What is Threat Modeling

What is Threat Modeling

What is threat modeling: Threat modeling is the activity of identifying threats, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities that may negatively impact the security of an application, system, IT landscape, or business process. After the identification of threats, security requirements and countermeasures are developed to improve security as early as possible.

It’s important to understand that threat modeling is a broad definition. Many security practitioners perform threat modeling in many different ways, use many different threat modeling methodologies, and use many different tools. Put another way, there is no ‘one-way’ or absolute agreed-upon method to perform threat modeling.

I may perform threat modeling using ‘my method’ or a method from a book or a resource on the web. The next security professional may perform threat modeling in a completely different way.

Interestingly, not only do security professionals perform threat modeling in different ways, but the results of threat modeling also vary.

Even though there are differences in how to perform threat modeling, the overall result is similar in that threat modeling improves security by 1) increasing security awareness, 2) identifying and documenting potential threats and 3) identifying and documenting security requirements and countermeasures to mitigate threats.

The Background to Threat Modeling and Why It’s Needed

The world is increasingly digitizing and becoming more inter-connected thanks to the internet and advances in IT. Businesses must use the internet and IT to adapt and survive and provide better service to customers. As a result, business is more dependent on IT as well.

And when I say ‘IT’, and business being dependent on IT, I mean:

  • A business is dependent on an app or web application as its main interaction point with customers.
  • A business is dependent on an IT network for connectivity with its various IT resources.
  • A business is dependent on cloud resources to process customer billing.
  • A business is dependent on AI applications to make the best recommendations to its customers.
  • A business is dependent on the availability of data to run operations and meet the demands of customers.
  • And so on!

We’re reliant on IT (in all its shapes and forms), which means any security threats to IT are a (major) risk to the business.

We already have lots of ways to secure our IT in the form of people (like security professionals, risk professionals, security engineers, etc.), processes (like security program management, patch management, hardening, secure coding, penetration testing, red-teaming, etc.) and technology (like firewalls, endpoint protection, anti-virus software, etc.).

And yet, our applications, systems and business processes are still not secure enough.

Threat modeling allows for improved insight into the potential threats that our IT applications, systems and business processes face. The improved insight leads to better security requirements and countermeasures. Not only that, but this all occurs (or should occur) as our IT is designed rather than after it’s deployed (which is too late).

Threat modeling also works well with other security processes such as penetration testing, development of security controls, security monitoring and more.

Threat Modeling Considerations and Best Practices

There are numerous considerations and best practices to take into account when setting up or performing threat modeling:

  • Start early: threat modeling can be done at any point during the lifecycle of an application, system, or business process, but the sooner threat modeling is performed the better. The ideal starting point is during the design phase when security requirements can still be included before go-live and the introduction of potential issues and risks.
  • Include a wide variety of stakeholders with diverse backgrounds in the threat modeling sessions: threat modeling should be performed by a wide variety of stakeholders instead of just a specific group (i.e., only technical stakeholders). This provides the best insight to properly assess potential threats, risks, and countermeasures.
  • Use the right tooling: there are many threat modeling tools available (and many note-taking and whiteboarding tools). The threat modeling tools take different approaches and different underlying methodologies. The tools used must align with the goals of your threat modeling sessions.
  • Understand risk appetite and risk tolerance: business owners, in particular, must properly understand and express their risk appetite and risk-tolerance levels so the threats, risks, and countermeasures can be prioritized and assessed effectively.
  • Share the results widely for awareness purposes: the results of threat modeling should be shared widely within involved teams and the wider business for awareness purposes (while keeping the confidentiality of threat models into consideration).

Key Steps of the Threat Modeling Process

i. Determine your goals by asking, “What do we want to accomplish?”

Before you get started with the tools and methodologies for threat modeling, you need to have a clear idea of what it is you hope to accomplish with this particular activity. Goals are typically established with the following requirements for the application in mind:

  • Maintaining data’s privacy in order to prevent being disclosed without authorization
  • Integrity, with the goal of preventing unauthorized alterations to the information
  • Capability of continuing to provide essential services despite the fact that the system is being attacked.

ii. Visualize (what exactly are we going to build?) 

