According to the global IT association ISACA, over one in five of the 1,500 security professionals that have taken part in their latest study has admitted that their organizations have experienced advanced persistent threats (APTs).
While 94% of those questioned are aware that APTs represent a credible threat to economic stability and national security, and while 60% of them say it’s only a matter of time before their company is targeted, not all of them fully understand the concept.
The study shows that while most experts are at least somewhat familiar with APTs, 53% of them wrongly believe they don’t differ from traditional threats.
“APTs are sophisticated, stealthy and unrelenting,” said Christos Dimitriadis, international vice president of ISACA and head of information security at INTRALOT GROUP.
“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—and once it does, it can disguise itself and morph when needed, making it difficult to identify or stop.”
Interestingly, over 60% of respondents say they’re ready to handle APTs, but the solutions they’re currently using can be bypassed by sophisticated cyberattacks.
Over a quarter of those who took part in the study have said they’re most concerned about the loss of intellectual property, but experts also fear losing the personal details of employees or customers.
“We are only in February and already we can declare 2013 as the year of the hack,” said Tom Kellermann, vice president of cyber security for Trend Micro.
“ISACA's research reveals that 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.”
The complete report can be downloaded from here.