DevSecOps : The Big Picture —Part 2

DevSecOps Life Cycle

It’s been a long time since I wrote an article here on medium because of work engagements.

Now I’m back!! and this time with the part two of our serial : “DevSecOps The Big Picture”.

In the previous article, we discovered together the world of DevSecOps, it’s stages and it’s philosophy.

This time we will talk about the first stage in DevSecOps : Plan | Threat Modeling.

Table of content :

  1. What is the Plan stage ?
  2. What is Threat Modeling ?
  3. Use Case : Threat Modeling for an e-commmerce App

What is Plan Stage ?

In the DevOps lifecycle, “plan” is the first stage and involves the initial planning and preparation of a software development project. This stage is focused on defining the project goals, identifying the requirements and constraints, and determining the scope of the project.

During the plan stage, the team establishes a high-level view of the project and identifies the key stakeholders, their requirements, and their roles and responsibilities. The team also identifies the technologies and tools that will be used to develop, test, deploy, and monitor the application.

Another key aspect of the plan stage is the creation of a roadmap or project plan that outlines the timeline, milestones, and deliverables of the project. This plan provides a clear understanding of the project scope, timelines, and budget, and serves as a basis for tracking progress and making adjustments as needed.

What is Threat Modeling ?

Threat modeling is a structured approach to identifying and prioritizing potential threats and vulnerabilities in a system or application. It is a proactive process that involves systematically identifying and analyzing potential threats, considering the likelihood of those threats, and prioritizing them based on the potential impact they could have on the system or application.

The goal of threat modeling is to identify and address security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers. By analyzing potential threats and vulnerabilities in a structured and systematic way, organizations can better understand the security risks they face and develop appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

Threat modeling typically involves several steps, including identifying assets and potential threats, analyzing potential vulnerabilities, prioritizing risks based on their likelihood and impact, and developing and implementing mitigation strategies. The process may be conducted by security professionals, developers, or other stakeholders involved in the development or maintenance of a system or application.

Use Case : Threat Modeling for an E-commerce App

Here is a detailed threat modeling for an ecommerce app with examples:

Identify assets:

The first step is to identify the assets of the ecommerce app. Assets can include customer personal data, payment data, company information, and IT resources.

Example: Customer personal data includes name, address, email address, and credit card information.

Identify threats:

Next, you need to identify potential threats that could compromise the security of the ecommerce app. Some common threats for ecommerce apps include:

  • Malware attacks: Malware attacks can infect the ecommerce app’s website or the customer’s device, allowing attackers to steal data or launch other attacks.
  • SQL injection attacks: SQL injection attacks can allow attackers to access or modify sensitive data in the ecommerce app’s database.
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks: XSS attacks can allow attackers to inject malicious code into the ecommerce app’s website, allowing them to steal data or launch other attacks.
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks: DDoS attacks can overload the ecommerce app’s servers, causing the app to become unavailable to customers.
  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks: MITM attacks can allow attackers to intercept and modify data transmitted between the customer and the ecommerce app.
  • Account takeover: Account takeover can allow attackers to gain access to a customer’s account, stealing personal and payment data.
  • Social engineering attacks: Social engineering attacks can trick customers or employees into divulging sensitive information, such as login credentials or payment data.

Example: An attacker may use a SQL injection attack to steal credit card information from the ecommerce app’s database.

Analyze vulnerabilities:

After identifying potential threats, the next step is to analyze the vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit to launch these attacks. Some common vulnerabilities in an ecommerce app include:

  • Weak passwords: Weak passwords can make it easy for attackers to guess login credentials and gain access to sensitive data.
  • Unsecured APIs: Unsecured APIs can allow attackers to access or modify data in the ecommerce app’s database.
  • Unencrypted data transmission: Unencrypted data transmission can allow attackers to intercept and read data transmitted between the customer and the ecommerce app.
  • Lack of input validation: Lack of input validation can allow attackers to inject malicious code into the ecommerce app’s website or database.
  • Outdated software and frameworks: Outdated software and frameworks can contain known vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.
  • Lack of access controls: Lack of access controls can allow unauthorized users to access sensitive data.
  • Inadequate logging and monitoring: Inadequate logging and monitoring can make it difficult to detect and respond to attacks.

Example: Lack of input validation in the ecommerce app’s search function may allow an attacker to inject malicious code and steal customer data.

Prioritize threats:

After identifying vulnerabilities, the next step is to prioritize threats based on the severity of the impact they could have on the ecommerce app. For example, an SQL injection attack that compromises the entire database could have a more significant impact than a DDoS attack that only causes a temporary interruption.

Example: An SQL injection attack that steals credit card information would have a high priority as it could result in financial losses and damage the ecommerce app’s reputation.

Mitigate threats:

Finally, after prioritizing threats, the ecommerce app development team needs to take steps to mitigate these threats. Some common mitigation strategies include:

  • Implementing strong access controls: Access controls can limit who has access to sensitive data and features within the ecommerce app. This can include implementing role-based access controls, requiring strong passwords, and using multi-factor authentication.
  • Implementing encryption: Encryption can help protect sensitive data in transit and at rest. For example, implementing SSL/TLS encryption can help secure data transmission between the customer and the ecommerce app, and encrypting sensitive data stored in the ecommerce app’s database can help prevent unauthorized access.
  • Regularly updating software and frameworks: Regular updates can address known vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of attacks. This includes updating the ecommerce app’s software, web server, operating system, and any third-party libraries or frameworks used by the app.
  • Conducting regular security audits and vulnerability assessments: Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments can help identify potential vulnerabilities or threats that need to be addressed. This includes conducting penetration testing, code reviews, and vulnerability scanning.
  • Implementing logging and monitoring: Implementing logging and monitoring can help detect and respond to potential attacks. This includes implementing intrusion detection and prevention systems, setting up alerts for unusual activity, and regularly reviewing logs for potential security incidents.
  • Providing security training for employees and customers: Educating employees and customers on best security practices can help reduce the risk of social engineering attacks and improve overall security awareness.

By implementing these mitigation strategies, the ecommerce app development team can help reduce the risk of security breaches and protect sensitive data.

Until Next !!



Ayoub NAJIM 🛡️🇲🇦☁️

My name is Ayoub. I am a Cyber Security Consultant, a Software Engineer and DevSecOps Specialist. I specialize in Penetration Testing, DevSecOps and JAVA / C#.