At this point in the process, you will be documenting the various components that go into making up your system. A comprehensive summary of your application that is well documented will go a long way toward making the process less complicated. Noting down use cases, data flows, data schemas, and deployment diagrams are all included in this step.

There are two distinct categories of visualizations that can be constructed.

  • The Data Flow Diagram illustrates how the data are intended to move as they are being processed by your system. It depicts the operational level and makes it very evident where data enters and exits each component, as well as where data stores, processes, interactions, and trust boundaries are located.
  • The process flow diagram illustrates how users engage with one another and progress through the different use cases. It is at the level of the application. PFDs concentrate on how users and third parties interact with your system, in contrast to DFDs, which are more concerned with the internal workings of your system. You have the option of using either one or both of them.

It is time to move on to the next step, which is doing a threat assessment, now that you have determined which actors and assets within your application are the most vital.

iii. Recognize potential threats (What are the odds that something would go wrong?)

During the phase before this one, you constructed the diagrams so that you could have a better understanding of your system. You are going to be entrusted with conducting an analysis of these diagrams at this stage of the process so that you can gain an understanding of the actual risks. At this stage, you need to determine the many various ways in which your assets can be taken, as well as who the possible thieves are. In addition, you need to determine who the probable thieves are. This objective can be attained through a variety of different means. In the following part of this article, we are going to talk about the six different approaches that are taken into consideration to be the most important when it comes to modeling for threat assessment.

iv. Take steps to reduce the impact (What are we going to do about it?)

After you have finished identifying risks, you will have a master list or library of threats connected to each asset and the actions it performs, as well as a list of prospective attacker profiles. You must now determine which of these dangers your application is susceptible to in order to move forward. Let’s take a look again at the sample we looked at in the first part of this post. You will notice that the threat was a “password breach employing brute force,” whereas the system vulnerability was “using MD5 methods to store passwords.” After the vulnerabilities have been mapped out, you will need to do an analysis of the risks that are connected to each of the vulnerabilities. In light of the findings of this risk assessment, you have the following options for mitigating the vulnerabilities:

  • Nothing should be done (too low risk or too difficult to make the associated threat)
  • Take away the function that is connected to it.
  • You can either deactivate the feature or reduce its functionality.
  • Introduce the necessary changes to the code, the infrastructure, or the design.

V. Validate (Did we do a good job?)

When you are validating, you will check to see if all of the vulnerabilities have been fixed. Have all of the potential dangers been eliminated? Are the documents pertaining to the residual risks easy to understand? After this has been completed, you will need to determine the subsequent activities that will be taken to manage the risks that have been detected, as well as the timing of the subsequent iteration of threat modeling. It is important to keep in mind that threat modeling is not a once-off task. It is necessary to perform it on a regular basis, either at predetermined intervals or at key points in the development of the application.

The Benefits of Performing Threat Modeling

When done correctly, threat modeling can provide a clear line of sight across an entire software project, which can help to justify the resources that are put into ensuring security. Through the use of the threat modeling approach, a company can better document the known risks to an application’s security and arrive at more informed conclusions regarding how to mitigate those risks. In that case, those in charge of making decisions might hastily act on insufficient or no supporting evidence at all.

In general, a threat model that is well-documented gives assurances that are helpful in explaining and defending the security posture of an application or computer system. These assurances can be found in the model. And when the development company is serious about security, the most effective way to perform the following is to use threat modeling:

  • It is useful in finding any issues very early on in the software development life cycle (SDLC), even before any coding has been done.
  • Identify design problems that may have been missed by typical testing methods and code reviews.
  • Evaluate new kinds of assaults that you probably wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
  • Help maximize funds for testing by providing assistance with targeted testing and code review.
  • Determine the necessary levels of security.
  • Remediate issues before the software is released in order to avoid expensive recoding after it has been deployed.
  • Think about potential dangers that go beyond the typical attacks and include the security risks that are specific to your application.
  • Protect your apps from both internal and external threats using frameworks that stay one step ahead of the bad guys.
  • Draw attention to the assets, threat agents, and controls in order to determine the components that attackers will target.
  • In order to locate possible attackers, model the location of threat agents as well as their motivations, skills, and capabilities in respect to the architecture of the system.

