infoTECH Feature

April 11, 2023

How API Gateways Can Reduce Third-Party Risk

What Is Third-Party Risk?

Third-party risk refers to the potential risks and vulnerabilities that arise when an organization works with external parties, such as vendors, suppliers, contractors, or partners. Third-party risk arises from the fact that these external parties have access to the organization's sensitive data, systems, or infrastructure, and their actions or negligence can compromise the security and confidentiality of that information.

Third-party risk management is a crucial part of any organization's risk management strategy. It involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks associated with the organization's external relationships. This can include assessing the third-party's cybersecurity practices, data protection policies, and regulatory compliance.

Examples of third-party risk include data breaches caused by a vendor's insecure systems, supply chain disruptions due to a supplier's financial instability, or legal and reputational risks associated with a partner's unethical business practices.

Why Is Third Party Risk Management Important?

Most organizations rely on third parties to provide services and support their operations. However, the risks associated with these third parties necessitates due diligence—this is the process of conducting a thorough and systematic investigation or examination of a person, organization, or asset before entering into a business relationship or transaction. Due diligence is typically done to verify information and to identify potential risks and liabilities that could impact the outcome of the transaction.

Third-party risk management is important because it helps organizations protect themselves from potential threats and vulnerabilities that arise from working with external parties such as vendors, suppliers, contractors, or partners.

Here are some key reasons why third-party risk management is important:

  • Protecting sensitive data: External parties often have access to sensitive data and systems, and a breach or leak can result in significant financial and reputational losses for the organization.
  • Compliance: Working with external parties often requires compliance with various regulations and standards. Failure to meet these requirements can result in penalties, fines, and legal liabilities.
  • Supply chain resilience: The performance and stability of external parties can impact an organization's ability to deliver products and services to its customers, which can result in lost revenue and damage to reputation.
  • Business continuity: Third-party risk management helps ensure that critical services and functions are not disrupted due to the actions or inactions of external parties.
  • Reputation: Negative publicity related to a third-party can damage an organization's reputation, leading to loss of customers and revenue.
  • Finances: Third-party risk can have significant financial implications for an organization, including potential losses due to data breaches, supply chain disruptions, and legal liabilities. It can also result in increased costs associated with compliance and risk management activities. Thus, investing in an effective risk management strategy is crucial for protecting businesses from financial losses.

What Is an API Gateway (News - Alert) and How Does It Work?

An API gateway is a server that acts as an intermediary between clients and backend services or microservices, routing requests and managing API traffic. An API gateway is designed to simplify and centralize API management, making it easier to manage authentication, rate limiting, security, and monitoring.

When a client makes a request to an API, it is first directed to the API gateway. The API gateway then evaluates the request, determines the appropriate backend service to handle it, and forwards it to the service. The API gateway can also perform various functions such as authentication and authorization of the client, request validation, data transformation, caching, and error handling.

How API Gateways Can Reduce Third-Party Risk

API Gateways are a key component in modern application architectures that use microservices and APIs to enable communication between different services and systems. API Gateways can help reduce third-party risk by providing improved security, visibility, control, and management of APIs.

One of the main ways API Gateways can reduce third-party risk is by improving API security. API Gateways provide advanced security features such as authentication, authorization, and rate limiting. By enforcing security policies and standards, API Gateways can reduce the risk of third-party breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive data. Additionally, API Gateways can provide enhanced security features such as SSL/TLS encryption and DDoS protection to help protect against attacks.

API Gateways can also provide visibility and control over API traffic. By monitoring API traffic and analyzing API usage patterns, organizations can gain better control over their APIs. This can help organizations identify and respond to potential security threats more quickly and effectively, reducing the risk of third-party breaches.

Reducing the attack surface is another way API Gateways can help reduce third-party risk. By consolidating and securing access to APIs, API Gateways can reduce the number of potential attack vectors, making it easier to manage and secure APIs. API Gateways can also provide features such as IP whitelisting and blacklisting to help prevent unauthorized access to APIs.

Centralized management is another way API Gateways can help reduce third-party risk. By providing centralized management of APIs, API Gateways make it easier to enforce security policies and standards across different APIs and third-party integrations. This can help reduce the risk of third-party breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive data. Additionally, API Gateways can provide features such as API versioning to help ensure that third-party integrations are using the correct version of the API, reducing the risk of compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities.


API gateways can play a critical role in reducing third-party risk for organizations that rely on external parties to provide services and functionality through APIs. By centralizing API management, API gateways can provide enhanced security, better visibility and control, and improved scalability and performance.

With features such as rate limiting, authentication and authorization, and data transformation, API gateways enable organizations to mitigate potential risks associated with third-party APIs and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Additionally, API gateways can provide valuable analytics and monitoring capabilities that can help organizations identify and respond to potential security issues and other risks. As organizations continue to rely on APIs to drive innovation and enhance business operations, API gateways will become increasingly important for managing third-party risk and ensuring the security and reliability of API-driven services.

Author Bio: Gilad David Maayan

Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP (News - Alert), Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.

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