As markets across the globe continue their digital-first approach toward empowering customers to meet demand at scale, the resulting IT landscape must become increasingly sophisticated and complex to prevail. Although digital transformation promises to drive business initiatives, cybersecurity concerns keep technology leaders up at night. As DevSecOps, cloud transformation themes, and agile initiatives fast-track IT and business, security considerations are often left behind as leaders focus on delivery.
Gartner predicted that "60% of digital business would suffer service failures by 2020 due to inability of security to manage digital risk." Today, threats continue to increase along with the evolution of the technology landscape, and threats can surface from external sources or within an organization, causing overwhelming consequences the organization cannot afford to ignore.
Still, though, many organizations think of security as an operations responsibility or an afterthought. The concept of fostering an end-to-end security culture for development and operations teams seems like a daunting task. However, failing to do so could mean playing catch-up amid the disastrous results caused by aging security vulnerabilities.
How do we integrate development and operations processes that prioritize ongoing security awareness throughout an application’s lifecycle? Ensuring security must be a consideration from the beginning stages of development, delivering secure applications without causing friction during the build and deployment processes. In this thought paper, we will summarize an approach for modeling threats by leveraging automated and manual techniques to achieve the same.
Threat Modeling Simulates Hacker Vista
It’s imperative to understand your threats in order to build secure systems and applications, all while educating development teams and embedding security culture across an organization. Threat Modelling comes as a device to find answers to simulate hacker persona such as: “How vulnerable we are to different types of cyber-attacks?” “What is the weakest link that an attacker can exploit to reach organization high value assets?” “What can we do to safeguard against these threats in the most effective way?”
Using this process, defenders can take a systematic approach to analyzing what defenses need to be included, given the nature of a system, the probable attacker’s profile, likely attack vectors, and an organization’s risk profile. It empowers companies to take a proactive and effective role in managing their own cybersecurity.
Threat modeling early in a development cycle promotes early detection and the alleviation of security risks, enabling economies of scale. Moreover, threat modeling fosters a culture that actively thinks about security requirements, leading to proactive architectural decisions that reduce threat lifecycles.
Considering these benefits, it’s natural to wonder why more organizations aren’t adopting threat modeling more readily. The adoption of threat modeling can pose challenges and discourage application owners/stakeholders, causing them to shy away from adoption and implementation cycles. In turn, this situation presents a DevSecOps paradox: “How can we identify design-level flaws on a continuous basis during development and operations phases?”