While working on security guidance at Microsoft, I introduced the concept of “Visual Threats and Countermeasures” to help customers quickly identify potential issues in their applications.
I wanted a simple way to show customers how to quickly whiteboard their application and find issues.
This simple but effective approach proved highly valuable in pinpointing hotspots and drilling down into specific problem areas.
Over time, I have continued to apply this approach to other domains, helping organizations of all kinds improve their security posture and protect their assets.
What are Visual Threats and Countermeasures?
Visual Threats and Countermeasures is a technique used in software development to identify potential security threats in an application.
It involves creating a visual representation of the application and analyzing it to identify potential attack vectors and security weaknesses.
By doing so, developers can proactively address these issues before they become a problem. This approach is especially useful for identifying hotspots and drilling down to the root cause of the security issue.
I first introduced the technique as part of Microsoft patterns & practices Security guidance and have since applied it beyond security and beyond software development.
Here is an example:
This is a simple visual depiction of a Web application as you might draw it on a whiteboard.
Threats / Attacks
This is a visual depiction of the potential threats and attacks against the web application.
This is a depiction of the vulnerabilities that need to be addressed in order to address the threats and attacks.
Database Server Threats / Attacks and Vulnerabilities
Here is another example, but in this case, we’re focused on the database server.
Library Threats / Attacks and Vulnerabilities
Here is an example focused on a reusable library.
Web Application Threats / Attacks and Vulnerabilities
Here is an example focused on potential threats and attacks against a web application.
Web Server Threats / Attacks and Vulnerabilities
Here is an example focused on potential threats and attacks against a Web server.
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