SASE Week 2023 On-Demand! Explore sessions.

  • Security Service Edge Products

    Protect against advanced and cloud-enabled threats and safeguard data across all vectors.

  • Borderless SD-WAN

    Confidently provide secure, high-performance access to every remote user, device, site, and cloud.

The platform of the future is Netskope

Intelligent Security Service Edge (SSE), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Cloud Firewall, Next Generation Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Private Access for ZTNA built natively into a single solution to help every business on its journey to Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture.

Go to Products Overview
Netskope video
Next Gen SASE Branch is hybrid — connected, secured, and automated

Netskope Next Gen SASE Branch converges Context-Aware SASE Fabric, Zero-Trust Hybrid Security, and SkopeAI-powered Cloud Orchestrator into a unified cloud offering, ushering in a fully modernized branch experience for the borderless enterprise.

Learn about Next Gen SASE Branch
People at the open space office
  • NewEdge

    NewEdge is the world’s largest, highest-performing security private cloud.

  • Cloud Security Platform

    Unrivaled visibility and real-time data and threat protection on the world's largest security private cloud.

  • Technology Partners & Integrations

    Netskope partners with the strongest companies in enterprise technology.

Embrace a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture

Netskope NewEdge is the world’s largest, highest-performing security private cloud and provides customers with unparalleled service coverage, performance and resilience.

Learn about NewEdge
Your Network of Tomorrow

Plan your path toward a faster, more secure, and more resilient network designed for the applications and users that you support.

Get the white paper
Your Network of Tomorrow
Netskope Cloud Exchange

The Netskope Cloud Exchange (CE) provides customers with powerful integration tools to leverage investments across their security posture.

Learn about Cloud Exchange
Netskope video
Make the move to market-leading cloud security services with minimal latency and high reliability.

Learn about NewEdge
Lighted highway through mountainside switchbacks
Safely enable the use of generative AI applications with application access control, real-time user coaching, and best-in-class data protection.

Learn how we secure generative AI use
Safely Enable ChatGPT and Generative AI
Zero trust solutions for SSE and SASE deployments

Learn about Zero Trust
Boat driving through open sea
Netskope enables a safe, cloud-smart, and fast journey to adopt cloud services, apps, and public cloud infrastructure.

Learn about Industry Solutions
Wind turbines along cliffside
  • Resources

    Learn more about how Netskope can help you secure your journey to the cloud.

  • Blog

    Learn how Netskope enables security and networking transformation through security service edge (SSE).

  • Events & Workshops

    Stay ahead of the latest security trends and connect with your peers.

  • Security Defined

    Everything you need to know in our cybersecurity encyclopedia.

Security Visionaries Podcast

2024 Predictions
Host Emily Wearmouth sits down for a conversation with Sherron Burgess, Senior VP and CISO for BCD Travel, and Shamla Naidoo, Head of Cloud Strategy and Innovation at Netskope, to talk about the hot topics they’re seeing for the year to come.

Play the podcast
2024 Predictions
Latest Blogs

How Netskope can enable the Zero Trust and SASE journey through security service edge (SSE) capabilities.

Read the blog
Sunrise and cloudy sky
SASE Week 2023: Your SASE journey starts now!

Replay sessions from the fourth annual SASE Week.

Explore sessions
SASE Week 2023
What is Security Service Edge?

Explore the security side of SASE, the future of network and protection in the cloud.

Learn about Security Service Edge
Four-way roundabout
  • Our Customers

    Netskope serves more than 2,000 customers worldwide including more than 25 of the Fortune 100

  • Customer Solutions

    We are here for you and with you every step of the way, ensuring your success with Netskope.

  • Netskope Community

    Learn from other network, data, and security professionals.

  • Training and Certification

    Netskope training will help you become a cloud security expert.

We help our customers to be Ready for Anything

See our Customers
Woman smiling with glasses looking out window
Netskope’s talented and experienced Professional Services team provides a prescriptive approach to your successful implementation.

Learn about Professional Services
Netskope Professional Services
The Netskope Community can help you and your team get more value out of products and practices.

Go to the Netskope Community
The Netskope Community
Secure your digital transformation journey and make the most of your cloud, web, and private applications with Netskope training.

Learn about Training and Certifications
Group of young professionals working
  • Company

    We help you stay ahead of cloud, data, and network security challenges.

  • Why Netskope

    Cloud transformation and work from anywhere have changed how security needs to work.

