The Making of an M-Trends Report

Eye on Security,
Episode 70
Apr 21, 2021
2 min read

Have you ever wondered what it takes to develop our annual M-Trends report? The short answer is: a whole lot! Our host Luke McNamara asked Regina Elwell, Senior Principal Threat Analyst on the Advanced Practices Team, and Steve Stone, Senior Director for Advanced Practices, to take us behind the scenes so we can see exactly what goes into building an edition of M-Trends. Steve started by discussing the sheer amount of data collection that is required, and how the team has to pore over this data—which comes directly from our incident response investigations—to determine what is a trend and what is not. Regina and Steve also touched on the evolution of the report from its first iteration in 2011. Not surprisingly, the reports have gotten more robust and include new data points almost every year. We also discussed some of the highlights from our latest report, M-Trends 2021, and interpreted some of the key findings, including drops in median dwell time, increases in internal detections, impact of ransomware, and notable malware families from 2020. Additionally, we covered some of the process and approach Mandiant puts into grouping new threat groups (UNCs) and Steve and Regina’s favorite threat actors. Listen to the podcast now, and when you’re done, read the full M-Trends 2021 report.