Critical Infrastructure Security , Cybercrime , Cybercrime as-a-service

Ransomware: Strategies for Faster Detection and Response

Sophos' Peter Mackenzie Describes Typical Attack Life Cycle and Data Exfiltration Moves
Peter Mackenzie, incident response manager, Sophos

What is the life cycle of a typical ransomware attack, and how can organizations get better at detecting and blocking this criminal activity?

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"One of the common mistakes people make with a ransomware attack is they come in in the morning, they see their data has been encrypted, and they think the attack happened that night," says Peter Mackenzie, the incident response manager for security firm Sophos.

But while the crypto-locking malware may well have just been triggered, typically attackers have been inside the network for much longer. Mackenzie says attackers "often deploy the ransomware overnight when fewer admins are watching, but the actual attack is normally days or weeks longer than that; it does take time to organize these things."

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group, Mackenzie discusses:

  • The life cycle of a typical ransomware attack;
  • Top tactics criminals use for hitting networks and exfiltrating data;
  • Best practices for helping organizations more quickly spot and block attacks.

Mackenzie, who has worked at Sophos since 2011, manages the company's incident response team and helps customers triage, contain and neutralize threats.

About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe, ISMG

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, among other publications. He lives in Scotland.

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