Vishnu Prasad
June 5, 2024

Threat Model Myths: Debunked!

70% of organizations have experienced a data breach due to unaddressed security vulnerabilities. Honestly, I am not surprised. The way these organizations put threat modeling on the back burner, makes me think that they don’t understand its importance, or maybe they believe the myths and misconceptions about the true value and application of threat modeling.


Today we're setting the records straight. It's time to debunk some of the most pervasive myths surrounding threat modeling. I’m gonna provide you with clear, factual insights to help you understand why you SHOULD practice threat modeling in your organization.

Table of Contents:

  1. Myth #1: Threat modeling is only for large corporations.
  2. Myth #2: Threat modeling is too complicated.
  3. Myth #3: Threat modeling is a one-time task.
  4. Myth #4: Threat modeling is only for security teams.
  5. Myth #5: Threat modeling always requires expensive consultants.
  6. Don't let these myths hold you back.

Myth #1: Threat modeling is only for large corporations.

“Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't face significant enough threats to invest in threat modeling.” Is this your way of thinking? 

In reality, threat modeling is important for organizations of all sizes. In fact, 57% of small and medium enterprises have already experienced a cybersecurity breach. Not only that, 31% said that they had been targeted by a breach. Here's the worst part: 29% don't have any cyber insurance.

Small and medium-sized businesses have been the target of cybercriminals because of their lack of protection. But if they adopt threat modeling, they'll have the capability to find potential vulnerabilities and plan effective countermeasures, regardless of company size.

Myth #2: Threat modeling is too complicated.

There's this common belief that threat modeling is very complex and difficult to implement. It's only effective if a professional with extensive experience will perform it. This has discouraged a lot of organizations from even attempting to incorporate threat modeling into their security practices.

But threat modeling can be straightforward and approachable. Here’s a simple step-by-step on how to do it:

  1. What assets need protection? These could be data, systems, and applications.
  2. What are the potential threats that could exploit vulnerabilities in your assets?
  3. What are the weaknesses that could be exploited by the identified threats?
  4. What are the potential impacts of these threats on your organization?
  5. Rank the risks based on their severity and likelihood.
  6. Develop and apply measures to mitigate the identified risks.

User-friendly tools and resources to simplify threat modeling

If you're just starting, there are several tools and resources that you can use to make threat modeling easier. Here are some of those:

Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool

  • It's user-friendly with its simple drag-and-drop interface.
  • It has built-in guidance and templates to help users identify and mitigate threats.
  • Automatically analyzes diagrams and then suggests mitigation strategies.

OWASP Threat Dragon

  • Free to use and supported by a community of developers.
  • Available as a web application or desktop application for various operating systems.
  • Helps users visualize potential threats and vulnerabilities through intuitive diagrams.


  • Automates the identification of threats and creation of threat models.
  • Integrates with other security tools and platforms for a comprehensive security approach.
  • Supports team collaboration with multiple users working on threat models simultaneously.


  • Comes with extensive libraries of threat patterns and mitigation strategies.
  • Users can customize threat models to fit specific project needs.
  • Provides detailed reports and analytics to help track and manage security risks.

CAIRIS (Computer Aided Integration of Requirements and Information Security)

  • Combines requirements engineering and threat modeling for comprehensive security.
  • Free and community-supported that makes it accessible to a wide range of users.
  • Risk assessment by integrating various security modeling techniques.

Myth #3: Threat modeling is a one-time task.

If you’ve performed threat modeling and never did it again, then you're still not doing it right. It's not a one-time activity, completed once at the beginning of a project and then forgotten. You're facing outdated models that will fail to address new and more sophisticated threats.

The truth is that threat modeling should be an ongoing process. Threats are always changing, and your assets and infrastructure as an organization should grow around these cyber threats. Continuous threat modeling will make sure that the security measures you implement are always effective against current threats.

Best practices for maintaining and updating threat models regularly

  1. Schedule regular reviews and update threat models quarterly, bi-annually, or in alignment with major project milestones.
  2. Integrate threat modeling into your agile or DevOps workflows, and review and update threat models with each new release or major update.
  3. Stay informed about emerging threats and vulnerabilities. Update your threat models to include these new threats as they arise.
  4. Regularly involve relevant stakeholders, including developers, security teams, and management, to make sure that threat models are comprehensive and up-to-date.
  5. Use tools that support automated updates and continuous integration to keep your threat models current without requiring extensive manual effort.
  6. Keep detailed records of changes to your threat models, including the reasons for updates and the new threats or mitigations identified.

Myth #4: Threat modeling is only for security teams.

Okay, let me just say this straight up: threat modeling is NOT solely the responsibility of the security team. If this is what you're thinking, then it's time to change it because you're overlooking valuable insights and contributions that other teams can provide.

Actually, effective threat modeling needs collaboration across various departments, including developers, operations, and even business units. Each team brings unique perspectives and expertise that can help identify and mitigate threats more comprehensively.

Myth #5: Threat modeling always requires expensive consultants.

It's not that you need to hire expensive consultants for effective threat modeling. It's a misconception that stops organizations, especially small and medium-sized businesses, from thinking that comprehensive threat modeling is not worth it. The high cost associated with consultancy services can discourage them from even trying to integrate threat modeling into their security practices.

But it’s not actually the case. Here are some cost-effective strategies for internal threat modeling. Yup, internal threat modeling.

  1. Invest in training. Provide your team with access to threat modeling training programs. Many online courses and certifications are available at a fraction of the cost of hiring consultants.
  2. Take advantage of open-source tools. There are free and open-source threat modeling tools like OWASP Threat Dragon and CAIRIS with robust features without the high costs associated with commercial software.
  3. Create a knowledge-sharing culture. Encourage your team to share knowledge and collaborate on threat modeling projects. Regular workshops and knowledge-sharing sessions can help build a strong internal skill set.
  4. Use frameworks and templates. Established threat modeling frameworks and templates can guide your process. These resources can streamline the threat modeling process and make it more accessible to those new to the practice.
  5. Continuous learning is a must. Keep up with the latest developments in threat modeling by attending webinars, reading industry publications, and participating in cybersecurity communities.

Don't let these myths hold you back.

Threat modeling is for everyone, and with the right approach, you can make it a core part of your security strategy without breaking the bank.

If you're looking for expert guidance and comprehensive threat modeling services, check out our Threat Modeling services designed to fit your specific needs. With a focus on practical and actionable security insights, our experts can help you build robust security strategies that protect your assets and data. 

Let's make your cybersecurity rock-solid!