What Is Threat Modelling & How Does It Improve Cybersecurity?

What Is Threat Modelling & How Does It Improve Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity has become the most significant priority amongst businesses worldwide due to the increasing rise of hacking events. For instance, in Australia, ACSC (The Australian Cyber Security Centre) recorded about 76 thousand cyber incident reports in the previous year, according to Statista.  

The digitalisation of our daily activities has fashioned dangerous situations where security breaches substantially threaten commercial and private industries. Cybersecurity experts are, therefore, resorting to an extensive range of defense mechanisms and countermeasures to ensure that sensitive data and transactional information remain secure. But, given the plethora of attacks today, protecting against such threats is challenging.

That caused threat modelling to emerge as a fundamental tool in cybersecurity. With its rising significance, this proactive technique is gaining consistent acceptance and recognition. The question is, what exactly does threat modelling means, and what advantage does it have to cybersecurity? Want to find out? Read on! 

What is Threat Modelling?

Threat modelling is a controlled approach to identifying potential security threats and vulnerabilities in an application or system. It involves analysing the system’s architecture, identifying potential threats and attack vectors, and determining the possibility and impact of these threats. By identifying and addressing potential threats early in the development process, threat modelling can significantly improve cybersecurity. 

Threat modelling accepts that all IT systems face diverse threats before deployment, during the process, and after, helping security professionals identify and alleviate those risks before they happen. In particular, threat modelling processes seek to detect and understand better the likely threats an IT system faces.

How Threat Modelling Works – Brief Overview

Threat modelling is a comprehensive technique recognising diverse threat agents that could harm a computer system or an application. The approach adopts malicious hackers’ perspective to determine the level of damage they can inflict. During threat modelling, businesses analyse the business context, software architecture, and other related items, such as user documentation and functional specifications.

This thorough process leads to a deeper understanding of the system, uncovering significant aspects that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Threat modelling typically occurs during an application’s design level, although it can occur at any other stage. The primary objective is to help developers identify vulnerabilities and understand the security implications of their configuration decisions, code, and design. 

These processes of threat modelling can be itemised into four fundamental steps: 

  • Diagramming: Developers sketch out what they are building
  • Identification of threats: They identify potential threats
  • Mitigation: They implement measures to defend against them
  • Validation: This is the final stage, and it involves validating that each step has been adequately addressed

These steps ensure the software remains secure, robust, and protected from malicious attacks.

How does Threat Modelling Improve Cybersecurity?

Find below ways threat modelling can improve cybersecurity:

Improved compliance

Threat modelling can help businesses meet compliance requirements such as The Privacy Act, PCI-DSS, and GDPR. By identifying potential threats and implementing the necessary security controls, businesses can show compliance with regulatory requirements.

Early identification of potential threats

Threat modelling helps identify potential threats and vulnerabilities in a system before deployment. That enables developers to address these issues early in the development process, reducing the prospect of security breaches.

Prioritising risks

Threat modelling allows for prioritising risks based on their severity and potential impact. This prioritisation helps cybersecurity professionals allocate their resources and efforts more effectively, focusing on the most critical risks first.

Improved decision making

With threat modelling, cybersecurity professionals can make informed decisions about security measures and their impact on the system. That ensures that security measures are both practical and do not interfere with the system’s functionality.

Improved collaboration

Threat modelling requires input from multiple stakeholders, including developers, security professionals, and business analysts. This collaboration can help to ensure that security risks are understood and addressed by everyone involved in the development process.

Why Should Business Owners Implement Threat Modelling?

Implementing threat modelling enables businesses to make well-informed decisions regarding cyber risks and efficient security postures. However, businesses may use diverse cybersecurity scanning tools and employ separate external vulnerability testing services. These malicious actions are carried out in advance, especially during the software development phase, leading to increased threat mitigation expenses.

Other advantages of threat modelling include the following:

  • Reduced cost: Since businesses can implement threat modelling in the design stage, that allows early identification of cyber threats, which can reduce the cost of mitigating cyber risks.
  • Acceptable risk levels: Since this model can help evaluate a business’s security level, implement risk-mitigation strategies, and prioritise risks, it’ll assist business owners in reaching that security assurance state and a satisfactory risk level.
  • Better security: Authenticating a software’s security design and implementing threat modelling are significant steps in guaranteeing that software retains its security certainty and can protect itself against cyber threats.

Improve Your Business’s Cybersecurity Posture with GKM2 

At GKM2, we provide end-to-end solutions, from software and hardware procurement to server setups and cloud migrations, with our friendly and experienced support team.

Need help improving your cybersecurity? Contact us here!