Josh Lefkowitz
Chief Executive Officer
Josh Lefkowitz executes the company’s strategic vision to empower organizations with Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). He has worked extensively with authorities to track and analyze terrorist groups. Mr. Lefkowitz also served as a consultant to the FBI’s senior management team and worked for a top tier, global investment bank. Mr. Lefkowitz holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Williams College.
Evan Kohlmann
Chief Innovation Officer
Evan Kohlmann focuses on product innovation at Flashpoint where he leverages fifteen years’ experience tracking Al-Qaida, ISIS, and other terrorist groups. He has consulted for the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Justice, the Australian Federal Police, and Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, among others. Mr. Kohlmann holds a JD from the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School and a BSFS in International Politics from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown Univ.
Josh Devon
Chief Operating Officer / VP Product
Josh Devon focuses on product vision and strategy at Flashpoint while ensuring the company’s departments function synergistically during its rapid growth. He also works to ensure that customers receive best in class products, services, and support. Previously, Mr. Devon co-founded the SITE Intelligence Group where he served as Assistant Director. He holds an MA from SAIS at Johns Hopkins Univ. At the Univ. of Pennsylvania, he received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in English from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jennifer Leggio
Chief Marketing Officer / VP Operations
Jennifer Leggio is responsible for Flashpoint’s marketing, customer acquisition, and operations. Ms. Leggio has more than 20 years of experience driving marketing, communications and go-to-market strategies in the cybersecurity industry. She’s previously held senior leadership roles at Digital Shadows, Cisco, Sourcefire, and Fortinet. She’s been a contributor to Forbes and ZDNet, and has spoken on the importance of coordinated disclosure at DEF CON and Hack in the Box, and on threat actor “publicity” trends at RSA Conference, Gartner Security Summit, and SXSW Interactive.
Chris Camacho
Chief Strategy Officer
Chris Camacho leads the company’s client engagement and development team, which includes customer success, business development, strategic integrations and the FPCollab sharing community. With over 15 years of cybersecurity leadership experience, he has spearheaded initiatives across Operational Strategy, Incident Response, Threat Management, and Security Operations to ensure cyber risk postures align with business goals. Most recently as a Senior Vice President of Information Security at Bank of America, Mr. Camacho was responsible for overseeing the Threat Management Program. An entrepreneur, Mr. Camacho also serves as CEO for NinjaJobs: a career-matching community for elite cybersecurity talent. He has a BS in Decision Sciences & Management of Information Systems from George Mason University.
Lisa Iadanza
Chief People Officer
Lisa M. Iadanza leads all functional areas of People Operations at Flashpoint, including human resources, talent acquisition & management, employee engagement, and developing high performance teams. In addition to collaborating with the executive team to drive strategic growth, she plays an integral role in fostering Flashpoint’s culture and mission. Driven by her passions for mentorship, employee advocacy, and talent development, Ms. Iadanza has more than twenty years of experience in building, scaling, and leading human resources functions. Prior to Flashpoint, she held leadership roles at Conde Nast, Terra Technology, and FreeWheel. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds a bachelor’s degree in management with concentrations in human resources and marketing from State University of New York at Binghamton.
Rob Reznick
VP of Finance and Corporate Development
Rob Reznick leads the finance, accounting, and corporate development teams at Flashpoint. Rob previously served as Director of Finance & Accounting for 1010data (acquired by Advance/Newhouse), and Director of Finance for Financial Guard (acquired by Legg Mason) after prior work in forensic accounting and dispute consulting. Mr. Reznick is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MBA and MAcc from the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University, and a BBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Lance James
Chief Scientist / VP Engineering
Lance James is responsible for leading Flashpoint’s technology development. Prior to joining Flashpoint in 2015, he was the Head of Cyber Intelligence at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. James has been an active member of the security community for over 20 years and enjoys working creatively together with technology teams to design and develop impactful solutions that disrupt online threats.
Brian Costello
SVP Global Sales and Solution Architecture
Brian Costello, a 20-year information technology and security solutions veteran, is responsible for leading the Global Sales, Solution Architecture, and Professional Services teams at Flashpoint. Throughout his career, Brian has successfully built security and cloud teams that have provided customers with innovative technology solutions, exceeded targets and consistently grown business year over year. Prior to Flashpoint, Brian led a global security and cloud vertical practice for Verizon. Brian also held senior leadership roles at Invincea, Risk Analytics and Cybertrust. Brian received his B.A. from George Mason University.
Tom Hofmann
VP Intelligence
Tom Hofmann leads the intelligence directorate that is responsible for the collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of Deep and Dark Web data. He works closely with clients to prioritize their intelligence requirements and ensures internal Flashpoint operations are aligned to those needs. Mr. Hofmann has been at the forefront of cyber intelligence operations in the commercial, government, and military sectors, and is renowned for his ability to drive effective intelligence operations to support offensive and defensive network operations.
Jake Wells
VP, Client Engagement & Development
Jake Wells leads strategic integrations and information sharing as part of the client engagement & development team, which serves as an internal advocate for our government and commercial clients to ensure Flashpoint’s intelligence solutions meet their evolving needs. He leverages a decade of experience running cyber and counterterrorism investigations, most recently with the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, to maximize the value customers generate from our products and services. Mr. Wells holds an MA from Columbia University and a BA from Emory University.
Brian Brown
VP Business Development
Brian Brown is responsible for the overall direction of strategic sales and development supporting Flashpoint’s largest clients. In his role, Mr. Brown focuses on designing and executing growth-oriented sales penetration strategies across multiple vertical markets, including both Government and Commercial, supporting Flashpoint’s Sales and Business Development Teams. An experienced entrepreneur, Mr. Brown also serves as CSO for NinjaJobs, a private community created to match elite cybersecurity talent with top tier global jobs and also advise growth-stage cybersecurity companies.
image/svg+xml image/svg+xml
Download Forrester’s Guide to Paying Ransomware Report Now