Threat Modeling Misconceptions

There are a few common misunderstandings regarding the security procedure known as threat modeling. Some people believe that threat modeling is only an activity that occurs during the design stage, others consider it to be an optional exercise that can be replaced with penetration testing or code review, while yet others believe that the process is simply too hard. The following should assist in putting some of these misunderstandings to rest:

Testing for vulnerabilities and reviewing source code are not adequate replacements for threat modeling. Penetration testing and secure code review are two practices that might be useful in locating flaws in computer programs. On the other hand, security evaluations (such as threat modeling) are significantly better at locating weaknesses in the design.

After deployment, there is a need to carry out a threat model for a number of reasons. The future plan for the security architecture can be influenced by understanding the challenges with the existing deployment, and monitoring flaws make it possible for faster and more effective correction. You won’t be able to guarantee that you’ve addressed all of an application’s hazards unless you have a better grasp of the various dangers it confronts.Misconceptions about threat modeling

There are a few common misunderstandings regarding the security procedure known as threat modeling. Some people believe that threat modeling is only an activity that occurs during the design stage, others consider it to be an optional exercise that can be replaced with penetration testing or code review, while yet others believe that the process is simply too hard. The following should assist in putting some of these misunderstandings to rest:

Testing for vulnerabilities and reviewing source code are not adequate replacements for threat modeling. Penetration testing and secure code review are two practices that might be useful in locating flaws in computer programs. On the other hand, security evaluations (such as threat modeling) are significantly better at locating weaknesses in the design.

After deployment, there is a need to carry out a threat model for a number of reasons. The future plan for the security architecture can be influenced by understanding the challenges with the existing deployment, and monitoring flaws make it possible for faster and more effective correction. You won’t be able to guarantee that you’ve addressed all of an application’s hazards unless you have a better grasp of the various dangers it confronts.

What Can Be Threat Modeled

Businesses, applications, and web applications can all be threat modeled. IT infrastructure and business processes can also be threat modeled. By understanding what assets are at risk, businesses can create a plan to protect themselves from potential threats. Threat modeling will identify weaknesses in the business’s security controls and provide strategies for mitigating these weaknesses. 

If there is a change in the IT landscape or business process, this can lead to an increase in risk exposure. Threat modeling provides insights into how such changes may affect security needs, as well as the likelihood of successful attacks on those needs. Therefore, business leaders should always review their company’s IT landscape and business processes to understand the impact on overall security. Once they have done so, they can go through each application, business process, and piece of IT infrastructure to evaluate the risks associated with it. Next, they should determine how best to mitigate those risks by identifying any vulnerabilities that exist. They can then devise methods to either remove or reduce these vulnerabilities. For example, if business leaders notice that many employees use public Wi-Fi networks without securing them, they might implement an application that automatically logs them out when a new network is detected. The goal of threat modeling is not just to find flaws but to fix them before attackers exploit them. Once the business has identified the vulnerabilities, they can brainstorm ways to mitigate them. The business should decide which vulnerability to address first based on cost, technical complexity, and severity of consequences. It is important to remember that all software products have bugs, including security applications. As software is developed and deployed, organizations must ensure they continue testing it thoroughly throughout its life cycle–especially during patches or updates–to ensure it continues working properly. In fact, some companies hire experts to periodically test their applications and make sure everything is still secure.

Here is the breakdown of modeling threats in Businesses, Applications and IT Infrastructures:

When to Perform Threat Modeling?

