To improve your cyber security and successfully prevent, detect and resolve advanced persistent threats, you need to know how APTs work:
The cyber-criminal or threat actor gains entry through an e-mail, network, file or application vulnerability and inserts malware into an organizational network. The network is considered compromised, but not breached.
The advanced malware probes for additional network access and vulnerabilities or communicates with command-and-control servers to receive additional instructions and/or malicious code.
The malware typically establishes additional points of compromise to ensure that the cyberattack can continue if one point is closed.
Once a threat actor determines that they have established reliable network access, they gather target data such as account names and passwords.
The malware collects data on a staging server, then exfiltrates the data off the network and under full control of the threat actor.
Evidence of the APT attack is removed, but the network remains compromised. The cyber-criminal can return at any time to continue the data breach.
Traditional cyber measures such as defense-in-depth, firewalls and antivirus cannot protect against an APT attack and leave organizations vulnerable to data breaches.
Running simulated phishing tests will determine your employees' susceptibility to social engineering and phishing scams. Train your employees and help them identify spear phishing and ransomware attacks.