determining the best ROI of any cybersecurity measure or product can be particularly challenging depending on an organization's specific needs, industry, and risk profile, but if you’re a stakeholder, don’t delay. Arguably, investing in Security APIs isn't just a financial one; it's a strategic choice that elevates an organization's overall cyber risk posture and offers excellent competitive advantage.

When cyber adversaries come knocking, having a robust security infrastructure that includes Security APIs pays dividends beyond the balance sheet. From operational efficiencies and threat-hunting opportunities to the aforementioned intangible benefits, they uniquely extend the risk management discipline beyond the basics.

Empower your risk reduction strategy by giving our SecurityTrails API™ a place in your organization today. Our API is easy to use and integrates with numerous security tools and platforms, so you can quickly and easily get the most out of it.

Gianni Perez Blog Author

Gianni is a technical writer at SecurityTrails and adjunct college cybersecurity instructor with over two decades of infosec experience. He knows firsthand the demands security professionals face, and draws upon his knowledge of IT systems - from administration and software dev, as well as automation, to provide valuable security insights that make a real difference.

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