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STRIDE Threat Model

STRIDE Threat Model

STRIDE Threat Model

In the world of database security, identifying and mitigating potential threats is crucial. The STRIDE Threat Model, developed by Microsoft, is a powerful tool for assessing and addressing security risks. This article explores the basics of the STRIDE Threat Model and gives examples of its application in different scenarios.

What is the STRIDE Threat Model?

The STRIDE Threat Model is an acronym that represents six common types of security threats:

  1. Spoofing
  2. Tampering
  3. Repudiation
  4. Information Disclosure
  5. Denial of Service
  6. Elevation of Privilege

By categorizing threats into these six categories, the STRIDE Threat Model helps security professionals systematically analyze and mitigate risks.

Security threat models are methods to identify, assess, and prioritize threats to a system or organization. These models help in understanding the risk landscape, defining security measures, and mitigating vulnerabilities. Here are some of the key threat modeling methodologies widely used in cybersecurity: PASTA, OCTAVE, VAST, Attack Trees, CVSS.

Threat models differ in approach, complexity, and security focus. All aim to help organizations understand and manage security risks. Depending on the organization’s specific needs, one might be more appropriate than the others.


Spoofing occurs when an attacker pretends to be a legitimate user or system. In the context of databases, spoofing can involve using stolen credentials to gain unauthorized access. Here’s an example of how spoofing can be prevented using SQL:

-- Creating a user with a strong password
CREATE USER 'john'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'Str0ngP@ssw0rd';

Enforcing strong password policies and secure authentication mechanisms minimizes the risk of spoofing.


Tampering refers to the unauthorized modification of data. Attackers may attempt to alter database records or manipulate queries to achieve malicious goals. To prevent tampering, it’s essential to implement proper access controls and input validation. Here’s an example of parameterized queries in Python to prevent SQL injection, a common tampering technique:

# Parameterized query to prevent SQL injection
query = "SELECT * FROM users WHERE username = %s"
cursor.execute(query, (username,))

Parameterized queries treat user input as data, not code. This reduces the risk of tampering.


Repudiation occurs when a user denies performing an action, and there is no way to prove otherwise. To address this threat, it’s crucial to implement robust logging and auditing mechanisms. Here’s an example of enabling audit logging in MySQL:

-- Enabling audit logging
SET GLOBAL audit_log_policy = 'ALL';
SET GLOBAL audit_log_format = 'JSON';
SET GLOBAL audit_log_file = '/var/log/mysql/audit.log';

Audit logging records all database activities. This provides evidence in case of repudiation.

Information Disclosure

Information disclosure happens when sensitive data is visible to unauthorized parties. To prevent information disclosure, it’s essential to implement proper access controls and encrypt sensitive data. Here’s an example of encrypting a column in MySQL:

-- Encrypting a column
SET @key = 'SecretKey';
UPDATE users SET ssn = AES_ENCRYPT(ssn, @key);

Encrypting sensitive data at rest minimizes the impact of information disclosure.

Denial of Service

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks aim to make a system unavailable to legitimate users. In the context of databases, DoS attacks can overwhelm resources, causing slowdowns or crashes. To mitigate DoS risks, it’s important to implement rate limiting and monitor for abnormal activity. Here’s an example of rate limiting using iptables in Linux:

# Rate limiting incoming connections
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 3306 -m state --state NEW -m recent --set
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 3306 -m state --state NEW -m recent --update --seconds 60 --hitcount 10 -j DROP

Limiting the rate of incoming connections can reduce the impact of DoS attacks.

Elevation of Privilege

Elevation of Privilege (EoP) occurs when a user gains higher privileges than intended. To prevent EoP, it’s crucial to follow the principle of least privilege and regularly review user permissions. Here’s an example of granting limited privileges to a user in MySQL:

-- Granting limited privileges to a user
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE ON database.table TO 'user'@'localhost';

Granting only necessary privileges to users minimizes the risk of EoP (Elevation of Privilege).

Applying the STRIDE Threat Model

When using the STRIDE Threat Model on a database, consider the system’s unique characteristics and requirements. Here are some general steps to follow:

  1. Identify assets: Determine the valuable assets within the database system that need protection.
  2. Create a data flow diagram: Map out how data flows through the system, including inputs, outputs, and processing steps.
  3. Identify threats: Analyze each component of the system against the STRIDE categories to identify potential threats.
  4. Assess risks: Evaluate the likelihood and impact of each identified threat.
  5. Implement mitigations: Develop and implement appropriate security controls to address the identified risks.


The STRIDE Threat Model is a valuable framework for assessing and mitigating security risks in database systems. By categorizing threats into six distinct categories, it provides a structured approach to identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities. By following best practices and implementing appropriate security controls, organizations can significantly enhance the security of their databases.

DataSunrise is a comprehensive database security solution that offers exceptional and flexible tools for security, audit rules, masking, and compliance.

Our experts help organizations protect sensitive data and meet regulations. Schedule an online demo with DataSunrise to learn how we can enhance your database security.


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