What Is Threat Modeling, And Why Is It Useful?

You can proactively use threat modeling to identify risks as part of the development process proactively. It can help you to evaluate trust boundaries and information flow, Determine security requirements Identify potential security issues early in the development process when they’re cheaper to fix.

What is threat modeling?

It is a technique to comprehend risks that may impact your IT environment, application, business process, or a complete company. This website aims to instruct and provide documentation on threat modeling, from methodology to tooling.

As you develop the application, you can use threat modeling to identify risks proactively. By running your organization’s security team through a threat modeling exercise as part of the development process, you can:

  • Evaluate trust boundaries and information flow between your applications and users
  • Determine security requirements for various aspects of your application
  • Identify potential security issues early in the development process

Evaluate trust boundaries and information flow

It is the process of identifying the threats, attacker, vulnerability, and assets) that you need to consider when designing your system. It’s best practice to start thinking about threat modeling as early as possible in a project lifecycle.

Understanding how data flows through your system to identify trust boundaries and information flow patterns is important. Trust boundaries are where you have no more confidence in the integrity of a resource or data. They can be physical or conceptual; for example, when users log into their bank account online, they cross a trust boundary. At this point, they cannot know if an attacker has intercepted their password or whether their session has been hijacked by malware on their computer.

The goal here is to identify what could go wrong and what controls can be put in place to mitigate these risks before they become real problems for your business processes.

Determine security requirements

A security requirement is a statement that defines how you want your system to be secure. A good example is: “The web application shall be highly available.” This could mean that if the system goes down, it should be restored within 15 minutes. Security requirements can also require that you build encryption between two systems to prevent data theft.

Security requirements are useful for many reasons:

  • They help you prioritize what needs to get done first or last.
  • They help determine if your system has what it takes to achieve compliance with standards.
  • They’re easy enough for anyone on the team to add or change over time. It means they’re never locked in place forever!

Identify potential security issues. 

Identifying security issues early in the development process is critical to ensuring that you can identify and fix them before they go out to customers and users. The earlier you identify a problem, the cheaper it will be to fix. However, fixing problems after they’ve been released is much more expensive than fixing them before release. Consider these common costs:

  • Product recalls and consumer complaints
  • Retraining employees who used the product or feature
  • Internal costs due to lost productivity while employees address customer service inquiries

Why is Threat Modeling Important?

Your company increasingly depends on IT to run, from acquiring clients to handling crucial business operations. However, the variety and sophistication of threats that could have a detrimental impact on your business and IT are growing. Additionally, the cloud is connecting and complicating your IT environment.

Understanding possible risks can be aided by threat modeling. It can be difficult to learn effective threat modeling techniques. But we’re here to support you. Threat modeling is a risk-based approach to security that helps you identify and mitigate the most important security issues. It’s also a process for determining what would happen if someone could gain unauthorized access to your data or system. 

It can help you prioritize your security investments by first identifying the most important risks. This makes it easier for you to focus on fixing those problems first while still addressing other vulnerabilities later in the process.

PASTA threat example

PASTA is an approach for comprehensive threat modeling. It has seven distinct stages that examine various characteristics of the application to be threat modeled, its history and place within a company, the application itself and potential threats, potential mitigations (or countermeasures, and more.

Final Words

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of threat modeling and its value. We also give you a PASTA threat example here. We’re excited to see the community grow and develop new approaches to threat modeling in the future, as well as how these tools continue to evolve alongside new technologies.

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