It is too early to forget the story of the US retailer, Target and the massive data breach it encountered in December last year.\u00a0With 100 million shoppers\u2019 personal information and credit card details stolen, Target puts its data breach cost at $148 million (about Rs 8,880 lakh as on August 5th). Target is also facing more than 140 lawsuits from banks and financial organizations in the US.However, the Target breach helped other firms to learn their lesson. It was a wake-up call for organizations to prepare themselves against the relentless APT (advanced persistent threat) attacks.The numbers are still a bit alarming. One in every five organizations have been hit by an APT attack, according to a recent global study released by ISACA. 66 out of every 100 enterprises believe that it\u2019s only a matter of time before they are attacked. Yet only 15 percent of enterprises say they are very well prepared for an APT attack!As one of the fastest growing Internet-driven economies, India stands at a bigger risk of being a preferred target for persistent cyber threats. Are the Indian enterprises prepared? While detecting or defeating APTs may seem like a hopeless battle, many Indian CISOs have taken the first step toward the right direction. Organizations are concerned about the Zero Day vulnerabilities and outcomes of APT attacks like never before.\u201cIn\u00a0India, there has been a great shift of focus from prevention to pro-active approach.\u00a0\u00a0Protection from APTs has been one of the top priorities of CISOs in the past few months. Organizations have become more sensitive to these threats to protect their \u201ccore assets\u201d, which is the data,\u201d says Mani Kant Singh R, head\u2013IT and Security, Orbis Financial Corporation.He has observed organizations putting up various controls and measures like real time monitoring and real time reporting of attacks with the help of\u00a0advance next generation firewalls and UTM boxes. But Singh adds that increasing the perimeter security also brings new concerns around network slow down and the ability to meet customer expectations.\u201cThe good news is that more enterprises are attempting to better prepare for the APT this year,\u201d said Robert Stroud, CGEIT, CRISC, international president of ISACA. However, Countering APTs demands renewed approaches to cybersecurity that businesses need to consider, according to Vittal Raj, International Vice President of ISACA.Organizations thus have to start by thinking beyond the traditional security measures. Singh of Orbis says that many organizations are looking at home-grown technologies to combat such threats. \u00a0While there is no single systematic\u00a0way to\u00a0 handle \u00a0these APTs, next generation firewall, intrusion detection system \/intrusion prevention system, URL content filter, advanced threat protection are few well-known methods, says Singh.Many new vendors provide signatures on the fly to handle APTs, with auto intelligence that is gained from the inspections. But organizations can do more, like smart monitoring, for instance.\u201cIntelligence gathering and analysis along with effective user training can also help organizations in tackling APT attacks to some extent,\u201d says Singh.