Targeted APT attacks experienced by one in five security professionals

ISACA poll shows confusion about scale of threat

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) could be more of a mainstream security problem than previously thought after a survey of high-level security professionals found that an alarming one in five worked for a firm that had experienced such an attack.

The poll of 1,500 of its members by respected global qualifications body ISACA also discovered that two out of three thought it was only a matter of time before such a highly-targeted attack occurred in their organisations.

Comfortingly, six out of ten believed their organisations would be able to cope with an APT if it happened with more than half claiming they had an incident management plan already in place.

Eighty percent of those who thought themselves likely victims said they were "very prepared."

Can surveys be believed, even ones that pick on a meaningful cross-section of the very professionals whose job it is to defend against them?

In the case of ISACA's poll, probably. APTs are a relatively new concept and the survey did uncover a believable confusion about the term and its implications.

More than half said they did not believe that APTs differed from conventional security threats - a slightly complacent attitude - although the majority did correctly identify intellectual property as most at risk from APT incursions.

Sixty percent said they defended against the possibility of an APT by monitoring logs, accepted as a critical part of a defence against the threat.

Eight out of ten mentioned antivirus as a primary defence despite plenty of anecdotal evidence that this layer is ineffective in defending against targeted attacks.

"Traditional cyberthreats often move right on if they cannot penetrate their initial target, but an APT will continually attempt to penetrate the desired target until it meets its objective, said ISACA spokesperson and Intralot Group head of information security, Christos Dimitriadis.

"Once it does, it can disguise itself and morph when needed, making it difficult to identify or stop."

A major issue remained that too many firms relied on conventional perimeter security to stop APTs, ignoring the inadequancy of this design to cope with threats entering through mobile and BYOD computing.

"Enterprises are under attack and they don't even know it. Bringing this awareness into the curriculum of education for security professionals is necessary to enable them to build the custom defense they need to combat these targeted attacks," commented Trend Micro vice president Tom Kellermann, whose company sponsored the ISACA report.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Configuration / maintenancesecurityISACAhardware systemsData Centre

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E Dunn

Techworld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?