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Microsoft Released a Threat Modeling Tool

by Abel Avram on Jan 29, 2009 |

Microsoft has released SDL Threat Modeling Tool 3, a tool used to model, analyze, track and mitigate security vulnerabilities early in the application’s design process.

Usually a threat modeling process involves the following steps:

  • Step 1: Identify security objectives. Clear objectives help you to focus the threat modeling activity and determine how much effort to spend on subsequent steps.
  • Step 2: Create an application overview. Itemizing your application's important characteristics and actors helps you to identify relevant threats during step 4.
  • Step 3: Decompose your application. A detailed understanding of the mechanics of your application makes it easier for you to uncover more relevant and more detailed threats.
  • Step 4: Identify threats. Use details from steps 2 and 3 to identify threats relevant to your application scenario and context.
  • Step 5: Identify vulnerabilities. Review the layers of your application to identify weaknesses related to your threats. Use vulnerability categories to help you focus on those areas where mistakes are most often made.

SDL Threat Modeling Tool allows the architects to analyze an application’s design and identify potential security vulnerabilities, suggest and manage the corresponding solutions and communicate those issue to other members of the team. The tool includes the following features:

  • Automation: Guidance and feedback in drawing threat diagrams
  • STRIDE Framework: Guided analysis of threats and mitigations
  • Integration: Issue-tracking systems
  • Reporting capabilities: Security activities and testing in the verification phase

While the tool itself is free, running it requires Visio 2007.

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