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Why is threat modeling important?

In a broader sense threat modeling is a method that helps security professionals evaluate the risk and potential effects of security threats on software and systems. Although threat modeling is typically performed during the process of developing software but it could also be applied proactively to a variety of technology assets used by enterprises to keep track of the risk that is ongoing.

What are the reasons why threat modeling is important?

If it is integrated into the security culture of an organisation threat modeling can help security personnel ensure that essential security measures have been put in place, and capable of addressing the ever-changing threats that they face across their platforms. If there is no systematic examination of the systems and software that are not designed to be reviewed, threats that are new or unexpected could be left unprotected and vulnerable which could make organizations vulnerable to attacks on their data or cyber-attacks.

Threat modeling is also a way to help security experts assess their security when they are reviewing newly created or purchased software. It offers the ability to comprehend how new programs and tools are vulnerable and how they can be reduced and what negative consequences they might be if they are not addressed. This way, businesses can make educated decisions regarding the security of new tools and applications to their organization and prioritize solutions based on the anticipated magnitude and impact of the security risks.

What else could threat modeling assist your security team? What else can it offer to the security of the technology you own?

1. Threat modeling can decrease the attacks

In the context of security the term “attack surface” refers to the number of vulnerabilities organizations have exposed to the entire environment of their business.

The process of modeling threats — in the development of software or on a regular basis as element of forward-looking evaluation on a different scale can decrease the threat surface of an organization by:

Making an inventory of vulnerability being able to detect the, track and keep the list of vulnerabilities can help security professionals adopt the appropriate steps to minimize their impact or request the necessary resources needed to tackle these vulnerabilities. In time, the risks are tracked and monitored so that the progress made against them be assessed.

Reduced complexity: One of the strengths of threat analysis is its capacity to require teams to take apart a system piece of software, and take it in different angles to ensure it is understood from beginning to the very end. In this way, software designs can be analyzed as well as refined by preventing errors to be released in production environment.

Reduce risk exposure all risks can be completely eliminated; companies may decide to accept the risk and try to mitigate any negative consequences. Threat modeling can limit the risk of exposure which ultimately decreases the vulnerability of an entire system by making application of additional security tools or tools to protect vulnerable components.

2. Threat modeling can help prioritize threats in mitigation, budgeting and planning

Like any other business endeavor businesses have to prioritize their limited resources. The same applies to resolving cyber-related threats. Threat modeling can help organizations assess vulnerabilities and risks and ensure that those who require the most attention and resources are addressed to reduce their exposure to attack in an intentional approach.

Threat modeling also helps businesses evaluate the effectiveness of their purchases. When a team is considering whether it is worth adopting an entirely new tool or system the threat model can assist to assess the security risks that it could pose and help make an informed choice on whether or not the tool is worthy of being adopted. Additionally, threat modeling could assist organizations in prioritizing changes to software that are not compatible with the current version, to determine if it’s economical to reduce risk or accept the risks instead of the expense for replacing and upgrading.

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3. Threat modeling helps identify and eliminate the single failure point

Defense-in depth, a principle of security that encourages companies to employ an layered view of defense tools to safeguard their assets, can help lower the likelihood that hackers could exploit one point of failure within the system. In the real world, organizations incorporate various types of security including technical, administrative and physical in their methods of design and security procedures.

Threat modeling can assist in not only pinpoint areas that could have vulnerabilities the software itself or across a system but also provide proof that the controls currently implemented are sufficient to ensure the level of security leaders and security professionals want.

4. Threat modeling allows you to be aware of the complete cyberattack kill chain

A cyber-kill chain is which is a well-known model for cybersecurity developed by an incident response department at Lockheed Martin, outlines the steps that an outside attacker might take to break into and take advantage of the network. This kill chain breaks down various steps starting with reconnaissance, through actions on goals and the exfiltration of stolen data and details the steps and strategies to help an organization be prepared in advance to stop attackers at every step.

As discussed in our “What is threat modeling” article threat modeling can help organizations to take apart software and systems to evaluate and assess risks, and then identify and present mitigations for each. This way, threat modeling could help companies to traverse each step of the killing chain systematic way, taking advantage of this to discover ways to incorporate crucial defensive mechanisms like those described in MITRE’s ATT&CK threat modeling model.

Find: Identify activities of an adversary or their impacts
Deter: Refrain the adversary from carrying out additional activities by creating the fear or doubt that these actions will have the intended effect.
Deny: Avoid attacks in the event of an attack
Disrupt: render the activity of your adversary ineffective
Degrade: Reduce your effectiveness in an activity by an adversary
Deceive: Make your adversary to accept that there is false details about the defense system mission, groups, or the capabilities of defenders.

5. Threat modeling can enhance the security of your company.

The goal of any cybersecurity project is to enhance the security of your company What is it that is it that makes threat modeling different?

How do you measure your security practices?

As we’ve mentioned threat modelling is an effective way to record all the aspects of a software or system. It is essentially a way of recording the most important aspects of every asset that you care about in your organization and how you intend to protect them, what mitigations are available and the threats you are trying to shield it from. The inventory is then utilized to facilitate discussions between groups and to communicate any information to senior management.

Based upon the model you use the team will be able to access an exhaustive list of or a visual representation that shows the configurations and behaviors and functions. It can be used to analyze the threat intelligence information, as well as known vulnerabilities and the current security controls , both at the beginning and over time.

Be sure to monitor your security program

Based on this measurement of time, over time threat modeling can assist your company track its the progress made against security benchmarks, objectives and standards of compliance in the course of time. Along with other metrics related to security that can be tracked, having the ability to track the amount of vulnerabilities discovered and rectified can help educate senior management of the vital role security professionals play in the security of operations.

As time passes, and threat modeling becomes more of a regular aspect of your governance and development structures The number of possible threats that are identified could decrease regardless of the pace at which your company grows and grows more interconnected.
Security evaluations of the structure

In the end, threat modeling could assist in providing continuity and uniformity to your overall security plan. Alongside other security measures in the process using a threat model method can offer a well-organized uniform way for both systems and software to be assessed, making sure that the evaluations aren’t influenced depending on the people who are involved or the time when the evaluation is carried out.

As employees move around A consistent system in place can facilitate knowledge transfer and make sure that the priorities and essential components of a security program are clearly documented.

6. Threat modeling can help improve the security posture of your application

From the standpoint that of design and development, threat modelling provides a range of advantages at an individual application level. Particularly threat modeling could help to:

Improve operational visibility: Although most security tools are focused on securing and monitoring risks at the enterprise level threat modeling that is applied at an application level can give developers exact operational insight into what particular applications (and which parts of the applications) are most susceptible to cyber-attacks. Armed with this information developers can focus their efforts to developing solutions, while security professionals can ensure that the required security measures are put in place.

Improve quality assurance: When coupled with current tests and quality assurance procedures threat modeling could help developers gain greater insight regarding security risks that might arise when the software is in the process of design. Critical threat mitigations may be included in secure programming guidelines or prioritized for inclusion in development. Furthermore, threat modeling could be utilized to complement automated vulnerability testing and scanning tools, so security professionals need not worry about the risk of false positives or find zero-day vulnerabilities before attackers do.

Improve collaboration by mixing the experiences and perspectives of security experts, managers and possible end users and developers can help in enhancing the understanding of software that is being designed or evaluated, thereby increasing cooperation and transparency about what’s being introduced into the network before too much resources are used up. In time, this greater engagement could help in forming new professional connections , so that the work to come can be completed faster as well as increasing security awareness across the entire organization regardless of the role.