What is Advanced Threat Protection?

What is Advanced Threat Protection?
What is Advanced Threat Protection?

Pretty much anyone who has access to information of potential value is at risk of cyber attack.

Today, malicious hackers often prioritise targeting employees due to their increased likelihood of possessing valuable information or having privileged access to sensitive data.

This underscores the significance of engaging in discussions about Advanced Threat Protection measures to safeguard the sensitive data your organisation handles.

What Is Advanced Threat Protection?

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) comprises a range of security solutions designed to safeguard against sophisticated attacks and malware that target sensitive data.

ATP outcomes leverage advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and behaviour analytics to identify and address threats in real-time swiftly.

These outcomes include endpoint protection, network, email, and cloud security. These components collaborate to provide a holistic defence against cyber-attacks.

How Does Advanced Threat Protection or ATP Work?

The primary processes of Advanced Threat Protection are early detection, adequate protection, and swift response to threats. Complete ATP services and solutions must include the following components to achieve these goals:

  • Real-time Visibility: Continuous monitoring and immediate detection of threats are crucial to minimising damage and resource utilisation.
  • Context-Based Protection: Effective threat alerts should provide contextual information to help security teams prioritise and respond to threats effectively.
  • Data Awareness: A deep understanding of enterprise data, including its sensitivity and value, is essential to assess and respond to potential threats accurately.

When a threat is detected, further analysis may be necessary. ATP works by handling threat analysis, enabling uninterrupted business operations while continuous monitoring and response occur behind the scenes.

Threats are prioritised based on potential damage and the sensitivity of at-risk data. Advanced threat protection focuses on three key areas:

  • Preventing or mitigating attacks in progress before they breach systems.
  • Disrupting ongoing malicious activity or countering actions that have already occurred due to a breach.
  • Interrupting the attack lifecycle to prevent further progression or advancement of the threat.

Advanced Threat Protection Importance: Explained

Cyber attackers are becoming more challenging to access networks due to their increasingly sophisticated strategies. These attacks are usually well-funded, focused and involve complex malware that aims to bypass standard security measures.

In the present era, where attacks are happening from various directions, ATP solutions are a pressing need. Malicious actors launch new attacks and constantly upgrade their preferred methods, discovering new hiding places and ways to avoid identity verification.

For instance, a recent Trojan horse bypassed SMS-based authentication, which wasn't in place when these programs first emerged. Approximately 70% of corporate executives perceive a rise in their cybersecurity risks.

Advanced Threat Protection helps mitigate this battle by protecting organisations from advanced persistent threats that have the following objectives:

  • Destroying company data results in significant financial losses for organisations.
  • Financially benefiting the attackers themselves.
  • Gathering intelligence for state and corporate espionage.
  • Achieving activist goals, such as exposing corporate misconduct or greed.

Outlining The Top Advanced Threat Protection Benefits

Comprehensive Protection: Advanced Threat Protection results give all-inclusive protection against a wide range of cyber-attacks, including zero-day attacks, APTs, and other targeted attacks. This grants organisations a strong level of defence against complex cyber threats.

Real-time Discovery and Response: ATP results identify and respond to dangers in real time. Automated response features are in place to halt attacks while security teams investigate. Proactive analysis ensures that attacks are identified as quickly as possible.

Enhanced Productivity: ATP results can help facilitate productivity by reducing the time and resources needed to respond to cyber risks. This allows associations to concentrate on their core business conditioning.

Compliance with Regulations: Similar to healthcare and finance, due diligence is required to align with strict regulations to cover sensitive data. ATP outcomes assist organisations in fulfilling these requirements by delivering advanced safeguards against cyber attacks.

Better Planning: These solutions offer improved prioritisation and planning. They can suggest recommended actions to address threats, enabling teams to investigate events efficiently and implement the most effective responses.

Top 5 Advanced Threat Protection or ATP Features

  • Centralised Management System: The data of any occurrence is provided through dashboards, allowing security analysts to access details about suspicious events and respond accordingly quickly. Data and analyses are aggregated to reduce false positives by providing context for events.
  • Endpoint Attack Detection: This feature inspects and filters files passing through network endpoints. Endpoint detection tools examine all data flowing through the network perimeter, identifying potentially dangerous files.
  • Network Traffic Control: Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) tools also analyse incoming and outgoing network traffic. It allows users to access applications and documents only after meeting inspection criteria.
  • Application Control: ATP solutions offer granular control over the applications running within the organisation's network. This allows administrators to define policies and permissions for specific applications, reducing the risk of unauthorised or malicious software executing on endpoints.
  • Complete Threat Intelligence: Advanced Threat Protection solution offers current and relevant details about the latest cyberattack campaigns. This involves the integration of automated tools that contextualise threats and events, leveraging comprehensive threat intelligence within analyst tools.

