79% of organizations identify threat modeling as a top priority in 2021

Security Compass published the results of a report designed to provide a better understanding of the current state of threat modeling in mid-sized, $100M to $999M and large sized, $1B + enterprises, with a specific focus on the challenges organizations face in scaling threat modeling for the applications they build and deploy.

threat modeling challenges

Individuals directly involved in threat modeling efforts within their organizations provided insights on their companies’ approach as well as gaps and vulnerabilities.

The most pressing issue uncovered by the study was the growing priority of threat modeling for applications that companies build, coinciding with a belief that the majority or all of these efforts could be automated. Traditional threat modeling practices are historically slow, and hinder an organization’s goals of getting applications to market quickly.

Additionally, over half of respondents reported issues when trying to integrate this essential process into their existing technologies. These shortcomings contributed to the finding that less than half of organizations feel very prepared for critical cybersecurity threats.

There is a clear need for more scalability and automation in threat modeling to balance rapid software development with secure software development.

Current performance on threat modeling approaches

  • Only 25% of survey participants indicate their organizations conduct threat modeling during the early phases of software development requirements gathering and design, before proceeding with application development.
  • Less than 10% report their organizations perform threat modeling on 90% or more of the applications they develop. Most commonly, organizations test between 50-74% of their applications.

Lack of automation

  • Over 60% of organizations believe that all aspects of their organization’s threat modeling could be fully automated, yet only 28% have reached that threshold.
  • More than half of organizations face challenges in automating and integrating their threat modeling activities with other technologies, with 41% of respondents expressing that it takes too long.

Impact of COVID-19 and supply chain vulnerability

  • Over 80% of organizations had to make moderate to significant changes to their cybersecurity approach as a result of COVID-19.
  • Supply chains may be particularly vulnerable, with more than 84% of organizations reporting making cybersecurity changes because of supply chain vulnerability. However, 31% of companies do threat modeling on less than half the applications they develop associated with their supply chain.

“Software is being used in almost every aspect of everyday life, making it essential for organizations to be equipped with the necessary resources to perform timely threat modeling on the applications that they develop and deploy,” said Rohit Sethi, CEO, Security Compass. “Threat modeling ensures that vulnerabilities are recognized and remediated before they become a problem.”