Targeted Ransomware Has Changed the Face of Incident Response

May 23, 2019

By Christopher “Tophs” Elisan

It’s becoming increasingly rare to publicly learn about ransomware attacks carried out at any kind of scale. In two short years, we’ve gone from WannaCry and NotPetya piggybacking aboard NSA-built exploits in attacks hoping to hit many victims in many industries, to quieter and potentially more lucrative targeted attacks against individual organizations.

Ransoms have also morphed, largely going from demands for relatively short money—a few hundred dollars to a few Bitcoin, for example—to exorbitant asks of companies facing unacceptable downtime and operational interruptions that could lead to losses amounting to millions.

Complicating matters further is the overbearing truth that traditional incident response has never been applicable to ransomware attacks; the dynamic is that much different.

Traditional incident response is a predetermined path for addressing and managing a network breach or incident, with the aim of keeping damage and expenses in check, and reducing recovery time. Incidents are defined in advance, and triggers are determined as to when a plan should kick in. Roles and responsibilities of individual stakeholders are also spelled out, as are everyone’s responsibilities in the respective response phases, ranging from risk assessments, to detection, containment, forensics, mitigation, and recovery.

Ransomware, however, throws a nasty wrinkle into that methodology.

Coping with Unacceptable Losses

By their nature, ransomware attacks are potentially as destructive as they are disruptive. Once the malware is executed, depending on the particular family of ransomware, it will first encrypt local files or hard drives, and then seek out network shares to do the same to resources that the infected machine has access to. The malware also leaves behind the digital equivalent of a ransom note which explains how much it will cost the victim to recover their files and systems, and how to go about remitting payment to the attacker.

With more traditional incident response, once you’ve re-imaged the infected machine, cut off any lateral spreading of the malware, and patched a vulnerability possibly exploited in an attack, you might be close to being back in business. Not so with ransomware. Incident response in these cases is not about merely removing all traces of the malware and removing any persistence mechanisms. There remains the damage, which means for a business doesn’t mean just a crashed server, it means mission-critical files and systems that have been encrypted and potentially lost forever.

That’s an unacceptable loss for any company. The quickest path to recovery is a recent and secure backup that’s not connected to the network—yes ransomware can infect and encrypt your backups too. Frequent backups can mean the difference between losing a few hours or days’ worth of data versus weeks or months.

A New Layer of Response

Some companies aren’t as vigilant about backup and quickly run up against a new layer of incident response for them: the need to communicate and coordinate with a threat actor in order to recover files and pay the ransom if they so choose.

Part of this interaction is nuanced and requires intelligence about a threat actor as to whether the threat is a true ransomware or extortion situation, and whether the lost data may be recovered by other means. Intelligence can also assist in making a determination about the integrity of the attacker in such situations, and also learning more about the history of the wallet accepting the ransom payment.

Many times, that type of expertise isn’t in the wheelhouse of an enterprise’s incident response team, most of which are prepared for dealing with infections and lean on support from endpoint security vendors for updated signatures to assist in prevention and remediation. Few, however, know how to best interact with an adversary, acquire cryptocurrency, and successfully and safely move that money to an attacker’s wallet without putting the organization at further risk.

While incident response in the event of ransomware is a totally different animal from traditional IR, organizations should still adopt some facets of that approach. For example, infected machines should be isolated and disconnected from the network (keep them powered on to preserve forensic evidence). Communicate with the rest of the organization in order to inform them of the infection vector, especially the initial attack was carried out via a phishing email, in order to stave off further infections.

Security teams must also do their best to identify the ransomware strain—they’re usually named in the ransom note or in a file extension name—and it’s a best practice to create a backup of the infected machine in case the ransomware encryption is ever broken, all of the data can once again be recovered. Some ransomware encryption mechanisms are poorly written or implemented and researchers are able to develop decryptors for particular ransomware families; No More Ransom is one such resource. Finally, organizations may choose to notify law enforcement, either the FBI or Secret Service.

Given the challenges associated with preparing for and responding to increasingly targeted and complex ransomware threats, a growing number of defenders are seeking out external support. Contact us to learn how Flashpoint’s Threat Response & Readiness Subscription can help.


Christopher “Tophs” Elisan

Director of Intelligence

Christopher “Tophs” Elisan is a seasoned reverse engineer, malware researcher, and published author. He speaks at conferences around the world and frequently provides expert opinion about malware, botnets and advanced persistent threats for leading industry and mainstream publications. Elisan’s published works include Hacking Exposed: Malware and Rootkits, 2nd ed.

Flashpoint Intelligence Brief

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our latest research, news, and events