When is a Threat Referred to as "Advanced"?

Advanced threats frequently employ sophisticated attack techniques, including the use of advanced exploits that exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities (known as zero-day vulnerabilities).

An advanced persistent threat (APT) refers to a protracted and focused cyberattack where an unauthorised individual gains entry into a network and remains undetected for an extended duration.

The primary objective of APT attacks is to illicitly acquire data rather than inflict harm on the targeted organisation's network. Instead of executing a swift infiltration and extraction, most APT attacks aim to establish and sustain ongoing access to the specific network.

Due to the significant dedication of effort and resources required for APT attacks, hackers usually choose high-value targets such as nation-states and large corporations. They intend to stealthily gather information over an extended period.

Additionally, Advanced Threat Protection groups commonly employ highly targeted spear phishing attacks and other social engineering tactics to gain unauthorised access.

Common Advanced Attack Methods: ATP Cybersecurity Concerns

Malicious Software (Malware)

Malicious software, commonly known as malware, encompasses various harmful software types like viruses and ransomware. Attackers employ diverse methods to introduce malware into your computer, often relying on user actions to install the malware.

These actions may include clicking on a deceptive link to download a file or opening an email attachment that appears harmless, such as a document or PDF, but secretly harbours a malware installer.

Advance Phishing

Phishing attacks involve the deceptive practice of sending emails that masquerade as trustworthy sources, such as your boss or a reputable company you interact with.

These emails are designed to appear genuine and often create a sense of urgency, such as claiming fraudulent activity on your account.

The email may contain attachments to open or links to click. It is crucial to combat phishing attempts by understanding the significance of verifying email senders, attachments, and links.

SQL Injection Attack

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a programming language used to interact with databases, which often store sensitive customer information like credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, and other personally identifiable information (PII).

Attackers exploit known vulnerabilities in SQL systems to execute an SQL injection attack, enabling them to run malicious code on the server.

For instance, an attacker may input code into a website's search box to extract all stored usernames and passwords from the compromised SQL server.

Denial-of-Service (DoS)

Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks overwhelm a website with excessive traffic that surpasses its capacity, leading to server overload and the inability to serve content to legitimate visitors.

In some cases, these attacks involve multiple computers simultaneously, forming what is known as a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS).

Session Hijacking

Session hijacking occurs when an attacker intercepts and captures a unique and private session ID, allowing them to masquerade as the legitimate user's computer.

The attacker gains unauthorised access to sensitive information on the web server by posing as the authorised user.

How to Choose the Right Advanced Threat Protection Solution?

When selecting an Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) solution for their organisation, companies must consider their security requirements, reliable performance, and budget. Different organisations may prioritise different features and functionalities based on their needs.

Some may prioritise user-friendliness, while others may value advanced reporting capabilities and broader application coverage, including on-premises software programs, cloud-based protection, and platforms such as databases, CRM, Active Directory domain and identity administration, and email.

ATP security is crucial for all organisations, but it is essential to consider individual business requirements when choosing an advanced threat protection solution. Factors to consider include:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Different geographic locations and industries have varying regulatory commitments. ATP solutions need to integrate seamlessly with compliance technology.
  • The extent of Scalability: With rising security costs, ATP solutions should leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to provide long-term value and scalability.
  • Current Vulnerabilities: Identify specific data and storage vulnerabilities and choose an ATP solution that addresses the gaps in existing security measures.
  • Easy Deployment: Integrating ATP solutions should not be complex, and it should not require additional agents. Onboarding new users should be straightforward across different roles within the organisation.

Advanced Threat Protection with InstaSafe

The intensity of advanced persistent threats (APTs) is expected to rise in the upcoming year rather than dissipate. Disregarding this issue will result in harm to your organisation. A key approach to combat APT is a Zero Trust Network Architecture.

By deploying Zero Trust principles and services, firms can enhance their ability to detect and recognise anomalies, which is a superior strategy for defending against APT attacks.

InstaSafe’s novel Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution deploys a trusted system to facilitate connections between authorised users and specific private applications. By harnessing the capabilities of our Zero Trust platform, we strive to enhance the safety, security, and productivity of your organisation. Visit our website or book a free demo to know more.

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