APT - Advanced Persistent Threat
An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a prolonged and targeted cyber attack in which an intruder gains access to a network and remains undetected for an extended period of time. APT attacks are initiated to steal data rather than cause damage to the target organization's network.
APT attacks are typically aimed at organizations in sectors such as national defense, manufacturing and the financial industry, as those companies deal with high-value information, including intellectual property, military plans, and other data from governments and enterprise organizations.
The goal of most APT attacks is to achieve and maintain ongoing access to the targeted network rather than to get in and out as quickly as possible. Because a great deal of effort and resources usually go into carrying out APT attacks, hackers typically target high-value targets, such as nation-states and large corporations, with the ultimate goal of stealing information over a long period of time.