It should occur as soon as possible in the design process. Threat modeling should begin as soon as practicable after a thorough comprehension of the system has been attained. When you make modifications to the system, you should also do threat modeling. This is because the changes could result in the introduction of new threats. When you are troubleshooting security concerns, threat modeling can also be helpful since it can help you identify potential attack vectors that could be used against your system.

It’s possible that completing threat modeling during design only once will be sufficient if you don’t intend to make any changes to your system or introduce any new goods. However, continual and ongoing model upgrades will likely yield more benefits because they will enable you to handle new and developing problems as they appear. This will allow you to better protect yourself from potential dangers in the future. After all, attackers don’t sleep! It’s possible that they could hack into your network at any time, even the day before you had intended to update your model. As a result of this, as soon as you become aware of a new danger, you should immediately add it to the list of risks you have compiled and begin considering how this risk might impact your system. Don’t forget to document each stage of the process as you go along so that others in your organization are aware of what needs to be done to ensure that their job does not interfere with yours. Documentation should be done in a continuous manner. Because everyone on the team understands the end goal from the point of view of information security, continuous knowledge exchange makes it possible for the team to generate better designs and products through collaborative effort. Lastly, if you are intending on releasing a new product or service, performing threat modeling can assist you in ensuring that your system is secure. This can help you avoid any potential problems.

Threat Modeling Methods

There are multiple steps that are common to all threat modeling methods; however, the actual process of threat assessment is handled in a variety of ways. Currently, a number of different approaches are accessible. This section discusses the ten that receive the most inquiries.

STRIDE

This approach, which was made developed and made popular by Microsoft, provides a list of potential problems as a solution to the question “what might possibly go wrong?” It works best for businesses that place a strong emphasis on development and are just getting started with threat modeling. It is designed with the developer in mind. The abbreviation STRIDE refers to the following activities: spoofing identity; tampering with data; repudiation; information disclosure; denial of service; and elevating privileges. Every single one of them constitutes a flagrant breach of the system. For instance, impersonating another person is a breach of the principle of authenticity, whereas manipulating data is a breach of the principle of system integrity. Participants in the process of threat modeling attempt to devise abuse scenarios that are classified as falling under each threat. This method is the most mature and easy to use; it also provides for appropriate documentation; it is ideal for new threat modelers; nevertheless, it is also time-consuming and can lead to redundancy. Despite these benefits, it is ideal for new threat modelers.

TRIKE

Trike is a strategy that is well-known for the distinctive threat assessment paradigm that it employs. For businesses who are searching for a compliance-focused technique to fulfill security audits, this solution is the best option. In order to conduct a threat assessment using Trike, the following procedures are involved:

  • Create a requirement model. The stakeholders have assigned a risk score to each asset, and this value is used in this model.
  • Make an actor-asset-action matrix for your analysis.
  • Assign a status of allowed, disallowed, or allowed with rules to each actor in the system, indicating how each of the CRUD activities should be handled for that actor.
  • Each component of the data flow diagram that was generated during the “visualize” step has been mapped to the corresponding group of actors and assets in the matrix.
  • Create a list of potential dangers by going through each component in turn and determining whether or not it constitutes an elevation of privilege or a denial of service.
  • Now, using the requirement model and the threat matrix you just created, assign a risk weightage to each asset. In this approach, you are able to gain an understanding of the risk that is posed by each asset, action, and function.

The nature of Trike prevents it from being scaled, despite the fact that it offers built-in risk management.

VAST (Visual, Agile, and Simple Threat)

The VAST methodology was conceived and first used by the company ThreatModeler, which offers an automated platform for threat modeling. The key advantage of employing this strategy is the fact that it may be automated, integrated, and utilized in conjunction with other ways. Large organizations that require threat modeling to perform across several teams and products are great candidates for this solution. This solution is designed specifically for large corporations. This strategy entails the creation of two distinct threat models, one for the development team and one for the infrastructure team respectively:

Application Threat Model: The application threat model conducts an analysis of the software program from the perspective of the architectural framework. It conducts an investigation into the possible threats that may materialize as a result of the interaction that the system has with its users and with other systems that are linked to it. During the design process, this is carried Out Successfully.

