Europe has experienced Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) malware where the government and the military were attacked. Attackers behind the threat attain a full spectrum of the intelligence to gather information and mostly, they may apply operational security which makes it hard to identify them. Von Ogden (2016) explains that APTs require significant time to gain entry to the system, unlike phishing and whaling attacks. Another characteristic of APTs is that it requires highly skilled and intelligent cybercriminals as it is expensive to develop and launch one APT. Von Ogden (2016) adds that unlike other ransomware, APTs apply complexity and persistence which forms a challenge for an organization to detect them. Lastly, they employ several phases: reconnaissance, entry, discovery, and capture and exfiltration to attain their objective.
According to Settanni et al (2011), in 2017, Europe advanced persistent threat protection market was ranked second in terms of economic growth (revenue). This market has increased due to the growth of the IoT market, big data, an increase in cloud businesses, and rising online business activities across Europe. Geographically, the ATP market in Europe has thrived in Italy, France, Spain, UK, and Germany. The national security of APTs in Europe is influenced by companies like Dell Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM Corporation, Logrhythm Inc, Forcepoint, Tripwire Inc, Microsoft Corporation, Mcafee Llc, Commercium Technology Inc, Isyx Technologies, Zscaler, Forescout Technologies Inc., Intel Corporation, and Cisco Systems Inc.
One of the major trends of APTs in Europe is the aspect of newcomers and comebacks where old actors who were dominant for years say 2006 are introducing new malware. This is an indication that Europe lacks visibility and also that the actors are still active (Kaspersky, 2018). Settanni et al (2011) explain that some attackers have reduced their activities from 2016 but this is not a solution as the actions continue to introduce innovation. For example, the Hades in Europe in 2018, that targeted financial organizations in Russia and chemical and biological threats prevention irrespective of their inactivity in years. One of the strategies or theories employed by Europe in their fight against cybersecurity is upgrading perimeter and network-based security (Tankard, 2011) which maintains a pace with the trends in cyberattacks.
Kaspersky. (2018). APT Trends Report Q2 2018. Retrieved from https://securelist.com/apt-trends-report-q2-2018/86487/
von Ogden, J. (2016). 14 Telltale Characteristics of an Advanced Persistent Threat. CIMCOR. Retrieved from https://www.cimcor.com/blog/14-telltale-characteristics-of-an-advanced-persistent-threat
Settanni, G., Skopik, F., Shovgenya, Y., Fiedler, R., Carolan, M., Conroy, D., … & Haustein, M. (2017). A collaborative cyber incident management system for European interconnected critical infrastructures. Journal of Information Security and Applications, 34, 166-182.
Tankard, C. (2011). Advanced persistent threats and how to monitor and deter them.
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