FireEye releases mandiant M-trends report with insights from advanced attack investigations

FireEye announced the release of the seventh annual Mandiant M-Trends® report. Compiled from advanced threat investigations conducted by Mandiant’s leading consultants in 2015, “M-Trends 2016” details the leading cyber trends and tactics threat actors used to compromise businesses and steal data.

“In 2015, we continued to be reminded that there is no such thing as perfect security,” said Kevin Mandia, SVP and president, FireEye. “Based on the significant number of incidents that Mandiant investigated in 2015, threat actors are finding inventive and disruptive ways to skirt even the best defenses, resulting in informational, financial and reputational loss.”

Some of the report’s key findings include:

•   The time it takes organizations to discover compromises continues to drop. The median number of days attackers were present on a victim’s network before being discovered dropped to 146 days in 2015 from 205 days in 2014; however, breaches can go undetected for years.
•   Breaches continue to be discovered by third-party sources. Mandiant’s investigations of attacks show that external identification takes longer, with an average of 319.5 days from compromise to discovery. Internal discovery takes an average of 56 days.
•   Disruptive attacks are becoming more common. Over the past year, Mandiant responded to incidents where attackers destroyed critical business systems, leaked confidential data, held companies for ransom, and taunted executives. Some attackers were motivated by money, some claimed to be retaliating for political purposes, and others simply wanted to cause embarrassment.