The danger of Advanced Persistent Threats APTs

Advanced persistent threats, also known as APTs, are a type of cyberattacks that pose a genuine threat to businesses and organizations.

Sep 4, 2023
The danger of Advanced Persistent Threats APTs

Advanced persistent threats, also known as APTs, are a type of cyberattacks that pose a genuine threat to businesses and organizations. APTs are persistent and cunning cyberattacks that use various methods, such as phishing, malware infection, and spoofed emails, to infiltrate an organization’s computer network and data.

APTs target an organization’s most sensitive data, such as customer lists, intellectual property, and financial records. Unlike a typical data breach, an APT is complex and sophisticated, meaning it can take weeks or months to identify the source of the attack and the damage done to the network. Without the proper tools and security measures in place, it can be extremely difficult to prevent these attacks.

McAfee on APTs:

The term “advanced persistent threat” was coined by McAfee Labs in 2007. McAfee Labs defines an APT as “a sustained, focused attack on an organization using stealth-like tactics to avoid detection.” According to McAfee Labs, the average organization faces nearly 20 such attacks each year and estimates that a single successful APT can cost a company up to $10 million. In many cases, the damage from an APT is irreparable, resulting in the loss of sensitive information and damage to a brand’s reputation. As a result, companies need to be prepared to deal with the threat of APTs and protect against potential data breaches.

In 2011, McAfee Labs published a white paper on APTs, outlining what organizations need to know about this type of attack. The paper addresses the key characteristics of an APT and explains why they are so difficult to defend against. It also provides a number of recommendations for protecting against the threat posed by APTs. For example, it suggests that companies should implement effective security controls and employ well-trained security personnel. In addition, the report recommends that organizations adopt a layered defense strategy that includes various techniques such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, anti-virus software, and spam filters. Companies should also establish an incident response plan and train employees to respond to incidents of suspected APTs.

Microsoft on APTs:

In April 2016, Microsoft released a report on advanced persistent threats, warning that hackers were exploiting security weaknesses to breach enterprise networks around the world. The company claimed that one out of every five attacks it detected over a three-month period was an APT, demonstrating that these attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The report warned that organizations need to take steps to protect themselves from this type of threat or risk losing their confidential information and customer data.

Symantec on APTs:

In 2016, Symantec published its “APT Report”, which indicated that in 2015 there had been more than 200 recorded cases of APTs. This is an increase of 39% from the previous year. According to the report, the most common types of attack involved the use of malware to steal information. This was followed by the creation of backdoors on systems that could be used to launch further attacks at a later date.

NDR to the rescue:

Network detection and response NDR solutions helps enterprises to defend against APTs by detecting, investigating, and responding to APT activity. Such solutions provide real-time monitoring to detect suspicious behavior on the corporate network and enable companies to quickly respond to incidents and minimize the impact of an attack. They can also help to ensure that potential threats are eliminated before they cause any damage to the company’s network or devices.

Using predictive intelligence and machine learning to detect malicious activities in your network and automatically alerting the IT team of potential security threats can help ensure that your company is protected from the risk of APTs activities. NDR solutions such as AI-driven incident response tools can help detect, investigate, and respond to APT activity automatically — eliminating the need to manually review each alert and making security operations more efficient and cost-effective. An NDR solution that uses artificial intelligence can also enable companies to customize their alerts to suit the specific requirements of their organization, making it easy to integrate with existing security and monitoring systems and respond quickly and accurately to threats. It can also equip IT security teams with valuable predictive information and insights that can be used to improve their security posture and proactively defend against future attacks.


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