Threat modeling is a way for organizations to maximize the security of networks and applications by identifying threats and prioritizing countermeasures based on the risk and potential severity of each threat.
The benefits of threat modeling are significant. Not only does threat modeling provide a systemic process for evaluating potential threats to an organization’s system, but it also creates a framework for informed decision-making to ensure the best use of limited resources. A company can also react quickly to new threat intelligence as it arises and promotes a consistent security policy and practice throughout the enterprise.
However, the threat of data breaches and exposure is growing worldwide. In the U.S. alone, the number of breaches hit a record high at 1517, with 178 million records exposed.¹ The average cost of a data breach is rising as well, reaching $7.35 million per breach last year.²
Even in the face of increasing prevalence and severity of data security threats, many organizations avoid threat modeling because of common misconceptions.
5 Common Threat Modeling Myths
1. We already review code.
Code review can help an organization to identify many vulnerabilities, while penetration testing and monitoring the security environment can alert IT to new threats. However, without a comprehensive, over-arching framework to consistently address security issues, a process is bound to be reactive, inefficient, and disorganized.
Threat modeling, on the other hand, provides a consistent framework for ongoing, continual threat assessments while ensuring that all stakeholders are confident in the system and data security. Further, threat modeling ensures proactive, efficient use of security resources.
2. There’s no reason to perform threat modeling after deployment.
Once an application is in use, you must continuously evaluate it for emerging threats. The threat profile can change if any dependent system changes or new threats are identified, even if there is no change to an application. Furthermore, all future deployments will be at risk for undiscovered issues with the networks and applications already in use.
3. It’s too challenging to produce actionable results.
While a comprehensive threat modeling process can seem like an enormous challenge to create, with the right tools, it’s fairly easy to implement. The framework becomes self-sustaining after implementation, and part of the regular tasks of the technology department.
Further, the entire process focuses on actionable results: you identify a threat, assign a risk rating, and prioritize your mitigation strategy. The result is an action plan focused on addressing each threat based on its potential severity, ensuring that you address each one while using resources in a targeted, efficient and systematic way.
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4. Implementing a comprehensive system requires too many resources.
It is true that creating and implementing a threat modeling system will require an initial investment, but it will ultimately save the company resources in two ways. First, it protects a company from expensive downtime, lost revenue, and the costs associated with data breaches. Also, because threat modeling involves prioritizing countermeasures based on the risk it identifies in a proactive manner, it leads to the more efficient use of resources overall.
5. We need to hire an in-house security specialist.
The developers, architects and project managers already employed by an organization’s IT department can go a long way to completing threat modeling activities without hiring an in-house security specialist. They are the ones providing the information in the first place.
Addressing security risks in a proactive, directed manner can preserve the reputation and the revenue of an organization, creating a shared focus between development and security functions, and providing updated and consistent information on threats as they are identified, and rated for risk.
ThreatModeler is the industry’s leading security and risk management solution for each part of the IT ecosystem. By helping businesses scale their threat-identification and defense systems, they can protect themselves from harmful and costly data breaches throughout the entire agile development process. ThreatModeler’s team of data and cyber-security experts partner with CISOs, DevOps execs, and developers of applications to identify and test vulnerable entry points and optimize their company-wide security infrastructure.
To see how ThreatModeler can drive security throughout your enterprise with the industry’s leading automated threat modeling platform, sign up for a 10-day free evaluation.