This post will discuss threat modelling, its advantages, and where to start with threat model creation. So, let’s proceed.
Software or application security plays a very significant part in the overall function of network security in the modern world. Undoubtedly, hackers are constantly developing innovative technologies and methods. They use these strategies daily to access sensitive data and engage in other illegal pursuits.
As a result, ensuring the security of apps and the crucial data they generate is of the utmost importance. Unluckily, their attitude to application security has proved disastrous for many individuals. For example, they might not have discovered several vulnerabilities, and applications have got targeted and destroyed. It is one of the reasons why network and application security is of such critical importance.
However, threat modelling is one approach that can help companies include application and network security in the design process. Threat modelling is a technique to optimize security by identifying objectives and vulnerabilities. After that, this information determines the motives and tactics an attacker would employ to exploit a vulnerability or endanger a system.
Using a security profile that sorts each application in order of importance, the primary objective is to establish where the hard yards should get directed to maintain the system’s protection.
Examining a system’s many different business and technical needs, determining the potential threats, and documenting how susceptible the system is due to these threats is threat modelling. For example, any incident in which a third party gains illegal access to sensitive information, applications, or a network belonging to an organization is a threat.
The purpose of threat modelling is to get a distinct image of the numerous assets owned by the company, the potential threats that may hit those assets, and how and when these potential threats may get eliminated. Solid security infrastructure is what you get at the end of threat modelling.
One example of threat modeling would be determining that your application’s encryption algorithm to hold user passwords has become obsolete.
Threat modelling may assist justify software security efforts when done appropriately. In addition, it helps organizations record application security threats and make sensible judgments about how to solve them. Without evidence, however, decision-makers may act rashly.
A well-documented threat model explains and defends an application’s or system’s security. Threat modelling is the most effective technique for a security-conscious development team to:
Before your company develops a threat model, it must conduct an inventory of its assets. Then it would help if you ranked them according to their significance for your operations and the risks they pose when exploited. For example, systems, databases, information, software, and physical hardware may all serve the purpose of assets.
After that, carry out, in descending order of importance, the five primary steps involved in developing a threat model. These steps are below:
Step 1: Choose and Define Security Objectives:
Having clear objectives allows you to understand the threat modelling activity better. It also helps determine how much attention you will pay to the upcoming phases.
Step 2: Create an Application Scope or Summary:
It will be helpful to identify significant threats in the fourth phase by first listing the application’s primary characteristics, inputs, outputs, and potential users.
Step 3: Break Down Your Application into Its Parts:
You can detect more relevant and specific threats with the aid of the particular details of the mechanics of your application.
Step 4: Identify Potential Threats:
Use the findings from steps 2 and 3 to identify threats relevant to your application’s design and use case.
Step 5: Identify Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities:
Please use vulnerability categories to identify the regions of a system that are most susceptible to having their flaws exploited.
Given the threat’s ever-changing nature, you should prioritize continually improving your threat model by doing steps two through five consistently.
Using a threat modelling framework may include proposed detection tactics and countermeasures. Therefore, let’s examine several threat modelling frameworks.
When doing a threat modelling exercise for web applications, the OWASP Top Ten list is an excellent place to start. It provides a rundown of the most typical flaws found in online applications. The high exposure serves as a jumping-off point for many hackers searching for vulnerabilities that they can attack. When these possible attack pathways are closed, prospective attackers lose access to some of the easier targets they were looking for.
MITRE ATT&CK is an initiative to improve cybersecurity by delivering a framework for threat modelling, defence creation, penetration testing, and other related cybersecurity activities. It divides the process of carrying out a cyberattack into fourteen steps. The company refers to these steps as “Tactics.” Each of these Tactics highlights a particular aim that an attacker may need to accomplish on their path to reaching their broader purpose. For example, it can include acquiring access to account credentials or increasing their privileges.
The STRIDE threat model focuses on the possible repercussions that might be caused by a variety of threats to a system, including the following:
It is feasible to find attack vectors for the system currently being tested if one first considers the potential consequences or goals of the test and then considers how to accomplish those impacts or plans. Depending on this information, it is feasible to conduct a risk and impact assessment of each potential threat and develop countermeasures to reduce the effects of each threat.
It’s not wrong to say that cyber-attacks have grown more widespread and regular due to the rising digitalization of the world. Hence, threat modelling is no longer an activity that you can consider optional.
It is about time that our application’s designs and development life cycles caught up with the security measures we have taken. Unfortunately, even systems that have been in use for a long time cannot avoid the process. But, in the end, an application that is both powerful and trustworthy provides stakeholders, investors, and customers with apparent reasons to feel at ease and have faith in the company.
Have you been enjoying yourself while reading this article? Then, get in touch with us if you want to learn more about developing a threat model for your applications or system.