Varonis has developed hundreds of threat models to detect potential malware, cyberattacks, security vulnerabilities, and unusual behavior. Due to the rapid advancement of technology, the increased risk of cyber-attacks and system breaches has become a day to day issue that constantly needs to be addressed. You do not need to be a security expert in order to implement the techniques covered in this cheat sheet. The DREAD formula is divided into 5 main categories: Then the risk level is determined using defined thresholds below. Provide the needed controls in forms of code upgrades and configuration updates to reduce risks to acceptable levels. To start, in the tech world most experts agree that identifying threat modeling vulnerabilities is the systematic and structured answering of the following four questions: In the business world and when looking at an entire organization, the four questions turn into: All easy to remember questions that are designed to be helpful in identifying assets along with weaknesses, each can be applied to a variety of projects, including waterfall or agile builds. According to Wikipedia, it is defined as “a process by which potential threats, such as structural vulnerabilities or the absence of appropriate safeguards, can be identified, enumerated, and mitigations can be prioritized. All developers, software and system designers, and architects should strive to include threat modeling in their software development life cycle. Does it have several components? The risk profile for data in transit or data at rest depends on the security measures that are in place to secure data in either state. Researching and writing about data security is his dream job. Not all threat models apply to every system, and not all threat modeling will develop a new threat model. Causes can combine and affect another cause, so can system and application parts. Consider things like what happens if an employee takes a laptop home and works off of your secure network or when they don’t change a password often enough. Below is a sample risk matrix table, depending on your risk approach you can define different risk ranking matrix: Identify risk owners and agree on risk mitigation with risk owners and stakeholders. The value is actually twofold. Lastly, in question number four, it is time to look back and address quality, ability to carry out, progress, and most importantly, rank the threats. Threat Modeling Cheat Sheet Introduction ¶ Threat modeling is a structured approach of identifying and prioritizing potential threats to a system, and determining the value that potential mitigations would have in reducing or neutralizing those threats. In the optimal case, you are performing your assessment during the design phase of the project, and the design documentation will be up-to-date and available. See an error or have a suggestion? The Poirot tool isolates and diagnoses defects through fault modeling and simulation. Some threats require more expertise or resources, and thus raise the level of threat actor needed. You should be familiar with the following terms that will be used throughout this cheat sheet. The goal here is to find and brainstorm the main threats that can happen. What areas of the organization’s environment are vulnerable? Threat models are the parameters that define a threat. It is recommended to contextually look at threats impacts, probability and effectiveness of countermeasures that may be present. We will discuss mistakes security teams make while creating their threat models, along with strategies on how to use threat modeling as a proactive measure for cybersecurity. What if we get hit with a ransomware attack? It requires that you step out of the day-to-day whirlwind of data security and imagine the future. Whatever the case, take the time to bring the threat modeling team back together and do some further brainstorming and answer a few more “What ifs.”. Enumerate Attacks posed by the most dangerous attacker in designated areas of the logical and physical maps of the target of evaluation. Selecting one of the controls to reduce the risk, either by upgrading the code, or building a specific configuration during the deployment phase and so on. Always use threat modeling as a tool to constantly update and record new concerns. Assessing potential threats during the design phase of your project can save significant resources that might be needed to refactor the project to include risk mitigations during a later phase of the project. From running payment software to data collection to use of the cloud, every area of an organization needs to be aware of liabilities as well as put plans into place to protect against them. Stephen Watts (Birmingham, AL) has worked at the intersection of IT and marketing for BMC Software since 2012. In any event, this cheat sheet outlines steps you can take to create design documents if they are needed. TODO: Sample Design for Implementation View in 4+1 Model, ©Copyright 2020 - CheatSheets Series Team, Insecure Direct Object Reference Prevention, Consider Data in transit and Data at rest, Manage to present your DFD in the context of MVC, Define applications user roles and trust levels, Highlight Authorization per user role over the DFD, Map Threat agents to application Entry points, Define the Impact and Probability for each threat, Agree on risk mitigation with risk owners and stakeholders, Select appropriate controls to mitigate the risk, Test risk treatment to verify remediation, Reduce