Operational Threat Model: Investigating the application from the point of view of the underlying infrastructure is what the operational threat model does. Putting security controls in place can be of great assistance during the phase of mitigating the risk. The DevOps team (which may include both software engineers and IT operations professionals, work together in close coordination throughout the entirety of the product’s lifecycle) is typically the one who is responsible for working on this issue.

Because it is built on two distinct models that operate independently of one another, VAST can be used in conjunction with the workflow that is already in place. Because of this, it is appropriate for agile development. It is possible to include it into agile development, it has a low entry barrier for automation, and it is scalable. On the other hand, there is not nearly enough documentation available because this platform is currently in its relatively early stages of development.

OCTAVE

The Operationally Critical Threat, Asset, and Vulnerability Evaluation (OCTAVE) methodology is a risk-based strategic assessment and planning tool. It evaluates critically important threats, assets, and vulnerabilities. OCTAVE is exclusively concerned with evaluating organizational risks; it does not take technological hazards into consideration. OCTAVE consists of three distinct phases:

  • Developing threat profiles based on assets owned. (Organizational evaluation)
  • Identifying potential weaknesses in the infrastructure. (An assessment of the information infrastructure)
  • conceiving of and making preparations for a security strategy. (An analysis of potential threats to the essential resources of the company and its decision-making processes.)

DREAD

Microsoft considered using it for threat modeling at one point but ultimately decided against it in 2008 because of uneven ratings. DREAD is now being utilized by OpenStack, in addition to a great number of other organizations. In its most basic form, it is a method for ranking and evaluating the following five kinds of security risks:

  • Damage Potential: is a ranking of the amount of damage that can be caused by a vulnerability being exploited.
  • Reproducibility: The degree to which an attack may be replicated easily.
  • Exploitability: gives a numeric value to the amount of work that would be required to carry out the attack.
  • Affected Users: A metric that represents the number of users who are affected if an exploit is made.
  • Discoverability: is a measurement that determines how simple it is to find out about a hazard.

PASTA

PASTA is an abbreviation for “Process for Attack Simulation and Threat Analysis,” which refers to a process with seven steps that are centered on threat. It provides a method for dynamically identifying threats, enumerating such threats, and assigning scores to them. Developers can construct an asset-centric mitigation approach once specialists have created a complete study of detected threats. This is accomplished by analyzing the application through the lens of an attacker-centric view.

The Attacking Tree

The tree is a conceptual picture that illustrates how an asset or target could be attacked. It is composed of a root node, leaves, and offspring nodes that are inserted in at various points. The requirements that must be satisfied in order to make the direct parent node true are referred to as child nodes. Only the nodes that are the immediate children of a given node can satisfy it. In addition to that, it provides the alternatives “AND” and “OR,” which denote different ways that these objectives can be accomplished.

Common Vulnerabilities Scoring System (CVSS)

This approach provides a means of capturing a vulnerability’s primary characteristics and assigning a numerical score to represent the severity of the vulnerability. The score can range from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst possible score. After that, the score is converted into some kind of qualitative representation (e.g., Low, Medium, High, and Critical). This depiction provides businesses with the opportunity to accurately assess and prioritize the many vulnerability management processes that are unique to their organization.

T-MAP

When calculating attack route weights, T-MAP is a technique that is frequently utilized in Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) systems. The model makes use of UML class diagrams, which depict access class, vulnerability, target assets, and affected value, among other things.

Quantitatively threat Modeling Method

The attack trees, STRIDE, and CVSS approaches have been combined into this one hybrid approach. It addresses a number of urgent concerns about threat modeling for cyber-physical systems, which incorporate components with complex interdependencies. The first thing that has to be done is to construct attack trees for the STRIDE categories using the component attacks. These trees show how the attack categories and low-level component qualities are dependent on one another. The CVSS method is then utilized, and the scores for each of the tree’s constituents are subsequently determined.

