Attack Surface Validation

The attack surface evaluation was extensively covered in the design portions of this book. During the design phase, an estimate of the risks and the mitigation efforts associated with the risks is performed. Based on the results of this design, the system is developed, and during development, the actual system design goals may or may not have been met. Testing the code for obvious failures at each step along the way provides significant information as to which design elements were not met.

It is important to document the actual attack surface throughout the development process. Testing the elements and updating the attack surface provide the development team with feedback, ensuring that the design attack surface objectives are being met through the development process. Testing of elements such as the level of code accessible by untrusted users, the quantity of elevated privilege code, and the implementation of mitigation plans detailed in the threat model is essential in ensuring that the security objectives are being met through the development process.

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