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Threat modeling is similar to giving your digital assets a security checkup. It aids in the identification of potential security threats so you may take action to safeguard your systems, applications, and data, just like you would go to the doctor for a routine checkup to stay healthy. It's not the most fun thing to do, but it's crucial for your health.
Threat modeling is a must for every organization that wishes to safeguard its digital assets in 2023 and beyond, given the growing reliance on technology. In the third quarter of 2022, approximately 108.9 billion accounts were compromised, a startling 70% increase from the previous quarters. One small vulnerability can allow threat actors to infiltrate a company's network or cloud, expose company and customer data, or even hold the organization at ransom.
Threat modeling is a process that involves analyzing your digital assets to identify potential security threats, determine the impact of these threats, and implement security measures to mitigate them.
Organizations increasingly rely on technology to store, analyze, and transfer sensitive information in today's digital environment. The Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and other cutting-edge technologies are being used more often, which has increased the attack surface for possible threats. Threat modeling enables businesses to take proactive measures to safeguard their assets by seeing prospective security threats.
The security of businesses and their assets is largely dependent on threat modeling. Threat modeling is often like Agile SDL, as I mentioned on Twitter. There is no single “best way” to do it, but businesses have to use a combination of techniques and permutations to get the desired results.
Organizations can use various threat modeling techniques to find and evaluate potential security risks. Here are the commonly used types of threat modeling:
Want to know more about each type of threat modeling? Read our blog threat modeling methodology.
Threat modeling has many perks for organizations that want to fortify their cybersecurity and keep their assets safe from data breaches and threat actors. Let's look at some of the biggest benefits of using threat modeling.
The number of vulnerabilities a business has exposed in the enterprise environment is known as the ‘attack surface’ in the security context. Threat modeling during the development phase or any stage of the SDLC can help bring down a business’ attack surface. Here is how it is done:
Businesses should prioritize their finite repository of resources, and cyber risks are a part of it. With threat modeling, organizations can quantify risks and vulnerabilities, ensuring those in need of resources and attention get the same to minimize the attack surface strategically.
Threat modeling helps organizations evaluate their purchase decisions. If your team is considering if it is wise to adopt a new tool or system, threat modeling can aid in quantifying all potential security risks it might pose. This helps your team make an informed decision about if the component is worth considering. It also helps prioritize the fixes to legacy software. If you are trying to determine whether it is cost-effective to continue mitigating or accepting risks against the cost of upgrading or replacing.
Defense-in-depth is a security principle that inspires businesses to leverage a layered view of multiple defense tools to shield all their assets. This helps reduce the possibility of a cyber attacker taking advantage of a single point of failure in the system. When it comes to the application, businesses can employ multiple types of controls, including technical, administrative, and physical, in the design methods and present security practices.
With threat modeling, you can identify vulnerabilities in a piece of software or the entire system. It also verifies if the ongoing controls are sufficient to offer the level of security that organizational leaders and security professionals demand.
The cybersecurity model created by the incident response team at the esteemed Lockheed Martin, ‘cyber kill chain,' outlines the potential steps an external attacker can take to enter and exploit a network. This kill chain breaks down individual steps from reconnaissance to potential actions on objectives and exfiltration of any or all stolen data. It goes on to break down all steps and tactics to allow an organization to stop them at any stage.
With threat modeling, organizations can systematically break down software and systems and monitor and test for potential risks. It becomes easier to point out and communicate mitigations for all of them. With this, organizations can walk through every stage of the kill chain methodologically.
In conclusion, threat modeling is a cybersecurity lifeline for enterprises. It aids in the identification and prioritization of potential threats to businesses' systems, applications, and data.
Organizations can rest easy knowing they have an early warning system in place thanks to threat modeling. Security teams can make well-informed choices about how to safeguard their data.
Furthermore, as technology develops, the demand for threat modeling will only increase. It will be even more critical for enterprises to stay ahead of potential security threats in 2023 and beyond. So, if you haven't already, it's time to jump on the threat modeling bandwagon and start reaping the benefits of threat modeling.
If you are looking for an expert to deploy the threat modeling process for your organization, then get in touch with we45. We help build an end-to-end security blueprint for your apps. Our open-source project, ThreatPlaybook, combines threat modeling as code and application security automation into a single framework. Organizations can run the security automation test cases by implementing our Robot Framework and process the threat models.