Cybersecurity is among the top concern in today’s IT world due to the increase in hacking incidents. Most of the aspects of our day-to-day lives are now online, which means there is a lot to lose from security breaches for both the commercial and private worlds. Cybersecurity professionals are running threat intelligence to provide countermeasures for keeping transactional data and sensitive information safe. However, nowadays, with the vast number of cyber threats, it can be a huge undertaking for cybersecurity professionals. This is why threat modeling is gaining prominence in the cybersecurity world.
What Is Threat Modeling?
Threat modeling is the structured process to identify and enumerate potential cyber threats like the defense mechanisms or weaknesses in a system and provide security mitigations. This shows that threat modeling helps equip defenders and security teams to analyze the security controls needed based on the current information systems and the threat landscape.
Why Is Threat Modeling Important?
The main purpose of threat modeling is to help cybersecurity experts manage risks by assessing the potential damage that an attack can cause and providing remediation efforts. Furthermore, threat intelligence helps ethical hackers to identify, manage, and determine potential risks that can affect a system.
What Is Security Threat Modeling?
Cyber threats are known as anything that can exploit a system’s weakness to gain access to the system. However, security threat modeling helps ethical hackers assess, detect, and mitigate risks to optimize a network or application’s security.
Furthermore, you will need to consider three elements when you are modeling for threats; they are:
Assets: this is the system’s infrastructure that can be affected by an attack.
Vulnerability: this is any weakness in a system that can be exploited.
Threats: This is anything that an attacker can use to exploit weaknesses in an asset.
Steps to Make a Threat Model
- Identify security objectives
- Identify the asset and external dependencies.
- Identify trust zones.
- Identify potential threats and weaknesses.
- Document the threat.
Threat Modeling Methodologies
There are six common threat modeling methodologies used by cybersecurity experts to access and prioritize threats to IT assets. They are Vast, Stride, Trike, Octave, Dread, and Pasta. However, in our cyber threat intelligence course, we will focus mainly on three of them known as Stride, Pasta, and Dread.
Stride is a threat model developed by Microsoft, and it helps cybersecurity experts to categorize threats into six classes. The classes are known as spoofing, tampering, information disclosure, repudiation, denial of service, and privilege escalation.
Microsoft also created this threat model, and it is used to determine the severity of a threat. It uses a scale to rank threats into five categories. They are damage potential, reproducibility, exploitability, affected users, and discoverability.
PASTA is an acronym for the Process for Attack Simulation and Threat Analysis. PASTA offers a risk-centric framework that offers a dynamic threat scoring process. This threat model incorporates business needs and technical requirements for developing an asset-centric mitigation framework to analyze threats from an attacker’s perspective.
Pasta comprises seven stages: defining objectives, defining the technical scope, application decomposition, threat analysis, weaknesses analysis, attack modeling, and risk & impact analysis.
Trike methodology follows a risk management, defensive approach for threat modeling that differentiates it from other threat modeling methodologies. It is a systemic and systematic evaluation of the security risks of a system by examining all potential risks in the system.
The Visual, Agile, and Simple Threat modeling methodology scales the threat modeling process across the infrastructure for the entire software development lifecycle, integrating with agile and DevOps practices. VAST is enterprise-focused and provides actionable outputs for the different needs of every stakeholder.
The Operationally Critical Threat, Asset, and Vulnerability Evaluation (OCTAVE) is a framework for identifying and managing information security risks. It starts with identifying the information on assets that are critical to the organization, threats to those assets, and the vulnerabilities that may expose those assets to the threats. This helps the organization design and implement a protection strategy to reduce the overall risk exposure of its information assets.
Is Threat Intelligence a Good Career Option?
There is a large market for threat intelligence professionals, starting from a fresher to an executive level. You will find a wide range of threat intelligence jobs listed on LinkedIn and lots of threat intelligence programs and certifications to help you land a job.
On average cyber threat intelligence analyst’s salary in the United States is $75,000, and they typically make between $51k – $140k.
Become a Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst
Most businesses need to plan a cybersecurity strategy and to integrate threat intelligence. There are many cyber intelligence courses that you can join if you want to play a key role in integrating threat intelligence. One of the best threat intelligence training you can join is the Certified Threat intelligence Analyst Program (CTIA).
This course is a specialized program that is designed and developed with cybersecurity and threat intelligence experts worldwide.