An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a stealthy and the most sophisticated cyber-attack on a computer system to get unauthorized access of some secret and sensitive data which often threatens the interest of an organization or even the solidarity of a nation with this covert cyber activity.

The hacker behind this APT attack could be from public or private sector who successfully exploits the software vulnerabilities and other weaknesses in a specific organization. Unfortunately this unauthorized control by the advanced actors over a particular computer network remains undetected for a long time causing serious damage to the original author.


  • Highly confidential data of national interest
  • Larger corporations
  • Military and intelligence
  • Economic titans
  • Medium sized businesses
  • Other local, territorial and electoral data

Stages of advanced persistent threat:

In today’s virtual world all the major businesses have reported a list of cases of cyber attacks with the goals of spying, stealing or messing up. During this extended period, the invaders propagate, get the desired sensitive data and achieve the goals of their targeted intrusion through multi stages of their planned cyber stealing. Majorly the following five stages comprise the cybercriminal activity.

Five Stages of Advanced Persistent Attack:

1. Reconnaissance:

The hackers first get an entry through an infected file, junk email or any software vulnerability to insert malware into a target network or leverage the information they require.

2. Intrusion by establishing a Foothold:

This step includes the creation of a network of backdoors which they use to move around in the respective network unnoticed.

3. Discovery for deeper access:

Here at this stage the invaders have come inside by cracking the passwords, now they have gained access and control of the systems.

4. Acquisition of highly valuable data:

Now the cyber criminals are able to move the way they want, the confidential data and other secured information is now open to them.

5. Exfiltration

Their game is on now, they achieve their desired objective, the real purpose behind their entry and leave the backdoor open for their future.


The longevity is the most devastating factor of this attack where the detection is nearly impossible but the constant check to fix the vulnerabilities. The drop down list of measures will help you to have a secured network.

  • You have to be incredibly diligent to keep your organization safe from these threats.
  • Maintain the stocks of your company’s assets.
  • Consider the key weaknesses and expected targets.
  • Get to know the common techniques and threats from the past and use them to design the most appropriate future strategy
  • updating of software
  • Don’t over trust your employees as to provide them complete access to your confidential data.
  • Make use of intrusion prevention systems
  • Set unique and inimitable passwords
  • Proper antivirus solutions
  • Implementation of intrusion prevention systems
  • Keeping safe backups
  • Activate alerts in case of any malicious activity
  • Educate your employees