Gatewatcher unveils its pan-European investigation on
Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)


Gatewatcher Analysis of APT

May 10, 2023

Gatewatcher, a technological leader in detecting cyber threats on networks, publishes the results of its pan-European study on Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), highlighting the main obstacles encountered by companies, as well as the solutions they use to address the “Top 6” security challenges and APT threats. Conducted by the independent firm Vanson Bourne among 300 IT decision-makers in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, the study reveals that the lack of visibility into hidden threats at the core of the IT network exposes companies to cyber risks and large-scale infrastructure disruptions.

APT Threats: Between Awareness and Technological Challenges

The survey shows a clear awareness for detecting APT threats. When questioned about their stances and the main obstacles encountered in their fight against these threats, 25% of European actors indicate they are seeking to detect them but struggle to discern their method and entry vectors. 21% of decision-makers struggle to meet technological needs. Another noteworthy finding from the study: just under one in five companies (19%) currently outsource their protection against this type of threat to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).

APT: Lack of Visibility as a Risk Factor

Asked about risk factors that could favor APTs, nearly half of IT decision-makers (47%) identify the lack of visibility into hidden threats at the core of the IT network as a major risk for their company. The skills gap within security teams constitutes the second barrier (40%) in the fight against APT threats, compromising companies’ cybersecurity posture.

Additionally, 35% mention deficiencies in the security of the supply chain, especially at the endpoint level, as potentially compromising their organization’s security, and nearly one-third (30%) cite false positives and fatigue from ensuing alerts as a factor compromising their organization’s security. As a sign of the importance of securing the supply chain and awareness of this issue, 29% of respondents also consider providers connected to an organization’s information systems as a risk factor against APT threats.

Ranking of Security Challenges and Advanced Persistent Threats: Differences in Perception

The survey also identifies six security challenges and APT threats ranked by level of risk. Independent actors infiltrating IT networks for malicious or activist purposes, such as “black hats,” hacktivists, or “script kiddies,” rank first. This concern is closely followed by the threat of data loss (51%). The study also points to differences in perception among British, French, and German decision-makers. In France, data loss tops the concerns (65%), while the threat posed by independent hackers ranks first in Germany and the UK (62% and 52% respectively). Ransomware also represents the second concern for German IT decision-makers (52%), compared to 47% and 43% in France and the UK.

NDR, A Future Solution Against APTs

Asked about technologies used to combat APTs, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) remains the favored solution by nearly two-thirds of companies. Next are firewalls (57%), followed by Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems and Network Detection and Response (NDR) solutions, representing 56% and 55% of deployed solutions respectively. The emergence of NDR solutions in fourth place illustrates the growing need, for IT decision-makers, for visibility across the entire IT network and to protect against significant threats, the consequences of which are far from trivial.

“The Gatewatcher Cyber Threats barometer, based on active monitoring by our cyber risk experts and our Cyber Threat Intelligence solution, provides a monthly overview of detected cyber threats, showing the evolution of certain advanced persistent threats – but this is only the tip of an extremely dangerous iceberg,” says Philippe Gillet, CTO of Gatewatcher.

He adds, “By providing an assessment of APT threats and challenges, this Gatewatcher study – conducted by Vanson Bourne – aims to contribute to the constructive search for solutions for the future. The results are encouraging: they show us that companies continue to rely heavily on endpoint protection, while highlighting the necessary visibility across the entire IT network in the fight against APTs. Let’s remember that advanced persistent threats demonstrate patience and are the result of real strategic thinking. It is time to evolve and adapt our approach to this new threat environment and consider APTs as the new normal in cybersecurity.”

In light of this new normalcy, we can only applaud organizations’ awareness of network or NDR technologies. These technologies, by providing high visibility into suspicious behaviors hidden within the network, represent a crucial lever for strengthening companies’ cybersecurity posture.

The full study: “APT Threat in Europe – How to ADAPT?” can be downloaded here.


The study is based on a survey conducted by the British firm Vanson Bourne between January and February 2023 among 300 IT decision-makers in three countries: the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

About Gatewatcher

A technological leader in cyber threat detection, Gatewatcher has been protecting critical networks of large companies and public institutions since 2015. Our solutions combine AI with dynamic analysis techniques to provide a 360-degree real-time view of cyber threats across the entire network, in the cloud, and on-premises.

About Vanson Bourne

Vanson Bourne is an independent research firm specializing in the technology sector. The reputation of this firm and the credibility of its analyses are based on rigorous principles used in its market research studies and its ability to interview decision-makers in IT and business functions, across all sectors and major markets.