Attackers Don’t Break In. They Log In.

Elevate your defenses against active adversaries.

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Active adversaries
are highly skilled cybercriminals, often equipped with sophisticated software and networking skills.


Active adversaries gain entry, evade detection and adapt their techniques to circumvent preventative security controls and execute their attack.


23% of IT leaders in organizations with 100-5000 employees have experienced an attack involving an active adversary in the last year.

Stopping Active Adversaries: Lessons from the Cyber Frontline

This report brings together key findings from three Sophos X-Ops Active Adversary reports of 2023 to provide a unique window into the tactics, techniques, and procedures employed by today’s skilled, professional cybercriminals.

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How Active Adversaries Operate

Networks and Endpoints icon

Multistage Attacks

Attacks that end in a different place than they started


Living Off the Land Attacks

Attacks that blend in by using legitimate tools in malicious ways

Client isolation icon

Unknown Vulnerabilities

Attacks that leverage a weakness, flaw, or error in software

Credential Abuse

Credential Abuse

Attacks that start with an adversary logging in instead of breaking in



Uplevel Your Active Adversary Defense

Sophos provides connected, integrated protection that stops adversaries wherever they are, however sophisticated their attacks – all managed by a single platform. Plus, we meet you where you are, working with your existing security investments.

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Connect your security data to detect threats sooner and stop active adversaries faster​

Sophos XDR makes it easy to collect, enrich, and combine security data across endpoint, firewall, cloud, identity, network, and email products. Filter out noisy and redundant alerts, gain complete visibility from a single console, and reduce workload with automated response actions.​

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Automatically block active adversaries from entering your network​

Sophos Firewall now includes Active Threat Response to automatically block active adversaries without having to add firewall rules. Using threat intelligence and real-time security data from hundreds of thousands of organizations globally, Sophos Firewall shuts down new and novel attacks.​

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Detect active adversaries attempting to move across your network ​

Sophos Network Detection and Response (NDR) detects abnormal network traffic patterns and user behaviors associated with an active adversary. Sophos NDR continuously monitors all network traffic to detect new threats, insider threats, and even attacks on IoT and OT devices.​

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24/7 expert-led detection and response that neutralizes adversaries in just 38 minutes

With Sophos MDR, our expert analysts monitor your full environment 24/7, detecting suspicious activity and neutralizing attacks before damage is done. Full-scale Incident Response capabilities with Sophos MDR provide peace of mind that experts are on standby in the event of a breach.

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Context-sensitive defenses that automatically respond to attacks

Sophos Endpoint includes multiple layers of protection to stop advanced attacks. Context-sensitive defenses automatically deploy a higher level of protection when adversary behavior is detected, buying defenders time to respond to the attack. Plus, unlike most endpoint security solutions, we protect against remote ransomware.

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Deep Dive into Active Adversary Behaviors


2023 Active Adversary Report for Business Leaders

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2023 Active Adversary Report for Tech Leaders

2023 Active Adversary Report for Tech Leaders

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2023 Active Adversary Report for Security Practitioners

2023 Active Adversary Report for Security Practitioners

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Speak With an Expert

Learn more about active adversaries and discuss how you can best uplevel your organization's defenses.