Gartner Research

How to Plan and Execute a Threat Assessment

Published: 12 August 2016

ID: G00303823

Analyst(s): Anton Chuvakin , Augusto Barros


The threat assessment process makes use of threat intelligence in order to determine which threats are relevant to an organization. It identifies relevant threat types, specific threats and even explicit threat actors to include in risk management processes.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Understand Threat Assessment Concepts
    • Define Threat and Threat Actor
    • Define Threat Assessment
    • Refer to Regulations and Compliance Mandates in Threat Assessment
    • Decide What Level of Threat Assessment You Need
  • Assess the Overall Threat Landscape
    • Review Reports and Publication on the Overall Threat Landscape
    • Pick an Approach to Threat Classification
    • Focus on Threat Capabilities and Intents
  • Gather and Evaluate Threat Assessment Resources
    • Gather External Resources
    • Engage Security and Other Groups Inside the Organization
    • Undertake Preparation and Planning Activities
  • Gather and Integrate Threat Intelligence
    • Utilize Threat Actor Profiles
    • Do Not Fear Threat Actor Attribution
  • Execute a Threat Assessment Process
    • Adopt a Threat Assessment Methodology
  • Utilize Threat Assessment Results
    • Threat Assessment and Risk Management
    • Threat Assessment Results as Security Planning Input
    • Identifying Security Monitoring Use Cases
  • Refine Threat Assessment Process
    • Review Process Twice a Year
    • Improve Other Related Security Processes


Risks and Pitfalls

  • Focusing on Technical Details Alone
  • Missing the Threat Altogether
  • Neglecting the Insider Threat
  • Failing to See Partners as Not Only a Threat, but Also a Way In
  • Overanalyzing and Never Prioritizing
  • Blind Blocking Without Gaining Intelligence
  • Assuming Perfection in Threat Assessment

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.