Performing threat modeling is a difficult and expensive undertaking for most firms. And, understandably. Traditionally, threat modeling requires an experienced security architect with knowledge in three fundamental areas.
When creating a scalable threat model, it’s important to recognize the benefits and limitations of these approaches.
Here, we’re proposing a pattern-based method for exploring the threat modeling process for commonly recurring patterns.
As humans, we employ patterns in our lives every day. We can hear musical patterns and assign them to specific genres. We can look at cars and recognize that they belong to various style and function categories. This categorization that we perform happens subconsciously. When used implicitly, patterns tend to lack structure, comprehensibility, and therefore scalability. When used explicitly, they provide considerable value to an organization, including cost reduction, scalability, reliability, and even maturity.
Patterns provide the following key benefits:
The use of patterns allows us to identify recurring problems/patterns and employ consistent solutions. In security, this means that by identifying patterns during threat modeling, we can create consistent guidance for design, development, testing, and risk management.
The use of patterns allows us to automate some part of a problem while leaving the more complex concerns to be examined by experts— thus creating efficiencies.
Patterns create a common taxonomy to organize knowledge, train users/practitioners, and communicate with stakeholders.
The pattern-based threat modeling approach uses an understanding of commonly accepted patterns for threat analysis to bring consistency and efficiency to the threat modeling process. This solution provides more flexibility for scarce expert resources.
Scalability through a pattern-based solution: