Threat Modeling

Eray ALTILI
8 min readJul 29, 2023

Threat modeling is a structured way to identify and mitigate security risks in your software projects. It helps you to think like an attacker and anticipate the possible ways that your system can be compromised or abused. By doing so, you can design and implement more secure and resilient solutions.

Threat modeling can be performed at any stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), but it is most effective when done early, before any code is written or deployed. This way, you can avoid costly rework and reduce the attack surface of your system.

There are many methods and tools that can help you with threat modeling, but they all share some common steps:

  1. Define security requirements: This step involves understanding the goals, scope, and context of your project, as well as the security expectations and obligations of your stakeholders. You should also identify the assets, data, and functionality that are valuable or sensitive for your system, and the threats that could affect them.
  2. Create an application diagram: This step involves creating a visual representation of your system and its components, data flows, interactions, and trust boundaries. You can use a data flow diagram (DFD) to show how data moves through your system, or a component diagram to show how your system is structured. You should also annotate your diagram with security-relevant information, such as entry points, exit points, external dependencies, encryption methods, authentication mechanisms, etc.
  3. Identify threats: This step involves finding and analyzing the potential ways that an attacker could exploit or harm your system. You can use different techniques to generate a list of threats, such as brainstorming, checklists, attack trees, attack libraries, etc. One of the most popular techniques is the STRIDE methodology, which categorizes threats into six types: Spoofing, Tampering, Repudiation, Information Disclosure, Denial of Service, and Elevation of Privilege. You can apply STRIDE to each element of your application diagram and ask questions like: How could an attacker spoof the identity of a user or a component? How could an attacker tamper with the data or the functionality of the system? How could an attacker deny or hide their actions? How could an attacker access or leak confidential information? How could an attacker disrupt or degrade the availability or performance of the system? How could an attacker gain unauthorized privileges or access rights?

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Eray ALTILI

I am passionate about Technology, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, Blockchain and Finance. All opinions are my own and do not express opinions of my employer.