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Practical Threat Modelling Techniques: How to Protect Your Systems and Data

5 April 2023

Practical Threat Modelling Techniques: How to Protect Your Systems and Data

This article is brought to you by JBI Training, the UK's leading technology training provider.   Learn more about JBI's Tech training courses including Cyber Security and  threat modelling for developers. We offer a range of training options, including onsite and virtual training, tailored to meet the specific needs of organisations and individuals.

Introduction:

In today's digital age, it is more important than ever to protect our systems and data from potential threats. Threat modeling is an effective technique that can help organizations identify potential security threats and take steps to mitigate them. In this guide, we will explore practical threat modelling techniques and show you how to protect your systems and data.

 

Step-by-Step Guide:

 

1.     Identify Assets: The first step in threat modelling is to identify the assets that need to be protected. These can include hardware, software, data, and personnel. Once you have identified these assets, you can then determine the potential threats to each one.

2.     Identify Threats: The next step is to identify potential threats to your assets. This can include internal and external threats, such as unauthorized access, data breaches, and malware.

3.     Assess Risks: Once you have identified potential threats, you need to assess the risks associated with each one. This can involve quantifying the likelihood and impact of each threat.

4.     Mitigate Risks: The next step is to mitigate the risks associated with each threat. This can include implementing security controls such as access controls, firewalls, and encryption.

5.     Monitor and Update: Finally, you need to monitor your systems and data regularly to ensure that they remain secure. This can include conducting regular security audits and updating your security controls as needed.

 

Code Examples:

 

Here are some code examples that can help you implement practical threat modelling techniques:

1.     Access Controls:

Access controls can help you restrict access to sensitive data or systems. Here is an example of how to implement access controls in Python:

 

def authenticate_user(username, password):

    # Check if username and password are valid

    if username == "admin" and password == "password123":

        return True

    else:

        return False

 

def view_sensitive_data(username, password):

    if authenticate_user(username, password):

        # Show sensitive data

        print("Here is your sensitive data")

    else:

        print("Access Denied")

 

In this example, we have defined a function that checks if the user's credentials are valid before showing sensitive data.

 

2.     Encryption:

Encryption can help you protect data that is transmitted over a network or stored on disk. Here is an example of how to encrypt data in Java:

 

import javax.crypto.Cipher;

import javax.crypto.spec.SecretKeySpec;

 

public class EncryptionExample {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {

        String plainText = "This is some sensitive data";

        String key = "mySecretKey12345";

 

        // Create AES encryption cipher

        Cipher cipher = Cipher.getInstance("AES");

        SecretKeySpec keySpec = new SecretKeySpec(key.getBytes(), "AES");

        cipher.init(Cipher.ENCRYPT_MODE, keySpec);

 

        // Encrypt the plain text

        byte[] encrypted = cipher.doFinal(plainText.getBytes());

 

        // Print the encrypted text

        System.out.println("Encrypted Text: " + new String(encrypted));

    }

}

 

In this example, we have used the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm to encrypt some sensitive data using a secret key.

 

Use Cases:

Here are some use cases where practical threat modelling techniques can be applied:

1.     E-Commerce Website:

An e-commerce website needs to protect sensitive customer data such as names, addresses, and credit card details. Practical threat modelling techniques can be used to identify potential threats such as data breaches and unauthorized access. Security controls such as access controls, encryption, and regular security audits can then be implemented to mitigate these risks.

2.     Financial Institution:

A financial institution needs to protect its systems and data from external threats such as hacking and malware. Practical threat modelling techniques can be used to identify potential threats and assess the risks associated with each one. Security controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits can then be implemented to mitigate these risks.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, practical threat modelling techniques are essential for protecting our systems and data from potential threats. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can identify potential threats, assess the risks associated with each one, and implement security controls to mitigate these risks. Remember to regularly monitor your systems and data to ensure that they remain secure. With these techniques in place, you can protect your systems and data from potential threats and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your information is safe.

Official Documentation

Microsoft's Threat Modelling Tool:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49168

OWASP Threat Modelling Cheat Sheet:

https://cheatsheetseries.owasp.org/cheatsheets/Threat_Modeling_Cheat_Sheet.html

NIST Special Publication 800-154:

https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-154/draft

JBI Training is a leading provider of bespoke training courses in the field of cybersecurity, including threat modelling for developers. We offer a range of training options, including onsite and virtual training, tailored to meet the specific needs of organisations and individuals.

Our Cyber Security courses are designed to cover real-world scenarios for you and your staff, JBI Training's team of experienced instructors are experts in the field of cybersecurity, with many years of practical experience working in the industry. They use a variety of teaching methods, including hands-on exercises and case studies, to help participants develop practical skills and gain a deeper understanding of the material.

By partnering with JBI Training for your threat modelling training needs, you can ensure that your organisation is well-equipped to identify and mitigate security threats and protect against cyber-attacks. Our bespoke courses can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organisation, ensuring that you get the most out of your training investment.

About the author: Daniel West
Tech Blogger & Researcher for JBI Training

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