7 Benefits of Continuous Threat Modeling

The ever-changing threat landscape requires continuous updating of application threat models, in order for organizations to keep current and to best mitigate their increased risk exposure. Stay current with continuous threat modeling. New attack surfaces and threats are continually introduced, and knowing how to best defend against them are ongoing challenges for organizations.

MyAppSecurity has identified 7 key benefits of adopting a continuous threat modeling process that allows organizations to stay current with risk exposure in their application portfolio, and to measure the effectiveness of security initiatives.

1.     Automatically Update Risk Exposure

The rapidly evolving threat landscape often introduces new attack surfaces, opening additional areas of risk in applications. By keeping new and existing threat models current, any changes affecting applications and infrastructure can be continuously monitored to determine if new attack surfaces have been introduced. This provides accurate and up-to-date information on risk exposure.

2.     Maintain Accurate and Up-to-Date Risk Profile

An accurate and up-to-date risk profile highlights risk exposure and the status of application threats, as well as allowing organizations to pinpoint where threats exist. This information can be used to perform audits against security controls, implement secure coding guidelines, carry out targeted testing, and help you plan an overall risk mitigation strategy. This can also be beneficial with acquisitions, mergers, and 3rd party vendor reviews, to more rapidly collect critical risk information, while delivering consistency, precision, and thoroughness.

3.     Reduce Attack Surface and Promote Code Consistency

Having a comprehensive repository of threat data that classifies threats by risk and maps them to security requirements, along with predefined security code snippets that developers can apply to mitigate threats, promotes code consistency, reduces the attack surface, and lowers risk across an organization’s application portfolio.

4.     Mitigate Risk Enterprise-wide

Building an inventory of all applications and mapping them to their respective data centers and infrastructure components such as web servers, databases, hosts, etc., enables an organization to quickly identify applications that may be impacted by any change to the infrastructure. Promoting secure hardening guidelines for these infrastructure components to assess their security posture and compliance status through the use of checklists, is also essential.

In addition, ongoing threat modeling can be used to model data centers, allowing organizations to determine where optimally to deploy applications, based upon specific security requirements. If individual data centers have varying levels of security, different types of application threats can be mitigated, by simply deploying them in a data center with the appropriate security controls in place.

5.     Produce Measurable Security

A continuous threat modeling process enables you to measure the effectiveness of security initiatives, by displaying vulnerability trends across release cycles. These trends help analyze the state of security and identify the most critical and persistent pain points, calling attention to areas where customized training to development teams would be most useful. Vulnerability comparison charts allow you to compare vulnerabilities between the same or different applications in your portfolio, identifying gaps in the implementation of secure coding or infrastructure hardening guidelines.

6.     Align Mitigation Strategy with Budgets

Some of the costs associated with mitigation include code changes, functional testing, regression testing, and security testing, and if the mitigating control is a proprietary solution, additional costs will likely be incurred. Application threat modeling should not only identify the relevant security controls to mitigate threats, it also needs to provide a way to calculate the costs associated with mitigation, allowing you to align and prioritize mitigation efforts to match budget allocation.

7.     Leverage Real-Time Threat Intelligence

Being able to incorporate real-world attack information from sources such as the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), the Web Hacking Incident Database (WHID) and others, provides statistical evidence demonstrating how other organizations were affected by an exploit, in terms of business and technical impact. This data gives you a real world reference point to more accurately calculate the risk associated with specific threats and can also help justify budgets for your security program.

ThreatModeler™, MyAppSecurity’s flagship offering, is the industry’s first automated, scalable, and repeatable threat modeling product.  Please contact us to learn more about ThreatModeler™

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