The fact that security threats may be evaluated using a variety of methods is encouraging, given that the threats do exist and will continue to do so as long as hackers continue to find new ways to carry out their illicit operations.

Threat Modeling Tools

The term “threat modeling tool” refers to any piece of software that gives you the ability to proactively recognize and eliminate any threats to the data, program, or device that you are using. A reliable threat modeling tool will provide recommendations for mitigating these vulnerabilities, which may then be incorporated into the development plan for the application.

The process of predicting potential dangers might be a challenging one. There is an infinite number of distinct types of threats that could materialize at any moment. Even for the smallest of tasks, making use of threat modeling tools make the process easier for users to perform and Provide better results.

The following are examples of tools that are frequently used for threat modeling.

CAIRIS

A platform that is open source that makes use of intelligence about potential threats to measure the attack surface and validate designs for known security issues and potential concerns with GDPR compliance.

This threat modeling program  was made available for free in 2012. It is among the most complete open-source utilities on the market.

Cairis is a web-based application.

Basic characteristics: The tool very much runs on its own after the appropriate system data is imported. You may design attacker personas with it. Personas are specific information about potential attackers, including their objectives, available resources, and likely line of attack. It offers 12 various perspectives on your system; for instance, one is from a risk standpoint and the other is architectural. It is simple to integrate Cairis APIs with currently used workflows. It recognizes attack patterns and enables you to explain each mitigation strategy with the aid of a data flow diagram.

Unique features: You can specify the “environments” or situations in which each item is used. These could be temporal, social, or bodily. For instance, some factory processes could require more time during the day.

Usability:  The system is easy to use. The system information input is reportedly time-consuming, while the remaining software is reportedly smooth-running.

Customer support: Cairis offers extensive online documentation, as well as a number of demos and video guides.

Pricing Model: Cairis is a free software program.

IriusRisk

IriusRisk was established in 2015 and features two different editions: the community edition and the standard edition.

IriusRisk is a web-based application.

Core features: IriusRisk’s core features include its emphasis on diagrams, which makes the process of inputting system information much simpler. This information, in conjunction with data collected via questionnaires pertaining to each asset, is utilized to develop a threat list that includes advice for mitigating such threats. A rules engine and interaction with issue trackers like JIRA and CI/CD systems like Azure DevOps are also included in this solution. Because of this, the security staff, developers, and DevSecOps may all carry out their duties separately. In addition to that, it features an efficient reporting mechanism.

Unique features: Draw.io is integrated into the IriusRisk application, bringing its user-friendly diagramming capabilities to this platform.

Usability: This tool is straightforward to use and there is a distinct divide between the controls and the displays.

Customer Support: Email and a ticketing system are both accessible for customers to use in order to get support for their issues. Tickets can be tracked, and in most cases, problems are fixed within 24 to 48 hours.

Pricing model: IriusRisk has a pricing strategy that is based on a subscription to a license. In addition to that, it offers a community version that is entirely free to use.

Microsoft’s Proprietary Application for Threat Modeling

This is a resource that does not cost users anything, and it was designed with users who are not security experts in mind. It provides guidance on how the process of developing and analyzing threat models should be carried out as a part of Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle (SDLC). Because a standard notation is used to represent system components, data flows, and security regions, it is straightforward to distinguish various types of threats based on the structure of the software that is being generated. This is because of the fact that standard notation was developed by the Open Group.

PlatformMicrosoft’s proprietary application runs on Windows OS and is a desktop-based tool.

Core features: A threat model can be created using this tool based on data flow diagrams (DFDs) you can construct inside the app. It focuses on Azure and Windows services. You can make a list of potential threats and consider the potential mitigation strategies for each hazard. The models’ reports can also be created and exported.

Unique feature: It is the most sophisticated one. This indicates that it is supported by thorough documentation and tutorials.