risk in risk log for verified treated risk. The main difference in using PASTA Approach is that you should evaluate the impact early on in the analysis phase instead of addressing the impact at the step of evaluating the risk. Assume the attacker has a zero-day because he does. For example, if a threat required a skilled threat actor with tens of thousands of dollars of computing resources to implement, and the only reward was that they were able to gain access to information that is already public in some other form, the likelihood is low. And, to make the problem worse, understanding the actual threat model can be complex. For example, what kind of application is it? What are the most relevant threats to the organization’s security? For example, if you identify a threat that your users' personal information may be identified by certain application logging, and you decide to completely remove that logging, you have prevented that particular threat. Use risk management methodology to determine the risk behind the threat. Indirect loss may also result from an attack, and needs to be considered as part of the impact. Threat Modeling Basics – Who? If a clear and concise whiteboard diagram can be provided, others will understand it and it will be easier to communicate details. Threat modeling is the proactive process of identifying potential risks and threats, then creating tests and countermeasures to respond to potential threats. Now review all of the “What if?” scenarios the team can imagine. What are the high-values assets within the organization? Threat Dragon (TD) is used to create threat model diagrams and to record possible threats and decide on their mitigations using STRIDE methodology. •Building a threat model Program manager (PM) owns overall process Testers o Identify threats in analyze phase o Use threat models to drive test plans Developers create diagrams •Customer What if someone breaks into the database? If this question cannot be answered then answering the rest of the questions will be difficult. Companies spend hundreds of work hours to develop a comprehensive security strategy and the appropriate threat modeling to test, verify, and enhance the strategy over time. Define internal trusted boundaries. Mitigations are controls that are put in place to reduce either the likelihood or the impact of a threat, while not necessarily completely preventing it. Optimally, you will create your threat models and determine which mitigations are needed during an early stage of the development of a new system, application, or feature. It is fundamental to identify who would want to exploit the assets of a company, how they might use them against the company, and if they would be capable of doing so. The purpose of threat modeling is to provide defenders with a systematic analysis of what controls or defenses need to be included, given the nature of the system, the probable attacker’s profile, the most likely attack vectors, and the assets most desired by an attacker.” It can technically be applied to any aspect of life, serving as the foundation of everything a security professional does. If your application makes a call to a remote process, or a remote process makes calls to your application, that's a trust boundary. The wording and answers to the four questions might look different from one project to the next, but the four principles and approaches remain the same. Please refer to the image in the appendix section for sample design for the implementation view. A trust boundary (in the context of threat modeling) is a location on the data flow diagram where data changes its level of trust. While data at rest is sometimes considered to be less vulnerable than data in transit, attackers often find data at rest a more valuable target than data in motion. Threat modeling isn’t a one and done meeting: schedule a recurring meeting to review the threat model’s performance and update the threat model. There are many ways to generate design documents; the 4+1 view model is one of the matured approaches to building your design document. In addition to security team members, a threat modeling team should be made up of representatives from application owners, architects, administrators, and even customers. No matter what type of framework is used or the focus of the threat model, there are a few key things that will help the process run smoothly. Early in the threat modeling process, you will need to draw a data flow diagram of the entire system that is being assessed, including its trust boundaries. This will save a lot of time and effort for all teams across an organization. Area: Non-functional requirements: describes the design's concurrency and synchronization aspects. It’s important to not only create threat models as part of an implementation plan for new systems but also to set aside time to create or update threat models for older systems as well. Document as many potential threats to the system as possible. From core to cloud to edge, BMC delivers the software and services that enable nearly 10,000 global customers, including 84% of the Forbes Global 100, to thrive in their ongoing evolution to an Autonomous Digital Enterprise. It includes anywhere that data is stored in the system, either temporarily or long-term. The answer of most organizations is to seek help from cybersecurity specialists who immediately ask, “what is your threat model?”–a jarring question that in-and-of-itself is exceptionally difficult to answer.