  • Leadership

    Our leadership team is fiercely committed to doing everything it takes to make our customers successful.

  • Partners

    We partner with security leaders to help you secure your journey to the cloud.

Supporting sustainability through data security

Netskope is proud to participate in Vision 2045: an initiative aimed to raise awareness on private industry’s role in sustainability.

Find out more
Supporting Sustainability Through Data Security
Highest in Execution. Furthest in Vision.

Netskope recognized as a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge.

Get the report
Netskope recognized as a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge.
Thinkers, builders, dreamers, innovators. Together, we deliver cutting-edge cloud security solutions to help our customers protect their data and people.

Meet our team
Group of hikers scaling a snowy mountain
Netskope’s partner-centric go-to-market strategy enables our partners to maximize their growth and profitability while transforming enterprise security.

Learn about Netskope Partners
Group of diverse young professionals smiling

Breaking the Ransomware Kill Chain in the Cloud

Jul 18 2016
Cloud Best Practices
Tools and Tips

Over the past few months, we’ve published multiple posts here about ransomware – Surprise, Petya/Mischa, Cerber, and cuteRansomware to name a few. One of the common themes that we’ve seen across these different strains of ransomware is cloud apps playing a role in each attack. However, as I looked back on these recent examples, it wasn’t the similarities – the use of cloud apps – that struck me. Rather, it was the different roles that cloud apps were playing in these ransomware attacks. As we all continue to look for ways to bolster our defenses against ransomware and other malware, I thought it might be useful to take a step back and enumerate the ways that we’ve seen cloud apps being used by ransomware today.

To guide this thought process, I used the seven stages from Lockheed Martin’s well-known Cyber Kill Chain® as a framework:


(I won’t go further into the kill chain here. If you’re interested in learning more on how to apply this framework for threat intelligence or to defend against advanced persistent threats, check out this link.)

Delivery | Exploitation | Installation

Starting at the top of the kill chain, there are numerous examples of cloud apps being used to deliver ransomware. Petya and Mischa both used e-mails containing links to cloud storage apps – Dropbox and MagentaCloud respectively – to attempt to deliver the ransomware payload to their victims. Surprise ransomware also used a cloud app to deliver the payload. In this case, however, the attackers were able to find compromised credentials and use TeamViewer – a remote control cloud app used for support – to remotely deliver ransomware to victims’ computers. Furthermore, the attacker was able to easily move through the exploitation and installation stages of the kill chain by using TeamViewer to remotely execute the ransomware package rather than rely on an end user to make a poor decision.

In general, cloud storage and collaboration apps can also be used (intentionally or unintentionally) as a delivery mechanism to secondary targets. As we’ve mentioned in the past, the malware fan-out effect can accelerate the propagation of new malware within an organization by targeting cloud storage sync folders.

Command & Control | Action on Objectives

The more recent example of cuteRansomware added a new wrinkle to how cloud apps can be involved in the ransomware kill chain. cuteRansomware uses Google Docs to collect information about its victims and hold their ransomware encryption keys, in effect making Google Docs a part of the ransomware’s command & control infrastructure.

Finally, looking at the final stage of the kill chain – action on objectives – the malware fan-out effect mentioned above can also amplify the effects of ransomware in an organization by rapidly spreading the unauthorized encryption across an organization. Thinking beyond ransomware, cloud apps are also being used for data exfiltration, which is the ultimate objective of many targeted attacks and insider threats.

Breaking the Chain

The reason for the increased use of cloud apps across many stages of the ransomware kill chain is directly related to the popularity of cloud apps and the rapid growth in usage of both sanctioned and unsanctioned apps in most organizations. This trend also presents a tough challenge to security teams trying to disrupt the use of cloud apps at one or more points in the kill chain. Take the cuteRansomware example above and suppose your organization is using Google Docs as a key productivity tool. In this case, is it feasible to block access to Google Docs to cut off cuteRansomware’s command and control channel? Or in the case of Petya, which attempts to deliver its payload using a Dropbox link, could you block Dropbox completely in your organization to defeat this delivery mechanism?

In both of these cases, a more nuanced approach to controlling cloud apps is needed. Imagine being able to safely enable your organization’s specific instance of Google Docs or Dropbox while restricting the use of those cloud apps in the case of an unknown (or known malicious) instance. Netskope’s ability to deliver granular visibility and control of cloud apps, down to specific apps and app instances, makes this a reality for hundreds of organizations around the world.

Stay informed!

Subscribe for the latest from the Netskope Blog