Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Piergiorgio Venuti

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT): because they make the backup system useless and the false perception of security

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Index

  1. Introduction
  2. What is an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)
  3. Because APTs make the backup system useless
  4. The false perception of security
  5. The best ways to counter APTs
  6. How the Secure Online Desktop SOCaaS service increases corporate security
  7. Conclusion

Introduction

Cybersecurity is an area of growing importance to businesses, due to the increase in frequency and complexity of cyberattacks. One of the more insidious threats are Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), which can penetrate computer systems and remain hidden for long periods, causing long-term damage. In this article, we’ll look at APTs and why they render your backup system useless and give rise to a false perception of security. We will also discuss the best ways to counter APTs and how Secure Online Desktop’s Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS) service can increase corporate security.

What is an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

An Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) is a type of cyber attack in which a malicious actor enters a computer system and remains hidden there for long periods, often months or years. APTs are made by highly skilled and well-funded hacker groups, often linked to foreign governments or criminal organizations. The main objective of an APT is to steal sensitive information, such as trade secrets, intellectual property and personal data, or to cause damage to the target organization’s computer systems.

APTs are distinguished from other types of cyber attacks by their persistence and their ability to stay hidden. Malicious actors use a number of advanced techniques, including the use of sophisticated malware, zero-day vulnerability exploits, and social engineering, to penetrate computer systems and disguise their presence.

Because APTs make the backup system useless

Backup systems are often considered one of the main security measures to protect corporate data. However, APTs can render the backup system useless in several ways:

  1. Compromissione del backup: gli attori malevoli possono infiltrarsi nei sistemi di backup e infettarli con malware, rendendo inutilizzabili i dati di backup al momento del ripristino.
  2. Deleting or modifying backups: APTs can be designed to delete or modify backup data, compromising its integrity and making data recovery impossible.
  3. Recovering Compromised Systems: In the event of an APT attack, restoring data from a backup may not be sufficient to remove the threat, as the malicious actors may have already compromised the operating system or other critical computer system components.

The false perception of security

APTs can give rise to a false perception of security for several reasons:

  1. Long Latency: APTs are designed to remain hidden in the system for long periods, which means that an organization may not be aware of the compromise, mistakenly believing it is protected.
  2. Invisibility to traditional security systems: APT attacks use advanced techniques to avoid detection by traditional security systems, such as antivirus and firewalls. This can lead organizations to believe they are safe when in reality they are under attack.
  3. Excessive reliance on backup systems: As explained earlier, APTs can render the backup system useless, but many organizations still rely on these systems as their primary data protection measure. This over-reliance on backups can lead to a false sense of security.

The best ways to counter APTs

While APTs are insidious threats, there are several strategies organizations can adopt to counter them:

  1. User education and awareness: Educating users on how to recognize and prevent cyber-attacks is key to reducing the risk of compromise by APTs.
  2. Network traffic monitoring and analysis: Implementing network traffic monitoring solutions can help identify anomalies and suspicious activity that could indicate the presence of an APT.
  3. Vulnerability management: It is important to keep systems and applications up-to-date, promptly patching vulnerabilities to reduce the risk of APT attacks.
  4. Network Segmentation: Network segmentation can limit the spread of an APT within the IT infrastructure, preventing malicious actors from gaining access to critical data.
  5. Implementing advanced security solutions: Using advanced security solutions, such as intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) and threat intelligence, can help detect and block APT attacks.

How the Secure Online Desktop SOCaaS service increases corporate security

Secure Online Desktop’s Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS) provides a comprehensive solution for detecting, preventing, and responding to APT attacks. SOCaaS combines advanced security technologies with the experience of cybersecurity experts to continuously monitor the organization’s IT infrastructure and quickly identify any threats. The main benefits of the SOCaaS service include:

  1. 24/7 monitoring: SOCaaS ensures constant monitoring of the IT infrastructure, promptly detecting and responding to threats.
  2. Threat Intelligence: The SOCaaS service uses risk and threat intelligence to quickly identify potential APT attacks and other advanced threats.
  3. Security Incident Management: In the event of an APT compromise, the SOCaaS team of security experts can manage the incident, coordinating response and recovery.
  4. Cost reduction: the adoption of the SOCaaS service allows organizations to reduce the costs associated with the management of internal security, such as the hiring and training of specialized personnel.

Conclusion

Advanced Persistent Threats pose a significant threat to organizations, capable of compromising cybersecurity and causing long-term damage. APTs can render the backup system useless and give rise to a false perception of security, but there are several strategies organizations can adopt to counter them, such as user education, network traffic monitoring, vulnerability management, network segmentation and the implementation of advanced security solutions.
The Secure Online Desktop SOCaaS service offers a complete solution for the prevention and response to APT attacks, offering constant monitoring of the IT infrastructure and the use of advanced security technologies to promptly identify and respond to threats. Adopting a security solution like SOCaaS can help organizations protect their data and reduce the costs associated with internal security management.

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