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2 min read

SC Media Ransomware Kill Chain Feature

Oct 22, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Ransomware needs its own kill chain framework

GroupSense's Intelligence Analyst, Nicole Hoffman, is featured in SC Media. Nicole explains the evolution of the Cyber Kill Chain developed by Lockheed Martin and argues that the industry needs a kill chain specifically for ransomware.

Ransomware Kill Chain-01

Figure 1: Ransomware Kill Chain Graphic (click to enlarge)

In her article, Nicole talks about the evolution of the Kill Chain, ransomware's threat scenario, how to disrupt the Ransomware Kill Chain and about what's beyond the Kill Chain. Below is an excerpt from the SC Media article:

"Security teams also have a considerable amount of work before and after the kill chain. Before, organizations should take steps to minimize the opportunities for threat actors to establish access. For example, the most common attack vectors used to carry out ransomware attacks are phishing campaigns, remote desktop protocol (RDP) vulnerabilities, and software vulnerabilities. Addressing these important issues could substantially reduce the number of soft targets for threat actors.

Likewise, companies should properly prepare for a ransomware attack. Generic incident response plans will not get the job done – security teams need to have a specialized ransomware response plan in place where executives and third parties have engaged in tabletop exercises and know exactly what needs to happen. Companies should discuss issues like “should we pay ransom or not?” ahead of time, and if the company opts to pay, it needs to assign a predefined (and competent) representative to handle the negotiation and transaction with the threat actor."

About Nicole Hoffman

Nicole Hoffman is an experienced Intelligence Analyst with a passion for developing her fellow analysts. Her work, research, and presentations have inspired and educated others around the international analytic community. Nicole developed the Cognitive Stairways of Analysis framework to dive deeper into the process of sensemaking in order to increase her analytic capability. She has presented work at the 2021 SANS CTI Summit, GRIMMCON, SOCstock, the 2020 SANS Threat Hunting & Incident Response Summit, All the Talks Con, and so much more.
Nicole currently holds a BS in Information Technology with a minor in Cyber Security along with CompTIA's Sec+. You can check out her blog at
Topics: News Blog Ransomware

Written by Editorial Team