Chapter 3. What Is Threat Modeling?

Security is a lot about tradeoffs. Rarely can you apply a security countermeasure to a system and not trade off convenience, privacy, or something else that users of that system hold dear to their hearts. Bruce Schneier talks a lot about these tradeoffs in real-world systems such as airports (Schneier 2000). In computer systems, the same tradeoffs apply. Forcing users to run with least privilege (as opposed to administrators) is a huge hurdle that many organizations cannot seem to get past, for example, simply because it's painful for users. Most software breaks when run without administrative privileges (which is stupid and should be fixed, as I discuss in Item 8).

It stands to reason that when designing secure ...

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