Cyberattacks are getting more advanced by the day. A recent news report revealed that more than 2000 websites were hacked in the second quarter of 2022. This event is considered to be the most severe cyberattack in India in the recent past.
The number of cyberattacks has been increasing in the past few months. As a result, businesses are using cybersecurity tools like threat hunting and threat modelling, among others, to strengthen their security systems.
This article will discuss threat modelling and why it is the most in-demand cybersecurity skill of 2022.
What is Threat Modelling?
The growing use of mobile phones, computer systems, and innovative technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. has made it essential for companies to have a well-structured and advanced cybersecurity system to protect them from constant threats. Additionally, it keeps businesses protected from unethical hackers who infiltrate their systems and extract information.
Threat modelling is an advanced security measure that analyses different systems and applications of a company to identify hazards and mitigate them to protect valuable data, such as confidential data or information regarding product design or financial or business models.
Typically, a threat modelling checklist includes the following:
- Details of the subject to be evaluated
- Potential threats to the system
- Actions to mitigate the threat
- A way of checking if the process was a success
Why is Threat Modelling an in-demand Cybersecurity Skill?
Here are some reasons for the increased demand for this cybersecurity skill:
- Improves security of all applications by identifying threats
- Suggests countermeasures to prevent or mitigate the effects of a cyberattack
- It identifies and assesses application threats and vulnerabilities
- It is a structured process used widely by cybersecurity professionals
How to Make a Threat Model?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to develop a threat model.
Establish the scope
Start with determining the area of focus or defining the scope for threat analysis. Always narrow your scope, as attempting to tackle board areas may jeopardise the investigation.
For instance, if your scope is focused on a network or an application and how it performs in the organisation, start by creating a list of elements used to build it, followed by other details. Each element (used to develop the app) must be classified into a different group, and you can choose the group you need to analyse. This way, you will have a narrow scope, which can be conveniently analysed.
Determine the threats
There are different types of threats that can persist in an ecosystem. You will need to use your technical skills to analyse all system components, determine threat targets, and identify where the threat exists. This will expose possible vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the system that could lead to failure or compromise, which can be solved by threat modelling.
Rank each threat
Ranking each threat would help select the correct risk mitigation strategies to reduce the damage these threats can cause to the organisation. You can opt for a simple and effective strategy that will increase the damage potential of a threat and reduce its re-occurrence.
After identifying the threats and mitigation strategies to tackle them, the next step is implementing threat management strategies to reduce risk to an acceptable level. While selecting the mitigation strategy to implement, remember it should be capable of avoiding risks, transferring them, and reducing them.
Documenting your finding is the last step. It is one of the standard best practices that most organisations skip. However, it helps reduce errors and operate in a safe environment.
Here are some other threat modelling best practices:
- Start threat modelling at the beginning of every project
- Get inputs from stakeholders and employees about various threats and vulnerabilities
- Use various tools for threat modelling
- Educate everyone about the different aspects of threat modelling and similar cybersecurity tools. You can start by providing internal training programmes for equipping employees with other threat management and identification processes.
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A detailed list of Top Threat Modelling Methodologies
Below are top threat modelling methodologies widely used across different organisations.
- STRIDE: This threat modelling methodology identifies security threats in six categories, namely, spoofing, tampering, repudiation, information disclosure, denial of service, and elevation of privilege.
- DREAD: It is the process of ranking security threats based on their severity. This method analyses a system in five categories: damage potential, reproducibility, exploitability, affected users, and discoverability.
- A.S.T.A: P.A.S.T.A stands for Process for Attack Stimulation and Threat Analysis. It offers a dynamic threat identification, enumeration, and scoring process. It also provides mitigation strategies after analysis that can be implemented for practical solutions.