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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Configuration / maintenanceISACAsecurityhardware systemsData Centre

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

John E Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?