The modern day approach to threat modeling: automate it using SD Elements

Threat modeling and slowdown

Traditional threat modeling is struggling to find a place in application security today. The process thoroughly maps out complex diagrams detailing vulnerable points of attack in applications, but it requires the manual and time-consuming effort of experienced security experts. The modern organization wants to move faster, so anything that slows it down is being replaced, and sometimes, skipped entirely.

While traditional threat modeling still works well for waterfall methodologies, it needs to adapt to the fast-paced needs of today’s environment, which means embracing iterative and continuous development. SD Elements provides an efficient way to perform threat modeling that handles application security at scale.

Addressing industry challenges

Software security is a major challenge in today’s industry. As organizations move towards increasingly complex and distributed applications as well as Agile methodologies for faster release cycles, strong security practices become even more important.

While some organizations choose to accept the risk of skipping threat modeling, we can’t ignore its benefits to security. The various approaches to threat modeling offer security advantages, such as identifying risk, cultivating a security mindset, and protecting investments. Consider how New York’s Cyber Command (NYC3) was able to block over 500 intrusion attempts within four months of integrating threat modeling into its security practices.

Despite the success of NYC3, organizations are not won over on threat modeling. It’s a manually intensive process that often requires external vendors. It’s also increasingly difficult to execute because it sets out to map all system communications and potential attack points for company-wide applications. What’s more, detailed data flow diagramming processes are not even necessary for the majority of non-critical applications, especially in a DevOps environment, and so threat modeling activities become repetitive, inefficient, and redundant. In the end, most organizations may not see threat modeling as a security enabler, but as a security blocker instead.

To address the issue, we built lightweight threat modeling capabilities into our own platform, SD Elements.

Breathing life back into threat modeling with SD Elements

Use SD Elements to perform lightweight threat modeling. To start, have a member of your organization fill out our questionnaire to build a profile detailing the technical and compliance needs of your application. Based on this information, SD Elements will generate relevant and actionable countermeasures from its security database.

With background knowledge of your application’s architecture, this threat modeling process only takes a few minutes to complete: once you have completed the questionnaire and on-boarded your application to SD Elements, the results are delivered to you directly. SD Elements will return a full list of actionable procedures to mitigate threats that could affect your application, as well as relevant training instructions so that your developers can respond appropriately.

The questionnaire part of the process can be further automated if your team uses a project integration plugin with SD Elements. Our solution features extensive coverage for virtually all known domain-agnostic threats (related to architecture and technology), and it offers expedited, scalable threat modeling with built-in support to ensure compliance. Finally, your application profile can easily be updated to include any new threats added to the SD Elements database.

Next steps

Learn more about how SD Elements scales threat modeling for Enterprise:

Our threat modeling webpage:

Infographic: Compare SD Elements automated threat modeling with manual threat modeling:

Our threat modeling 2-pager:


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