Customer support: Due to the abundance of online documentation and support forums, this tool is ideal for research.

Pricing Model:The Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool is open source, thus there is no cost associated with it.

OWASP Threat Dragon

This piece of open-source software can operate as either a web application or a desktop program, depending on the user’s preference. It maintains a record of potential hazards, determines how those risks might be mitigated, and presents users with a variety of threat model components and threat surface representations.

Platform: Although past versions of Threat Dragon were desktop-based, the program is now web-based.

Basic capabilities: Threat Dragon enables you to draw flowcharts. These are used to provide the potential threat list into the rules engine. Its reporting engine is comprehensive. The component level is where threats can be inserted. Additionally, Threat Dragon offers mitigating advice.

Unique characteristics: The OWASP Threat Dragon’s robust rule engine is its key selling point.

Usability: This platform is a fantastic choice, despite the lack of a separate threat dashboard feature missing.

Customer Support: Customer assistance is provided by OWASP Threat Dragon, which also includes a strong user base for peer-level troubleshooting and extensive documentation.

Pricing Model: OWASP Threat Dragon has no cost to the company because it is open-source.

SD Elements

This Security Compass tool will collect information about the system and organize it into categories based on the vulnerabilities that are discovered. It will then generate reports that are ready to be audited.

Platform: SDElements is a web-based application.

Core capabilities: SDElements uses friendly surveys to gather system information, categorizes it based on vulnerabilities, and enables validation using integrated test cases. The system becomes audit-ready and simple to monitor with robust reporting.

Unique Features of SDElements: Its extensive integration with a range of testing tools is one of its USPs. The technology aids in the threat modeling process before, during, and after development, making it the world’s first Business Development Automation (BDA) platform, according to its boasts.

Usability: Users claim that the setup and integration into current systems involved a substantial learning curve. But once this obstacle is overcome, they report no problems.

Customer support: To assist with configuration and deployment and to push users down the aforementioned learning curve, SDElements provides security specialists.

Pricing model: SDElements has a usage-based pricing approach that takes into account the volume of applications being used. Express, Professional, and Enterprise are the three available versions.

Threagile

This is a solution that integrates threat modeling directly into the application coding, and it is designed to work with open source integrated development environments. It is feasible to carry out the operation utilizing the command prompt, a Docker container, or a REST service.

Platform: Threagile is an IDE-based solution that integrates threat modeling at the application code level. It is based on the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) development environment.

Core feauture: Threagile is aimed to “Threat-Model-As-Code.” It is a developer-friendly, agile-based solution that operates directly from the application codebase. Everything from infrastructure to risk regulations is input as YAML files. A thorough data flow diagram of the produced model is available for download. Reports can be produced in PDF, Excel, and JSON forms, the latter of which is very helpful for DevSecOps. In the codebase, the model is updated and created.

Unique Features: It is the most complete tool for code-driven threat methodology.

Usability: Threagile is entirely YAML-based and is compatible with the majority of IDEs. This implies that the threat model can be easily manipulated.

Customer service: Threagile has an expanding user base and provides online documentation.

Pricing Model:This utility is open-sourced, thus there is no cost associated with it.

ThreatModeler

In the Community, Cloud Security, and Application Security editions, automated threat modeling is a feature that can be utilized. They are aware of, can foresee, and outline potential risks, and they offer prebuilt architecture templates to make the integration process go more quickly.

Platform: The ThreatModeler platform is a web-based one.

Core features: The Visual Agile Simple Threat (VAST) threat modeling approach is used to run ThreatModeler. It provides a report engine, template builder, threat model versioning, intelligent threat engine, built-in workflow approval, and threat model versioning. For diagramming, it has integrations with Lucid Charts, Draw.io, and Visio. Jenkins and JIRA are also natively integrated with it. ThreatModeler also provides access to its API.

Unique Features: ThreatModeler is the first automated threat modeling technology that is commercially available. Its VAST technique provides a comprehensive understanding of the threat surface.

