You may have a good program which routinely scans for different types of malware and this can help to eliminate some advanced persistent threats. However, there are so many threats developed each day, scanning software may not be able to handle all the changes. Here is information to help your organization stay safe in the face of constant cyber threats.
What are Advanced Persistent Threats?
Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are attacks by unauthorized entities upon computer networks, with the intent of staying there undetected for long periods of time. One of the most common features of these attacks, is the ability to become invisible. The main intent of the criminal element is to steal information so it can be used for illegal purposes.
One of the biggest differences between APT and many other types of viruses, is the time factor. Most threats are designed to infiltrate an organization and stay there long enough to retrieve an enormous amount of data. This is what makes them so dangerous.
APTs often use “phishing” methods to infiltrate. For example, cyber criminals sometimes send emails to people in an organization with links to phony sites. APTs are also known for exploiting unknown vulnerabilities in software (which have not been reported or patched). This kind of attack has very little defense and a high probability of success. In addition, the data stolen usually remains undetected while it is transmitted to the thieves.
Problems with Common Defense Techniques
The usual defense against threats is to utilize antivirus software and many companies have developed sophisticated passwords. However, even with these methods and strong encryption programs behind firewalls, hackers are still finding a great deal of success.
Effective Defense against Advanced Persistent Threats
In order to protect data from APTs, an organization should consider the following strategies:
Improved methods for patch deployment
Making employees aware on the dangers of clicking on outside links, and keeping everyone in the organization updated on the latest problems.
Developing an effective prevention program
Better methods for detecting ATPs
Recovery plan for dealing with the effects of threats
What to Do When You Are Attacked
Save all evidence
Quarantine the infection
Begin system recovery process
Notify everyone affected by the breach
Study what happened so you can learn how to prevent future APTs.
Some persistent threats are very difficult to avoid, but with the right programs, knowledge and information you can prevent most and survive when problems develop.
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