APT attacks in Vietnam are increasingly sophisticated

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In the first quarter of 2019, there were 136 Vietnamese organizations and businesses suffering from  APT (Advanced Persistent Threat), or being attacked without knowing.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Duc – CEO of Information Security Company CyRadar said APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) attack in Vietnam is increasing in number and level of sophistication. Recently, CyRadar has also discovered many aggressive attacks on banks, financial institutions as well as many government agencies.

Mr. Duc also added that, from the experience of supporting agencies and businesses to detect and prevent cyber attacks, CyRadar has discovered businesses whose system has been intentionally attacked and controlled 18 months ago but they have not known yet.

Advanced Persistent Threat on critical information systems to steal information and data in recent years have always been identified by experts as one of the major threats and challenges of cybersecurity and safety in Vietnam (Photo: Intenet)

According to FireEye statistics, in the world, it was not until after 78 days on average, businesses and organizations know they were attacked. This figure is 204 days for businesses and organizations in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC). In fact, as from experience of Viettel Security Company, which had handled many information security incidents, with organizations and businesses in Vietnam, the time for the units to recognize that they were attacked or intruded is about 2.2 years.

Mr. Le Quang Ha – Head of Enterprise Information Security Solutions, Viettel Network Security Company shared: “This is way too long and during that time, hackers can do many things with the system of units and businesses. Obviously, there is a huge gap, between the attacker and the defense side”.

In fact, in recent years, the increase in APT aimed at important information systems has always been predicted by security experts as a major trend in Vietnam network security. For 2019, APT on critical information systems in order to steal information and data, it was identified by the Information Security Division of the Ministry of Information and Communications as one of the five main trends in cybersecurity.

“Preventing attacks was difficult, detecting and preventing APT attacks would be even more challenging. Even big businesses in the world are inevitably attacked by spyware installation, silently stealing data. In my opinion, to respond promptly, enterprises and organizations need to actively build multi-layer defense systems, especially invest in human resources to make promote security and improve the awareness of all staff through training programs,” said Mr. Duc.

Regarding effective and practical APT attack protection solutions, based on analysis of the outstanding features of APT attacks such as: new and strange tools for hackers; hacker attack tactics are constantly being changed and updated; attacks take place slowly and silently for a long time; hackers are very aggressive, experts of Viettel Cyber ​​Security Company said that enterprises and organizations as defensive players need to take measures to eliminate gaps and differences with the attackers.

Specifically, according to experts from Viettel Security Company, the defense needs to set and solve the questions: Do we have the tools or equipment that match the tools and weapons of the hackers? Have our defensive groups updated quickly, sensitive to technologies, how to defend against new vulnerabilities? Do we have the personnel to maintain our network security and monitor constantly, to detect such slow and long-term attacks? And finally, the quality of the defense team of enterprises and organizations are ready for the hacker team or not?

“Like all traditional wars, cyberwar is also a confrontation between two forces and the disparity between armed equipment, information disparity, reception, and response. The difference in human resources is what determines which side will win. Therefore, businesses and organizations need to eliminate gaps and differences with attackers. This is the fastest way to effectively combat APT attacks”, suggested Viettel Network Security Company expert.

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