Usability: This application is quite simple to navigate through thanks to its clearly defined processes and vibrant, user-friendly dashboards.

Customer service: ThreatModeler has a committed customer staff and premium support solutions for businesses.

Pricing Model: This tool’s pricing is based on annual subscription-based licenses, and there is no user cap.

What you Should Know About the Traditional Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)

The software development lifecycle, also known as the SDLC, is a method that enables businesses to produce high-quality software in the most productive and time-saving manner feasible. The typical software development life cycle (SDLC) consists of the following phases: planning, gathering requirements, designing, coding, testing, and deploying the software. There are a variety of tasks that need to be finished before moving on to the next phase, and these tasks are specific to each of these stages. For instance, when you’re in the planning phase of the project, you need to determine what the project’s aims and objectives are. The next step is for you to choose the kind of application that it will be. Next, determine what needs to take place in terms of your business strategy as well as the requirements for your technological infrastructure.

Estimating time and cost, determining who will perform which tasks, identifying risks and developing contingency plans, deciding how long the project will take and allocating its budget, preparing necessary documentation like sketches or wireframes to show progress, and defining communication channels with stakeholders such as end users or external partners are the remaining steps in this phase. As part of the software development lifecycle, the phase known as “requirements gathering” encompasses a similarly comprehensive set of tasks. You might have already made a decision about certain user stories during the earlier phases of the process; however, the primary focus of this phase is on obtaining specific information from key stakeholders regarding their needs and requirements from the system that is being considered. During this stage, early release planning also occurs, during which more specific information about features is defined so that developers are aware of when they should begin building those features. When we come to the design phase, you will most likely spend some time drafting up several scenarios or storyboards that detail how a user might engage with the system.

Discussions on front-end versus back-end, database structure, and the selection of an analytics platform are among the themes that will be brought up once the designs have been finalized and agreed upon. It is important to keep in mind that not all projects require each phase of the typical SDLC; the items on this list reflect one possible path that events could take if everything goes according to plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Threat Modeling

What exactly does “threat modeling” mean?

The process of modeling threats entails locating and disseminating information concerning the dangers that may be posed to a specific computer network or computer system. An IT team can better comprehend the nature of potential threats and the potential impact such attacks may have on the network through the use of security threat modeling. In addition, threat modeling can be utilized to do an analysis of the hazards that threats provide to applications while taking into account the applications’ potential weaknesses.

What are some examples of threat modeling methodologies?

The STRIDE, DREAD, PASTA, VAST, OCTAVE, and NIST models are a few examples of threat models. Other examples include:  TRIKE

Common Vulnerabilities Scoring System (CVSS), The attacking tree, T-MAP, Quantitatively threat Modeling Method,

How do you create a threat model?

The process of threat modeling is dependent on the completion of a sequence of steps in the correct order. When they are carried out simultaneously, a holistic picture of the danger that exists is revealed. The following are the typical steps:

  • Providing an explanation of the problem that you are experiencing with a particular system, application, or procedure
  • Creating a list that details the assumptions on the danger that needs to be checked as conditions evolve
  • A detailed inventory of the dangers.
  • A list of corrective measures and eradication procedures
  • A strategy to ensure that the approaches being used to deal with the dangers are effective and will continue to be valid despite the changing nature of the threat landscape

What are stages involved in the creation of a threat model?

The following are the stages involved in the creation of a threat model:

  • Taking a look at the different systems that might be affected
  • Taking into consideration the potential negative outcomes
  • Gaining an understanding of the risk reduction efforts being undertaken by the organization or IT team
  • After actions have been performed, determining whether they were successful or unsuccessful.
Nick

About the author

Nick has over 10 years of experience in the cyber security field. Nick has performed threat modeling at many enterprise-sized organizations, with a focus on threat modeling of IT applications, IT infrastructure, and business processes. Nick has also set up and rolled out threat modeling programs from the ground up.