Threat modelling to identify your cybersecurity threats & vulnerabilities

5 min read

Threat modelling is not just nice to have. It’s essential. As the frequency of cyber threats continues to rise, businesses must take proactive measures to safeguard their sensitive data and assets from cybercriminals. Data security threats can emerge from various sources, and today’s digitally advanced workplaces rely heavily on technology and data sharing. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in computers, smartphones, cloud applications, and network infrastructure, allowing them to infiltrate an alarming 93% of company networks.

One effective approach that organisations can adopt to combat these intrusions is threat modelling. Threat modelling is a cybersecurity process that involves identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities to an organisation’s assets and systems. By conducting threat modelling, businesses can prioritise their risk management and mitigation strategies to minimise the risk of costly cyber incidents.

Here are the recommended steps for businesses to perform a threat model:

Identify Critical Assets Requiring Protection

The initial step involves identifying the assets that are most critical to the business, such as sensitive data, intellectual property, and financial information. It’s crucial to consider phishing-related assets, including company email accounts, as business email compromise attacks exploit compromised email logins.

Identify Potential Threats through threat modelling

Next, businesses should identify potential threats to the identified assets. These threats may include cyber-attacks like phishing, ransomware, malware, and social engineering. Physical breaches or insider threats, where employees or vendors have access to sensitive information, should also be considered. Additionally, businesses must be aware that human error contributes to approximately 88% of data breaches, so they should account for mistake-related threats, such as weak passwords, unclear cloud usage policies, lack of employee training, and inadequate BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies.

Assess Likelihood and Impact

Once potential threats have been identified, the next step is to assess the likelihood and impact of each threat. Businesses need to evaluate the probability of each threat occurring and the potential consequences for their operations, reputation, and financial stability. Current cybersecurity statistics and a thorough vulnerability assessment should guide the assessment, preferably conducted by a trusted third-party IT service provider. Relying solely on internal input may lead to overlooking crucial aspects.

Prioritise Risk Management Strategies with threat modelling

Following the assessment, businesses should prioritise risk management strategies based on the likelihood and impact of each potential threat. Given time and cost constraints, ranking solutions according to their impact on cybersecurity is essential. Common strategies to consider include implementing access controls, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, employee training and awareness programs, and endpoint device management. Moreover, businesses should consider the cost-effectiveness of the strategies and ensure they align with their overarching business goals.

Continuously Review and Update the threat modelling

Threat modelling is an ongoing process rather than a one-time activity since cyber threats continuously evolve. Businesses should regularly review and update their threat models to ensure the effectiveness of their security measures and alignment with their business objectives.

Threat modelling

Benefits of Threat Modeling for Businesses

Incorporating threat modelling into a cybersecurity strategy offers several benefits for businesses:

Improved Understanding of Threats and Vulnerabilities

Threat modelling enhances businesses’ understanding of specific threats and vulnerabilities that could impact their assets. It helps identify security gaps and unveils risk management strategies. Ongoing threat modelling aids in staying ahead of emerging threats as artificial intelligence regularly gives rise to new forms of cyber attacks.

Cost-effective Threat Risk Management

By addressing risk management based on the likelihood and impact of threats, businesses can optimise their security investments and allocate resources efficiently, reducing costs.

Business Alignment with Threats

Threat modelling ensures that security measures align with business objectives, minimising the potential disruption of security measures on business operations. It promotes the

harmonisation of security, goals, and operations.

Reduced Risk of Cyber Incidents

By implementing targeted risk management strategies, businesses can effectively mitigate the likelihood and impact of cybersecurity incidents. This proactive approach protects assets and mitigates the adverse consequences of a security breach.

Begin Comprehensive Threat Identification Today

If you’re wondering how to initiate a threat modelling assessment, our experts are here to assist you in establishing a comprehensive threat modelling program. Contact us today to schedule a discussion and take a step towards enhanced cybersecurity.

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