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APT emerging as a major threat vector being used against India

Information security audits conducted by CDAC over the years has found that APT has been stealthily residing in the systems and collecting and stealing information whether required or not, says CH A S Murty, Associate Director, CDAC

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The vulnerabilities of cyber security in any organisation, be it private, Govt, enterprises, hospitals, etc is eventually a national security issue. In the pandemic period, the hostilities with China escalated with tensions at the LAC and the situation with Pakistan has always been tense.

Among other threats, the Advance Persistent Threat (APT) is causing serious concern for India, “We have been doing information security audits since 2014 and also conducting training for organisations. It is found that APT has been stealthily residing in the systems and collecting and stealing information whether required or not. The level of skills in the organisations is lacking depth to handle such threats,” says CH A S Murty, Associate Director, CDAC.

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There is a dire need for organisations to move from siloed IT audits to all systems being audited together. “The audits currently are happening in a siloed format – of individual servers, devices, etc and OT devices are audited separately from that of the IT devices. These narrow audit approaches will only expose the vulnerabilities restricted to that particular device but an overall audit will actually put the spotlight on APT hidings,” explains Murty.

There is a structured way of doing audits. In three ways. Firstly, framework based audit. This way, the policies and people are all audited together for adherence to various regulatory policies, etc. Secondly, abuse based audits, nabs the long term APTs hiding in the systems. The technical audit is the third audit type. It combines the type 1 and type 2 audit. “We have found many gap areas in organisations, when undertaking audits of all three types. The companies are also lacking in giving proper weightage to information security however it’s absent. IS is still perceived as a technical issue,” finds Murty.

CH A S Murty, Associate Director, CDAC was expressing his views during the vRoundtable organised by Express Computer in partnership with Forcepoint

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