It is crucial to prioritize security throughout the entire lifecycle of a product or application, from conception to release. Threat modeling is an essential step in this process.
In this article, we’ll review what threat modeling is and who can perform a threat model, and then we’ll dive into three benefits of threat modeling.
What is Threat Modeling?
Threat modeling is an effective approach to analyzing the design of a feature, application, or product to eliminate potential security flaws. The primary goal of threat modeling is to understand the risks before developing a system.
Read More: What is Threat Modeling?
By implementing threat modeling, organizations can save time and money by identifying and fixing security issues early in the development process, leading to a more secure and robust product.
The steps involved in the threat modeling process are as follows:
- Scope - Define the scope of the threat model, including the system or application to be modeled, its assets, data, and users.
- Draw - Identify and list all the assets within the scope of the model, including hardware, software, data, and other resources that attackers could target.
- Analyze - Assess the likelihood and potential impact of each threat.
- Mitigate - Implement controls to reduce the likelihood or impact of each threat, which may include technical controls such as firewalls or intrusion detection systems or non-technical controls such as security policies or training.
- Document - Document the process, outcome, methodology, and narrative for future reference.
Threat modeling should be the first step in the development process and involve everyone in the organization's SDLC. It is essential to note that we all perform threat modeling every day, whether we realize it or not.
For example, when you hear cars driving fast, you may instinctively grab your child's hand to prevent them from running into traffic. In this scenario, the speeding cars represent a threat; you have identified it and taken action to mitigate it.
Benefits of Threat Modeling
Let’s dive into three main benefits threat modeling can bring to your organization:
Ensures That Application Security Is Built into the Product as It’s Being Developed
It is crucial for organizations to prioritize security right from the conception of a new product or application all the way to its release. Threat modeling is an effective way to stay focused during the development process.
By identifying and understanding the potential threats to an application, developers can design and implement security measures that address those threats, minimizing the chances of vulnerabilities being introduced. Threat modeling also results in fewer security bugs that need to be fixed before and after the product's release.
Security Problems Are Found and Fixed Early in the Development Process
Threat modeling is a proactive approach to application security that helps identify and mitigate potential threats early in development. By understanding the possible threats to an application, developers can design and implement appropriate security controls that address those threats and help prevent vulnerabilities from being introduced.
The more problems that are fixed early, the less time is spent later fixing bugs or making changes that may have ripple effects across an entire application or product.
The Security Mindset Is Encouraged in Developers and Testers
Threat modeling is an essential practice that helps developers and testers adopt a security-focused mindset by proactively identifying and addressing potential security vulnerabilities. Through active participation in threat modeling exercises, developers and testers gain a deeper understanding of the security implications of their decisions and the potential risks associated with their work.
Read More: Three Ways to Empower Remote Threat Modeling
This is a significant benefit of threat modeling because it encourages developers and testers to think like security experts by considering security concerns early in the development process and identifying the challenges they need to address.
Enhance Your Security with Threat Modeling
Threat modeling is an essential step in the development process that ensures application security is built into the product from conception to release, and it encourages developers and testers to adopt a security-focused mindset by proactively identifying and addressing potential security vulnerabilities.
Security Journey offers Threat Modeling Lessons on our AppSec Education Platform; you can contact our team to get started today!