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1 in 5 Experience APT Attack
Monday, 04 March 2013 09:45

A global cyber-security survey has found that more than one in five enterprises has experienced an advanced persistent threat (APT) attack.

According to the survey by global IT association ISACA, 94% of respondents say that APT's represent a credible threat and 60% say that it is only a matter of time before their enterprise is targeted; yet the survey revealed that most enterprises are employing ineffective technologies to protect themselves.

APT's, an espionage tactic, often intended to steal intellectual property, "are sophisticated, stealthy and unrelenting" says Christos Dimitriadis, international vice president of ISACA. He further elaborates that "an APT will continually attempt to penetrate the desired target until it meets it's objective - and once it does, it can disguise itself and morph when needed, making it difficult to identify or stop".

More than 60% of respondents indicated that they are ready to respond to an APT attack, however investigation into the controls that they are using - antivirus, antimalware, network perimeter technologies i.e. firewalls, is concerning, given that APT's are known to avoid being caught by these types of controls. The survey found that mobile security controls, which can be quite effective, are used much less frequently.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Loss of enterprise intellectual property was cited as the biggest risk of an APT, followed closely by loss of customer or employee personally identifiable information,
  • 90% of respondents believe that the use of social networking sites increases the likelihood of a successful APT,
  • 87% believe that bring your own device, combined with rooting or jailbreaking the device, makes a successful APT attack more likely,
  • And more than 80% say their enterprises have not updated their vendor agreements to protect against APT's.

 

Tom Kellermann, CISM, states "we can declare that this is the year of the hack...this research reveals that enterprises are under attack and they don't even know it. Raising this awareness is necessary to enable organisations to build the custom defense they need to combat these targeted attacks".

 

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