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1.12 Ensure API Keys Are Not Created for a Project (Automated)


This rule has been changed to automated, see Automated Policies for CIS GCP 1.3.0 for details.

Profile Applicability

• Level 2


Keys are insecure because they can be publicly viewable, such as from within a browser, or accessible on a device where the key resides. Best practices recommend using standard authentication flow instead.


Security risks involved in using API-Keys appear below:

  • API keys are simple encrypted strings

  • API keys do not identify the user or the application making the API request

  • API keys are typically accessible to clients, making it easy to discover and steal an API key

To avoid the security risk in using API keys, it is recommended to use standard authentication flow instead.


Deleting an API key will break dependent applications (if any).


From Console:

  1. Go to APIs & Services\Credentials using

  2. In the section API Keys, no API key should be listed.


From Console:

  1. Go to APIs & Services\Credentials using

  2. In the section API Keys, to delete API Keys: Click the Delete Bin Icon in front of every API Key Name.


Additional Information

Google recommends using the standard authentication flow instead of using API keys. However, you may encounter cases where API keys are more appropriate. For example, if there is a mobile application that needs to use the Google Cloud Translation API, but does not otherwise need a backend server, API keys are the simplest way to authenticate to that API.

If a business requires the use of API keys, it is important to secure the API keys.