7 Benefits of Continuous Threat Modeling

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The constantly evolving threat landscape requires continuous updating of threat models if organizations are to keep be prepared and able to mitigate their increased risk exposure. Stay current with continuous threat modeling. New attack surfaces and threats are continually introduced, and knowing how to best defend against them are ongoing challenges for organizations.

7 Key Benefits of Adopting a Continuous Threat Modeling Process

1.     Automatically Update Risk Exposure

The rapidly evolving threat landscape often introduces new attack surfaces, opening additional areas of risk in applications, on-premises and cloud-based deployment environments, IoT and embedded networks, mobile networks, computing endpoints, and industrial control and other cyber-physical systems. Continusous threat modeling will keep new and existing threat models current. That way any changes to the threat landscape or the IT environment  can be monitored in real-time todetermine if new attack surfaces have been introduced. This provides accurate and up-to-date information on risk exposure.

2.     Maintain Accurate and Up-to-Date Risk Profile

An accurate and up-to-date risk profile highlights risk exposure and the status of cyber threats, as well as allowing organizations to pinpoint the threat sources. This information can be used to perform audits against security controls, implement secure coding guidelines, carry out targeted testing, and help you plan an overall risk mitigation strategy. This can also be beneficial with acquisitions, mergers, and 3rd party vendor reviews, to more rapidly collect critical risk information, while delivering consistency, precision, and thoroughness.

3.     Reduce Attack Surface and Promote Consistent Security Policy Enerprise-Wide

Having a comprehensive repository of threat data that classifies threats by risk and maps them to security requirements, along with predefined security code snippets that DevOps team members can use to mitigate threats, promotes security consistency, reduces the attack surface, and lowers risk across an organization’s application portfolio. However, in today’s fast-paced DevOps environments, the only way to keep up with the changing DevOps portfolio is with continuous threat modeling.

4.     Mitigate Risk Enterprise-Wide

Building an inventory of all threat models that includes all components of the organization’s IT environment enables an organization to quickly identify components of the IT environment that may be impacted by any new internal initiatives or emerging threats. Promoting secure hardening guidelines for these IT components to assess their security posture and compliance status through the use of checklists, is also essential.

In addition, contiuous threat modeling can be used to model data centers, allowing organizations to determine where optimally to deploy mitigating controls, based upon specific security requirements. If individual data centers have varying levels of security, different types of threats can be mitigated, by simply deploying them in a data center with the appropriate security controls in place.

5.     Produce Measurable Security

A continuous threat modeling process enables you to measure and quantify the effectiveness of security initiatives, by displaying vulnerability trends across release cycles. These trends help analyze the state of security and identify the most critical and persistent pain points, calling attention to areas where customized training to development teams would be most useful. Vulnerability comparison charts allow you to compare vulnerabilities between application releases or system initiatives.

6.     Align Mitigation Strategy with Budgets

Some of the costs associated with mitigation include code changes, functional testing, regression testing, and security testing, and – if the mitigating control is a proprietary solution – additional costs will likely be incurred. Continuous threat modeling not only identifies the relevant security controls to mitigate threats, it also provides a means to calculate the costs associated with mitigation, allowing you to align and prioritize mitigation efforts to match budget allocation.

7.     Leverage Real-Time Threat Intelligence

Being able to incorporate real-world attack information from sources such as the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), the Web Hacking Incident Database (WHID) and others, provides statistical evidence demonstrating how other organizations were affected by an exploit, in terms of business and technical impact. This data gives you a real world reference point to more accurately calculate the risk associated with specific threats and can also help justify budgets for your security program.

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