The 21st century has seen many significant technological advancements in the cross-section of digitalization and cloud security. As more valuable data is being stored and used to make data-driven decisions, its protection against internal misuse and fraudulent external access is critical. Cloud threat modeling can help prepare your organization by identifying and preventing threats for key software and hardware components of your IT landscape.
There are two primary options for hosting: on-premise servers or hosting in the cloud with a third-party vendor. Both have pros and cons entailing certain threat modeling activities.
On-Premise Vs. Cloud Hosting
Enterprises are under constant pressure to control costs and create sustainable operational and IT efficiencies. When evaluating the difference between on-premise vs. cloud hosting, it’s clear that cloud technologies offer significant up-front cost savings, reduce operational burdens, and unlock real scalability opportunities.
On-premise hosting solutions are costly to maintain and require significant time and attention from in-house IT teams. Because internal departments completely support on-premise systems, enterprises with on-premise hosting solutions are needed to allocate substantial resources to maintain them. Training costs are almost always a significant expense for on-premise environments, versus cloud hosting where there’s less strain on internal teams. It’s also much more difficult to customize and scale on-premise solutions as your organization grows and changes. The flexibility of cloud computing and is paramount, allowing for ultimate control and agility as new challenges arise.
Many CISOs and CIOs fear that moving to a cloud environment will negatively impact the security of sensitive data, as there is quite a bit of misinformation or misunderstanding surrounding the capabilities of cloud computing. However, most cloud providers offer incredibly high levels of security and sophistication. They usually will have a “shared responsibility” agreement, which means they are entirely responsible for the security of the cloud environment, while the client is responsible for the security in the environment. AWS, for example, uses this model which should be accounted for when creating any cloud threat model.
Threat Modeling for Cloud Environments
Threat modeling is just as valuable for cloud environments as it is for on-premise hosting solutions. Just because you’re working with a third-party like AWS, Google, or Microsoft, doesn’t mean your liability is moot. Under shared responsibility, your organization is still responsible for the content within the cloud environment. To limit your risk, prepare for sustainable security practices, and protect your data, you should develop cloud threat models.
Developing a cloud threat model is not just a one-time activity. Any threat model should be living, breathing, documentation subject to change. This is even more true given the nature of cloud hosting. Because cloud threat modeling offers more flexibility and scalability, threat models developed for the cloud also need to be flexible and subject to change. For example, let’s say your cloud-hosted B2C application’s user base grows significantly due to successful sales and marketing initiatives. A threat model for an application with 10,000 users as opposed to 500 users is going to require a different level of sophistication.
Cloud Threat Modeling Solution
ThreatModeler is an automated threat modeling solution that strengthens an enterprise’s SDLC by identifying, predicting and defining threats across all applications and devices in the operational IT stack. This automated platform works with all types of computing environments.
To learn more about how your organization can identify security threats during the SDLC for faster, smarter, more secure application production, request a free evaluation of the ThreatModeler platform or contact us to speak with an application threat modeling expert today.