What does APT mean?
Advanced persistent threat (APT) is the description applied to the coordinated cyber activities of sophisticated criminals and state-level entities.
APTs target large organisations and foreign governments, with the objective of stealing information or compromising information systems.
An APT is not usually deployed to bring down a business, but to stay embedded within its systems and extract information at a slow and undetected pace.
What does APT stand for?
Advanced: APTs involve groups of attackers often working with governments and commercial entities. These groups are able to combine multiple targeting methods with a range of tools, technologies and techniques to reach, compromise, and maintain access to a target. Such groups usually have advanced technology skills, state protection, and a wide range of channels through which they can mount their attacks.
Persistent: APTs use a ‘low and slow’ approach, rather than a barrage of constant attacks and malware updates. The long-term access to a target provided by an APTs can be far more beneficial to the attacker, so remaining undetected is crucial to success.
Threat: APTs require attackers who are skilled, motivated, organised and well-funded. They are executed by coordinated humans, rather than by mindless and automated pieces of code.
Although nearly any large organisation possessing intellectual property or valuable customer information is susceptible to targeted attacks, APTs are aimed at a much smaller range of targets – usually specific organisations.
Since any organisation could be the object of a highly advanced, long-term, and large-scale targeted attack, you can better defend your organisation if you have a better understanding of APTs.
Types of APTs
APTs usually breach organisations through a wide variety of vectors (a path or means by which a hacker can gain access), even in the presence of properly designed cyber security strategies, such as:
- Internet-based malware infection, for example: email links or attachments, phishing, file sharing.
- Physical malware infection, for example: infected USBs, CDs and DVDs
- Other means of external exploitation and intrusion, for example: hacking, rouge Wi-Fi penetration
Effective cyber security
As part of its responsibility for minimising risk and maximising business opportunities and return on investment (ROI), an organisation’s leadership needs to make cyber security a top priority.
Effective cyber security depends on coordinated and integrated preparations for rebuffing, responding to and recovering from a range of possible attacks. There is no single standalone solution to cyber crime or APTs. By their very nature APTs are designed to evade standard security controls.
Discover our range of solutions for effective cyber security below.