Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Google Announces Machine Learning Powered API Abuse Detection

Google Announces Machine Learning Powered API Abuse Detection

Google recently announced an API abuse detection dashboard powered by machine learning algorithms.

Machine learning-powered abuse-detection dashboards are available in Advanced API Security, a feature of Apigee API management that enables customers to quickly detect API security misconfigurations, bad bots, and malicious activities. In addition, the models behind the dashboard are trained to detect business logic attacks by Google’s internal teams to help protect their public-facing APIs.

Shelly Hershkovitz, a product manager at Google Cloud, explains in a blog post:

Business logic attacks are harder to detect using static security policies, which allows attackers to manipulate legitimate functionality to achieve a malicious goal without triggering any static security alerts.

The dashboard helps filter through alerts designed to detect less complex attacks, which often result in many non-critical alerts, or manage a multitude of bot attacks simultaneously, enabling security teams to address significant issues more efficiently.

Furthermore, the dashboard can surface critical events with "human-friendly" titles that attempt to capture the essential elements of the attack, such as the source of the attack, the APIs affected, and the duration of the attack allowing security teams to deal with the event faster. In addition, the dashboard also provides a way to drill down into the attack and ways to cross-reference with other similar attacks, along with recommendations on actions to remediate the event as quickly as possible.

Security teams can access abuse detection through the Apigee UI, the Security Incidents API, or the Security Stats API.


Google strengthened its API Management (ApiGee) service in response to the increase in cyberattacks and associated losses. According to IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report mentioned in the blog post by Hershkovitz, the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million.

Furthermore, Sarah Klein, a regulatory, privacy, and cybersecurity professional, wrote in a LinkedIn blog post:

While many companies limit identifying "data breaches" to incidents defined by various laws or regulatory pronouncements they are obligated to comply with, it is inadequate for a maturing data industry. In addition, as companies rely more on APIs to provide services or products to their customers or use them internally to automate data processes, security experts must proactively change the narrative and treat API abuse as a data breach.

Therefore, besides Google, other companies enhance security with a feature like API Abuse detection in their products. Cloudflare, for instance, has API Abuse detection capability, which can monitor an API for calls that are out of sequence, a likely indication that it’s being abused. Or Microsoft through Defender for APIs, which offers complete lifecycle protection, detection, and response coverage for APIs.

About the Author

Rate this Article