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Ask the Experts: Understanding the API Context Maturity Model – Level 3 – Purpose and Use Defined API Calls


Continuing with our journey up the API Context Maturity Model, we’ve arrived at Level 3 – Purpose and Use Defined API Calls. As our API usage expands, so does the complexity and potential security concerns. Now, we take our API security strategy a step further by focusing on the defined purpose and use of each API call.

As a reminder, we have distilled key comments from the hundreds of technology leaders we consulted to develop the Context Maturity Model, and we are sharing their thoughts anonymously to give you the most unfiltered view of the current state of APIs.

Defining the purpose and use of API calls may seem intuitive, but it is a level that many organizations struggle to reach. At Level 3, each API call is associated with a specific purpose and use. This ensures that the system only allows API calls that match the defined purpose and use, further reducing the risk of data leaks or misuse.

One IT leader at a global retailer conveyed how defining purpose and use made a difference. “Once we began associating specific uses with each API call, we gained a better understanding of our data flows. It also helped us spot abnormal behaviors much quicker.”

However, there are challenges as well. Defining the purpose and use for each API call requires a detailed understanding of the business operations and comprehensive mapping of data flows, which can be a complex process for larger organizations.

A CISO of a multinational healthcare company described their journey: “Mapping our data flows and aligning them with our API calls was quite a challenge. But the visibility it provided in terms of our data processing activities was worth it.”

As organizations start defining the purpose and use of their API calls, they take a significant step toward achieving more secure and manageable API ecosystems.

In the next post of this series, we will explore the final level of the API Context Maturity Model – Level 4, where organizations achieve compliance with open standards. Stay tuned to learn about the benefits and challenges that come with reaching the peak of API maturity. As always, we encourage you to reach out with any questions or comments on your journey to better API security.


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