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Threat Modeling: Designing for Security by Adam Shostack

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Chapter 19Architecting for Success

There is no perfect or true way to threat model; but that is not to say that there are no poor approaches documented, approaches that have never worked for anyone but their author, and it is not to say that you can't compare approaches and decide that some are better or worse. One readily observable indicator is whether the authors describe organizational factors in depth, such as the degree of expertise needed, or inputs and outputs. Another indicator is whether the system has proponents (other than its creators) who make use of it in their own work.

This chapter closes the book by looking at the ways in which the threat modeling practitioner's approach, framing, scope, and related issues can help you design new processes or roll processes out successfully. In other words, it moves from focusing on how threat modeling can go wrong to how to make it work effectively.

This chapter begins with a discussion of flow and the importance of knowing the participants, and then covers boundary objects and how “the best is the enemy of the good.” It closes with a discussion of how “the threat model” is evolving and artistry in threat modeling.

Understanding Flow

Flow is the state of full immersion and participation in an activity. It reflects a state of undistracted concentration on a task at hand, and is associated with effective performance by experts in many fields. In his book Finding Flow, Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi (Basic Books, 1997) describes how ...

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