IriusRisk Team
The Threat Modeling Experts
March 14, 2024

Securing the Cloud with the Power of Threat Modeling

In the digital age, where data can be a high value asset for a business, cloud computing now has the function of storing and protecting this asset. Yet, with great convenience comes great responsibility, particularly when it comes to safeguarding sensitive information in the cloud. As organizations increasingly rely on cloud services for storage, processing, and more, the need for robust security measures becomes a top priority. One such practice gaining further traction is threat modeling.

Recently, CISA and NSA released noteworthy documents titled "Use Secure Cloud Identity and Access Management Practices"¹ & “NSA’s Top Ten Cloud Security Mitigation Strategies”2, shedding light on crucial aspects of cloud security and relevant mitigation examples. These publications emphasize the significance of Identity and Access Management (IAM) in strengthening cloud defenses against potential threats and how to mitigate against them. However, it's not just about implementing IAM solutions; understanding the threat landscape through effective threat modeling is just as essential.

What is Threat Modeling?

At its core, threat modeling is a proactive approach to identifying, evaluating, and applying corresponding mitigations to relative threats. It involves systematically analyzing an application or system to anticipate possible vulnerabilities, attack vectors, and their expected impacts. By doing so, organizations can devise robust security measures early in the development lifecycle, saving time, resources, and potentially preventing security breaches.

The Importance of Threat Modeling in Cloud Security

Cloud computing has changed the processes of how data is stored, accessed, and managed. While it offers unparalleled scalability and flexibility, it also introduces unique security challenges. Threat modeling enables security departments and Dev teams for the following  reasons:

  • Attack Surface discovery: Cloud environments have extensive attack surfaces, consisting of various components such as compute, storage virtual machines, containers, APIs, and more. Threat modeling helps discover these attack surfaces, enabling organizations to prioritize security control measures based on the most critical subject sections under analysis.
  • Security by Design: By systematically analyzing the cloud infrastructure and applications, organizations can discover vulnerabilities before they're potentially exploited. This proactive approach allows for timely remediation, reducing the likelihood of cyber attacks.
  • Defining Security Controls: Threat modeling provides valuable insights into the types of security controls needed to mitigate identified threats. Whether it's implementing encryption mechanisms, access controls, or intrusion detection systems, threat modeling guides the selection and implementation of appropriate security measures.
  • Compliance and Risk Assessments: In an increasingly regulated landscape, compliance with industry standards and regulations is mandatory. Threat modeling supports with aligning security practices with compliance requirements, ensuring adherence to the regulatory laws and applicable reference standards.
  • Secure by Design & Secure by default: By integrating threat modeling into the development and deployment processes, organizations can continually refine and adapt their security posture as the threat landscape changes. This iterative approach encourages a culture of security awareness and resilience, crucial for navigating an ever evolving threat landscape.


Due diligence and coordination between multiple disciplines is critical for securing cloud systems, services, data and applications. Threat modeling serves as a fundamental design activity to identify cyber threats, enabling organizations to assess the security with confidence. As highlighted in the "Use Secure Cloud Identity and Access Management Practices'' document, a proactive approach to security, grounded in threat modeling principles, is an essential process in safeguarding sensitive data in the cloud. By integrating threat modeling as part of the security strategy of any cloud infrastructure design, organizations can strengthen their defenses, mitigate associated risks, and initiate their cloud design with confidence and resilience.

What next?

Take a look at our product page to learn more about how IriusRisk Threat Modeling Tool can support your efforts in securing cloud applications and environments.