Can traditional AV defend against APTs?

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Lieberman Software Corporation conducted a survey in which 78% of IT security professionals say they are confident that traditional AV and Firewalls can protect against APTs. What are APTs? And how can they be defended against?

An APT or Advanced Persistent Threat refers to a continuous computer hacking processes. They are often linked with large organisation, even governments, and target large organisations or businesses.

APTs are often considered to be state backed due to the “capability and the intent to target, persistently and effectively, a specific entity”.

“Interrogation of all outbound data”

Mark James commented on the survey results and suggested how to better defend your business against APTs.

“The concern with an APT is that they are specifically designed to not only be undetected but to remain transparent for as long as possible.

“Unlike generic malware that tries to infect, retrieve data and forward that data as quickly as possible almost expecting it to be found at an early stage and removed as quickly as possible this particular threat is designed for long term dissemination into the infected networks.

“AV and antimalware can certainly aid its detection but realistically the only real way of detecting these threats is consistent and regular data interrogation of all outbound data.”

“Better awareness and better trained IT staff”

Philip Lieberman, Lieberman Software CEO, commented that “companies need better awareness and better trained IT staff to deal with APTs”.

Mark’s comments follow along similar lines.

“Along with the very real need to keep not only your operating system up to date but any applications installed on your systems up to date as well, it’s also very important to ensure your staff are aware of the risk of targeted phishing attacks.

“They need to be aware that all data has a value and ALL staff are fair game when it comes to gaining entry into your systems.

Good user education, risk assessment and regular data interrogation will need to go alongside Antivirus and antimalware solutions if you want to protect the very foundations of a successful company.”