Threat modeling is a valuable approach to identifying and eliminating potential security flaws in the design of a feature, application, or product. The ultimate goal of threat modeling is to proactively manage risks before developing a system.
These AppSec exercises can help instill security into your company culture and serve as a great opportunity for your security champions to shine.
In this article, we’ll dive into how Security Champions can be your company’s most effective threat modeling advocates and facilitators.
Why Security Champions Make Effective Threat Modeling Facilitators
When your SDLC needs to develop a threat model for their website or application, you can hire an outside resource or allow an internal team member to lead the activity. While both have advantages and disadvantages, many organizations will succeed more with an internal Security Champion leading the way.
Security Champions are more than just security advocates; they are transformative agents, weaving security awareness into the very fabric of your development culture. Here are some reasons that Security Champions make effective threat modeling facilitators:
- Product Knowledge – Your Security Champions understand your systems and applications inside-out, and this intimate understanding allows them to identify potential threats with laser focus, pinpointing vulnerabilities before they become exploits.
- Built-In Trust - Security Champions are trusted team members, not outsiders imposing security mandates. This trust fosters open communication and collaboration, making threat modeling a natural extension of the development process, not a hurdle to be overcome.
- Continuous Awareness – Your Security Champions are embedded in the development lifecycle and constantly look for new threats and vulnerabilities.
- Budget - Leveraging internal Security Champions as facilitators allows you to scale your threat modeling efforts without investing in an outside consultant or organization that will need time to onboard and learn about your company before providing value.
Bridging The Gap as Threat Modeling Facilitators
Security Champions play a crucial role in the threat modeling process as they act as Threat Modeling Facilitators. Their primary responsibility is to guide the threat modeling process from start to finish, ensuring that all potential threats are effectively identified and assessed.
Security Champions are effective threat modeling facilitators because they can bridge the gap between teams within the SDLC. They work closely with the development team, helping them understand the importance of security in the software development life cycle. They also collaborate with other stakeholders, such as security analysts, to ensure that all necessary security measures have been implemented to mitigate identified threats.
Security Champions are integral to the success of threat modeling, ensuring that software applications are secure and free from vulnerabilities while fostering communication and collaboration among team members, including developers and non-security professionals.
Techniques to Engage Developers and Non-Security Professionals in Threat Modeling Activities
To engage developers and non-security professionals in threat modeling activities, it is essential to tailor the workshops based on the participant’s specific needs and expertise. By doing so, your group will be more active in the threat modeling sessions, and your security champions will further develop their leadership skills.
Here are a few ways you can keep your developers and non-developers engaged in threat modeling activities:
- Use relatable scenarios and examples can be used to illustrate real-world threats and vulnerabilities
- Encourage hands-on exercises and simulations can help enhance understanding and retention
- Utilizing visual aids and interactive tools can make threat modeling more engaging and effective
By adopting these techniques, participants can better understand the importance of threat modeling and become more invested in the process.
Champions for Change
Security Champions aren't just technical experts but catalysts for a profound cultural shift for your SDLC. By empowering them to spearhead threat modeling, you can embed security into the core of every development cycle.