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Threat Modeling: Designing for Security by Adam Shostack

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Chapter 1Dive In and Threat Model!

Anyone can learn to threat model, and what's more, everyone should. Threat modeling is about using models to find security problems. Using a model means abstracting away a lot of details to provide a look at a bigger picture, rather than the code itself. You model because it enables you to find issues in things you haven't built yet, and because it enables you to catch a problem before it starts. Lastly, you threat model as a way to anticipate the threats that could affect you.

Threat modeling is first and foremost a practical discipline, and this chapter is structured to reflect that practicality. Even though this book will provide you with many valuable definitions, theories, philosophies, effective approaches, and well-tested techniques, you'll want those to be grounded in experience. Therefore, this chapter avoids focusing on theory and ignores variations for now and instead gives you a chance to learn by experience.

To use an analogy, when you start playing an instrument, you need to develop muscles and awareness by playing the instrument. It won't sound great at the start, and it will be frustrating at times, but as you do it, you'll find it gets easier. You'll start to hit the notes and the timing. Similarly, if you use the simple four-step breakdown of how to threat model that's exercised in Parts I-III of this book, you'll start to develop your muscles. You probably know the old joke about the person who stops a musician on the streets ...

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