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Infosec 2013: APTs are hard to defend against, but not impossible

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Modern security technologies are not meant to stop advanced persistent threats (APTs), but organisations do not have to bury their heads in the sand.


Speaking at the Infosecurity Europe exhibition in London, Brian Laing, director of marketing and products at AhnLab, said that security tools are "not meant to block these types of attacks" and that while attackers can sell attacks for tens of thousands of pounds on the black market, organisations are not lost.


He said: “An attack could be with an attachment, with a drive-by download or with an infected website, or they could just infect your machine. You cannot do detection with signatures, so you have to dig down and look at the file and find out what it is doing.”


Speaking earlier in the day, Matthew Bennett, cyber incident response analyst at Cassidian CyberSecurity, said that attackers "are not trying to get a talk at Blackhat; they will use the minimum effort to achieve their goals".


He encouraged eradicating attackers by shutting down communication channels, enhancing a company's security posture and assuming that the attacker has access to the full environment. He said: “The attacker has an effective attack strategy, but they are not the only one. Yours can be the same, so do not bury your head in the sand when it comes to a reaction.


“Look at whitelisting, deprovision accounts, user awareness in protecting your account, as they are the first to be targeted. Have a surveillance strategy, have a response strategy and when intrusions take place, be the first to know.”

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