Cybercriminals are constantly learning and adapting and cyberattacks have become more sophisticated each day. As a result, cybersecurity and threat protection technology has improved to anticipate and prevent potential threats and attacks to businesses, governments and other organizations. Even though security technology can anticipate the actions of bad actors and prevent them from happening, new attacks are still possible, especially if there isn’t the right security controls.
Advanced threat protection, also known as ATP, is a collection of security solutions that protect against sophisticated cyberattacks and malware that target sensitive information. ATP technology is a way for organizations to adapt to changing cybercriminals’ strategies and help them prevent and mitigate costly security breaches.
What is considered “advanced” threat?
An attacker can be considered advanced if they have all the resources or tools necessary to carry out an attack, maintain access to networks, and have the ability to continue funding the attack to adapt it as needed.
It is important to first understand advanced threats and their impact on your organization in order to be able to protect yourself against them using effective cybersecurity measures.
The advanced persistent attack (APT) refers to an attack where an unauthorised person or group gains access to a company’s network, and then remains undetected for a prolonged period of time. APT attacks are usually carefully planned and targeted at a particular company. They use malware that can bypass common security protections. These malicious attacks are an example of a sophisticated attack that requires the use of security technology to mitigate and prevent.
Once an attacker has gained access, often by installing malware or phishing, they can view files, conversations and other sensitive material. The attacker can gain access to large amounts of company data by going unnoticed for a long time (sometimes for years or even months).
What are the most popular tactics for advanced threat attacks?
APT attackers use Phishing to gain access into an internal network by sending links to a trusted source.
Once access is granted, malware can be installed to help cyberattackers penetrate the network, monitor activity and collect company data.
Password cracking allows attackers to gain administrative access and free roam of the network.
A backdoor allows attackers to gain access to the network.
Cyberattacks are currently affecting roughly 2/3 of small and medium-sized companies around the globe. However, 45% feel their cybersecurity is still “ineffective.” 39% do not have an incident response strategy in place.
Data breaches cost an average of $3.86m in financial terms
Threat Protection: How can you protect yourself against advanced threats?
Although some businesses and industries are more vulnerable to advanced threats than others, businesses need to be aware of the preventive steps they can take as these attacks increase in frequency.
As cyberattacks get more sophisticated, the ATP landscape is changing. Sandboxing protection is essential for ATP. However, this technology was stored in legacy hardware within a Data Center and does not protect an ever-increasing remote workforce.
The suspicious file is also typically inspected in TAP mode. This means that it is taken into the sandbox to be tested before being sent to the recipient. The alert is sent to the recipient if the sandbox detects that there is a threat. Unfortunately, this alert may come too late and cause damage that has already been done. Additionally, over half of all malware is transmitted via encrypted SSL channels. However, many organizations are limited by budget and performance to detect these vulnerabilities before it’s too late.
Cloud-based security technology solutions can provide additional layers of ATP protection and managed threat response for all employees. Zscaler Cloud Sandbox works inline instead of in TAP mode. This means that all traffic within the organization’s network is inspected, including SSL.
Protective measures include ransomware protection and zero-day protection. Real-time, magnified visibility into malware behavior provides additional protection. Comprehensive security solutions must be able stop all known threats, prevent zero-day attacks in real time, and utilize predictive technology to protect your company from evolving threats.