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Five Key Trends: From Ransomware to Slow and Stealthy APTs

The cyber-threat landscape is constantly changing, but with attackers ramping up the scale and sophistication of their campaigns faster than ever, it is now clear that security tools reliant on rules and signatures are fundamentally incapable of protecting organizations from today’s threats. To put this into context, it is worth looking at how the cyber security industry has evolved.

Attackers are acutely aware of the defensive tools they are trying to evade and know better than anyone the limitations of the legacy, siloed approach that the majority of organizations still rely on. And in every area attackers have innovated, developing new techniques to bypass these systems and achieve their goals.

Darktrace Discoveries: Five Key Trends

In what follows, we uncover five threats observed across Darktrace’s customer base of over 5,000 organizations.

These threat vectors were selected based on how frequently the attacks were seen, their likelihood of success, and the extent of the damage in the case of a successful attack.

Each trend is analyzed in detail by looking at a real-world threat discovered by AI in a customer environment. In every case, the threat in question slipped under the radar of the traditional security tools in place.

By uncovering how Self-Learning AI was able to detect and remediate the threat based on a series of subtle anomalies, the advantages of a self-learning, autonomous approach to cyber security are exemplified.

The key trends include:

  • Stealthy and Subtle APTs
  • The Relentless Rise of Ransomware
  • Increasing Number of Novel Attacks
  • Cloud-Based Attacks Targeting the Dynamic Workforce
  • The Emergence of Offensive AI


Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI works by building an evolving understanding of your organization from scratch, allowing it to identify subtle outliers indicative of threat in real-time.

Whereas other security tools rely on a priori assumptions, pre-programmed responses, or threat intelligence, Self-Learning AI learns the digital DNA of each unique organization, observing how users, devices, and applications typically behave and continuously revising this knowledge in light of new evidence.

Such a deep, granular understanding of what ‘normal’ looks like across the digital business enables Darktrace to detect subtle, previously unseen patterns and emerging threats that would otherwise go unnoticed.