July 13, 2023

Threat Modelling to Reduce Risk

Corporate Responsibility Cybersecurity Security Technology

As cyber threats continue to increase, organisations must take proactive steps. They need to protect their sensitive data and assets from cybercriminals. If they don’t, these organisations could suffer devastating financial losses and irreparable reputational damage. Threats to data security are persistent, and they come from many different places. They could occur anywhere along the digital supply chain”"from the servers that store the information to your employees’ devices to cloud applications used by your suppliers.

It is estimated that Cyber Criminals can penetrate 93% of an organisation’s network.

Taking steps to mitigate threats.

Threat modelling is a process used in cybersecurity to evaluate the potential threats and vulnerabilities (i.e., weaknesses) of an enterprise. Threat models are used to help inform an organisation’s decisions and strategies for mitigating risk to their products and services.

Steps to take to protect the organisation.

Review and Identify Assets that Require Protection.

When cybercriminals attack, what are they after? Data, information, and money. As phishing attacks continue to grow in number and impact, it is mandatory for organisations to identify assets that are critical to operations.

Identify Potential Threats

Threats to security are numerous. They could be external, such as phishing or other attacks on your web application. It could also be a physical or internal attack by someone that has access to your network. In many cases, the threat isn’t always a malicious actor, but simply down to human error. In fact, approximately 88% of data breaches are the result of human mistakes.

Common types include:

  • Weak passwords
  • Lack of employee understanding or training
  • Unclear or poorly communicated policies.
  • No or poor BYOD policies.

Assess your Posture and Possible Impact

Once you’ve identified your potential threats, take the next step. This is to assess the likelihood and impact of these threats. Organisations must understand how likely each threat is to occur. As well as the potential impact on their operations, reputation, and financial stability. This will help rank the risk management and mitigation strategies.

It is important to have a baseline measure of your security posture, which can be achieved with a thorough vulnerability assessment. This is best delivered by a third party with experience across the security landscape as internal assessments are prone to missing key areas within the organisation and it only takes one vulnerability to expose the organisation to attack.

Set Priorities for Your Risk Management

Prioritise risk management strategies next. Base this on the likelihood and impact of each potential threat. Most organisations can’t tackle everything at once due to time and cost constraints. So, it’s important to rank solutions based on the biggest impact on cybersecurity.

Some common strategies to consider include implementing:

  • Authentication mechanisms for employees, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) or multifactor authentication (MFA). 2FA requires an additional piece of information beyond a username and password to gain access to an account, while MFA requires multiple pieces of information (like a password plus a digital token or biometric scan).
  • A secure internet gateway that can block malicious traffic before it reaches your network. This is particularly useful if you have partners with whom you share data or applications running across public networks like the Internet.
  • A firewall that prevents unauthorized access from outside sources; however, this doesn’t protect against insider attacks.
  • Endpoint device management to control access to back-end network and systems from the plethora of devices connecting to the network, including laptops and mobile devices.

Continuously Review and Update Your Strategy.

Threat modelling is not a one-time process. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and organisations must continuously review and update their threat models to ensure that their security measures are effective. This will help them align with business objectives.

When you’re trying to protect your organisation, you need to understand what threats you’re facing. And that means knowing what vulnerabilities could impact your assets, as well as gaps in your security measures and risk management strategies.

Threat modelling can help you do all of this. It will give you a better understanding of specific threats and uncover vulnerabilities that could impact your assets.

It also identifies gaps in your security measures and helps uncover risk management strategies. Ongoing threat modelling can also help companies stay out in front of new threats. Artificial intelligence is birthing new types of cyber threats every day. Companies that are complacent can fall victim to new attacks.

Align your Security Model with Goals and Risk

When it comes to risk management, organisations face a number of challenges. They need to balance their security investments with the likelihood and impact of threats. This can prove challenging when you’re trying to optimise security investments while also ensuring that organisations divide resources effectively and efficiently.

Using threat modelling can help ensure that security measures align with the objectives. This can reduce the potential impact of security measures on operations. It also helps and align security, goals, and operational activities.

Reduce your Risk of a Cyber Incident

By implementing targeted risk management strategies, your organisation can reduce risk. This includes the likelihood and impact of cybersecurity incidents. This will help to protect their assets. It also reduces the negative consequences of a security breach.

The main goal of these strategies is to mitigate potential threats that could compromise your company’s security. This might include preventing malware from infecting your network or stopping someone from accessing sensitive data without authorization.

It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as perfect safety”"no system is truly immune from attack.

Let us improve your Security Posture – How FourNet can Help.

We work with some of the UK’s most critical and secure organisations, including Central Government Departments, Universities, Ambulance and Police services and many others.  We can shape and improve your security posture and strategies through a range of services, including a comprehensive cyber security audit.

We offer a range of audits to benchmark your current posture and work alongside you to develop a robust security plan aligned with your goals and risks. We also offer a range of managed security services, including a 24/7 Security Operations Centre to support your organisation every minute of every day.

Talk to our team to find out more about how we can help you or boost your knowledge with our free security guides.

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