Advanced Persistent Threats and its role in Network Security Vulnerabilities

Feras Mohammed Almatarneh


: The paper presents an overview of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), and its core concepts, life cycle and characteristic features. In addition, the key factors; actors, targets and motives of an APT were highlighted in detail. The critical challenges currently facing organizations due to APT attacks on its systems, networks and IT infrastructure were critically examined. Lastly, the potential strategies for mitigating APTs were identified and highlighted. The findings demonstrated that an APT is a series of long term, covert and persistent cyber threats that target, penetrate and exploit organizations, businesses or states to acquire valuable proprietary (industrial espionage) data or political reasons (activism) resulting in losses of over USD$500 Billion annually. Consequently, the prevalence and sophistication of APTs have soared astronomically accounting for 39% of all cyber-attacks on computer networks. Furthermore, the potential damage from APTs is responsible for 60-65% downtime, network disruption, and financial losses. Hence, the potentially damaging effects of APTs, has prompted various organizations to invest in cyber security programs and other mitigation strategies to timely detect, prevent and eradicate future APT attacks. The paper reveals that APTs can be mitigated by deploying computer analytics, network security mechanisms such as the “defense in depth” (D-in-D), network traffic introspection, and endpoint security measures. However, other strategies include the deployment of Advanced Persistent Security measures. In conclusion, the paper reveal that APTs pose significant threats to global computer networks and require considerable resources, and investment to forestall future problems.


Advanced Persistent Threat, Network Security, Hacking, Vectors, Vulnerability

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