Are You the Victim of an Advanced Persistent Threat?
You may have heard the term “advanced persistent threat” (APT) before, but what exactly does it mean? An APT is a prolonged and targeted cyberattack in which an intruder gains access to a network and remains undetected for an extended period of time. In other words, it’s a serious security threat that can have devastating consequences for businesses of all sizes.
How APTs Work
An APT typically starts with a phishing email that contains malicious attachments or links. Once the email is opened and the attachment or link is clicked, the intruder begins to gain access to the target network. From there, they can steal sensitive data, install malware, or even disable systems.
What makes an APT so dangerous is that it can be very difficult to detect. The intruder will often masquerade as a legitimate user, making it hard to spot the signs of an attack. And because they’re usually after specific data or targets, they’ll take their time to avoid detection and maximize the damage they can cause.
How to Protect Against APTs
Given the seriousness of an APT attack, it’s important to take steps to protect your business from them. Here are some things you can do:
- Employee Security Awareness – Educate your employees about phishing emails and how to spot them. This is often the first step in an APT attack, so it’s important that your employees know how to identify suspicious emails and report them immediately.
- MFA – Implement multi-factor authentication for all user accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to not only enter a username and password but also confirm their identity with another factor, such as a code sent to their phone.
- EDR – Use endpoint detection and response tools. These tools can help you detect signs of an intrusion and respond quickly if one does occur.
- Pen Test – Keep your systems up-to-date with the latest security patches. This helps close any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. The most effective approach is regular (not just annual anymore) penetration testing – identification of vulnerabilities and exploitation of that which is found.
An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a serious security threat that businesses need to be aware of. Taking steps like educating employees, implementing MFA, adding appropriate cybersecurity tools, and understanding your risk will help protect your business and keep you in business.
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