Targeted Attacks Call For a Different Approach

Trends in Targeted Attacks Download the full research paper: Trends in Targeted Attacks

Targeted attacks constitute a threat category that refers to computer intrusions staged by threat actors that aggressively pursue and compromise specific targets. Often leveraging social engineering and malware, these attacks seek to maintain a persistent presence within the victim’s network so that the attackers can move laterally throughout the target’s network and extract sensitive information.

These attacks are most commonly aimed at civil society organizations, business enterprises and government/military networks. Given the targeted nature of these attacks, the distribution is low; however, the impact on compromised institutions remains high. As a result, targeted attacks have become a priority threat.

This paper will examine the stages of a targeted attack from the reconnaissance phase through to the data ex-filtration phase and will explore trends in the tools, tactics and procedures used in such attacks. It will conclude with a high-level examination of mitigation strategies that leverage threat intelligence and data security in order to provide organizations with the information they need to increase their human capacity, to analyze and respond to threats and to customize technical solutions in ways that best fit their own defensive posture.


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