How to Use the STRIDE Threat Model?

by | Jan 3, 2024

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how to use stride threat model

Hey, all security geeks! This time, we are going to make a deep splash inside the world of STRIDE Threat Modeling. Imagine yourself as a superhero of Software System Security who is equipped with tools to find and neutralize enemies that are going to threaten citizens. This article is about how one should apply the STRIDE threat model well, step by step, to apply it well and derive the security requirements of your applications.

What is STRIDE Threat Model?

Before we dive into the details, let’s first make a very brief summary of what the STRIDE threat model is: STRIDE is a powerful acronym that presents 6 different categories of threats.

  • Spoofing Identity: Impersonating or faking someone’s identity.
  • Tampering with Data: Unauthorized modification or alteration of data.
  • Repudiation: Denying or disavowing actions or transactions.
  • Information Disclosure: Unauthorized access or exposure of sensitive information.
  • Denial of Service: Impairing access to resources.
  • Elevation of Privilege: Gaining illegal access to higher privileges or capabilities.

Taking these threats into consideration systemically becomes absolutely necessary,
understanding the problem space at different stages of the application lifecycle, and hence enhancing the security posture of the application.

Also Read, Best Way To Do Threat Modeling 

Step-by-Step Guide to Using STRIDE Threat Model

Let’s get our geek on and dive into the steps of using the STRIDE threat model:

1. Identify and Document the Assets

Note important assets or system parts that need protection. It might go from sensitive data to function, from user interfaces to parts of infrastructure. Document these to have a clear overview of what should be secured

2. Decompose the System

Divide the system into smaller components, such as modules or services. This decomposition helps you understand the system’s architecture and identify potential entry points for threats.

3. Analyze Each Component using STRIDE

For each component, analyze the potential threats using the STRIDE model. Consider how each threat category could impact the component and what vulnerabilities might be exploited.

Also Read, How to Improve Your Analytics Thinking in Threat Modeling

4. Identify Potential Threats and Vulnerabilities

Brainstorm potential threats and vulnerabilities that align with each STRIDE category. Think about how an attacker could exploit each threat and the impact it would have on the system.

5. Assess the Likelihood and Impact

Evaluate the likelihood of each threat and its potential. The threat is considered on the potential impact caused to the system, including even losing data, its financial impacts, or reputation of the organization, and the probability of occurrence.

Also Read, Threat Modeling Best Practices

6. Prioritize and Mitigate the Risks

Prioritize the threats with regard to likelihood and impact. Give attention to the risks of high priority with respect to mitigation. Identify the mitigations or countermeasures that will reduce the likelihood or impact of each threat appropriately. For example, access control mechanisms, data encryption, or input validation mechanisms.

7. Test, Monitor, and Iterate

Verify if the mitigations put in place are working or not, and keep monitoring the system to capture new threats or vulnerabilities that might enter.” Continue iterating and updating your threat model continuously as and when either new identified risks call for or the system evolves.

Also Read, Threat Modeling vs Penetration Testing

Real-World Example of STRIDE Threat Model in Action

Let’s bring STRIDE threat modeling to life with a real-world example. Imagine you’re developing a banking application. By using the STRIDE model, you can:

  • Identify potential spoofing threats by implementing robust authentication mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication.
  • Address tampering risks by employing secure data storage and encryption techniques.
  • Mitigate the risk of repudiation by implementing secure audit trails and digital signatures.
  • Protect against information disclosure by adopting strict access controls and data masking techniques.
  • Guard against denial of service attacks by implementing rate-limiting mechanisms and load balancing.
  • Prevent elevation of privilege by using role-based access controls and least privilege principles.

By following the STRIDE threat modeling approach, you’ll build a secure banking application that safeguards user data and resources effectively.

Also Read, Types of Threat Modeling Methodology

Conclusion

Congratulations, fellow security geeks! You now possess the knowledge to wield the STRIDE threat model as your weapon of choice in securing your applications. By systematically analyzing and addressing threats according to the STRIDE categories, you’ll strengthen your system’s defenses and protect it from potential risks.

Upskill in Threat Modeling

The Certified Threat Modeling Professional (CTMP) course provides hands-on training through browser-based labs, 24/7 instructor support, and the best learning resources to upskill in Threat Modeling.

Start your journey mastering Threat Modeling today with 
Practical DevSecOps!
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Meet The Author

Misbah Thevarmannil

Misbah Thevarmannil

Misbah Thevarmannil is a content engineer who thrives at the intersection of creativity and technical writing expertise. She scripts articles on DevSecOps and Cybersecurity that are technically sound, clear, and concise to readers. With a knack for translating complex DevSecOps concepts into engaging narratives, she empowers developers and security professionals alike.

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