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Behind the scenes


As Red Canary eclipses a decade providing world-class security operations to organizations around the world, we continue to analyze, learn, and evolve based on the petabytes of raw data and trillions of signals that our XDR platform consumes daily. Every byte of this data is interrogated 24×7 by roughly 3,500 analytics, and adversaries are relentlessly pursued by our expert team of intelligence, research, detection, and threat hunting professionals.

In 2022, Red Canary detected and responded to nearly 40,000 threats that our customers’ preventative controls missed.

Behind the data

The Threat Detection Report sets itself apart from other annual reports with unique data and insights that are derived from a combination of expansive detection coverage coupled with expert, human-led investigation and confirmation of threats. The data that powers Red Canary and this report are not mere software signals—this data set is the result of hundreds of thousands of expert investigations across millions of protected systems. Each of the nearly 40,000 threats that we responded to have one thing in common: These threats weren’t prevented by our customers’ expansive security controls—they are the product of a breadth and depth of analytics that we use to detect the threats that would otherwise go undetected.

What counts

When our detection engineers develop detection analytics, they map them to corresponding MITRE ATT&CK® techniques. If the analytic uncovers a realized or confirmed threat, we construct a timeline that includes detailed information about the activity we observed. Because we know which ATT&CK techniques an analytic aims to detect, and we know which analytics led us to identify a realized threat, we are able to look at these data over time and determine technique prevalence, correlation, and much more.

This report also examines the broader landscape of threats that leverage these techniques and other tradecraft, ultimately harming organizations. While Red Canary broadly defines a threat as any suspicious or malicious activity that represents a risk to you or your organization, we also track specific threats by programmatically or manually associating malicious and suspicious activity with clusters of activity, specific malware variants, legitimate tools being abused, and known threat actors. Our Intelligence Operations team tracks and analyzes these threats continually throughout the year, publishing Intelligence Insights, bulletins, and profiles, considering not just prevalence of a given threat, but also aspects such as velocity, impact, or the relative difficulty of mitigating or defending. The Threats section of this report synthesizes our analysis of common or impactful threats, which we rank by the number of customers they affect.

Consistent with past years, we exclude unwanted software from the data we use to compile this report. And for the first time this year, in an effort to better reflect the threat landscape, we also exclude authorized testing (see a more detailed explanation in the adversary emulating and testing section of this report).


Red Canary optimizes heavily for detecting and responding rapidly to early-stage adversary activity. As a result, the techniques that rank skew heavily between the initial access stage of an intrusion and any rapid privilege escalation and attempts at lateral movement. This will be in contrast to incident response providers, whose visibility tends towards the middle and later stages of an intrusion, or a full-on breach.

Knowing the limitations of any methodology is important as you determine what threats your team should focus on. While we hope our list of top threats and detection opportunities helps you and your team prioritize, we recommend building your own threat model by comparing the top threats we share in our report with what other teams publish and what you observe in your own environment.


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