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It was a great workshop held at Microsoft in DC today by Talhah Mir from the Application Consulting and Engineering (ACE) Team.  We covered such topics as threat modeling, code security, attacks and countermeasures as well as lots of other topics. 
 
First off, let's talk a little about the ACE Team at Microsoft.  The ACE Team is responsible for application performance, security, and privacy engineering at Microsoft.  They have their blog at this location which is well worth checking out:
 
Now that we covered the ACE Team, let's go into what we got into today, Microsoft Application Threat Modeling.  From the website as listed below, there is a threat modeling tool available from them which is well worth checking out called Threat Analysis and Modeling v2.0 (Beta).  I will be doing some demos on this site in the near future on how it can be relevant to you.
 
Home Site:
Blog:
 
Let's cover the basics of Threat Modeling.  Threat Modeling is based on the principle that building a secure application requires an understanding of the threats against the application.  There needs to be a focus on adopting security practices in the enterprise for application development.  The ACE team has developed processes to help organizations build detailed threat models without being security subject matter experts. 
 
The benefits of Microsoft Application Threat Modeling are that it:
- Provides a consistent methodology for identifying and evaluating threats to applications
- Translates risk to business impact
- Empowers the business to manage risk
- Creates awareness between teams of security dependencies and assumptions
 
The benefits of such a solution for application development are:
- Translates technical risk to business impact
- Provides a security strategy
- Prioritizes security features
- Understanding the values of effective countermeasures
 
And as well, the benefits to the security team are:
- Being more focused on security assessments
- Translates vulnerabilities to business impact
- Overall improved security awareness
 
The tool that I described above, the Microsoft Threat Analysis and Modeling tool can be very powerful to create rich threat models for the enterprise.  Let's go into that a little deeper.  This tool allows non-security subject matter experts to enter known data, including business requirements and architecture in order to create this model.  This tool delivers results in a technology agnostic manner, meaning that your model could work on .NET, J2EE or any other enterprise platform. 
 
This tool can generate for you, the following artifacts:
- Data access control matrix
- Component access control matrix
- Data flow
- Call flow
- Trust flow
- Attack surface
- Focused reports
 
This tool is also quite extensible, meaning that many of the drop down and configuration items in this tool can be extended through XML and custom modules.  I'm very excited about this tool, especially with the current integration with Team Foundation Server (TFS) with the Threat Uploader and the future functionality as well.  Stay tuned for more security focused posts about this tool and other security topics.
 
 
Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 7:02 PM Microsoft , .NET , Free Tools , Enterprise Architecture | Back to top


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