It is without doubt that today the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks keeps consistently growing, militating an endless arm race between attackers and defenders. In this context, full-fledged frameworks, methodologies, or strategies that are able to offer optimal or near-optimal reaction in terms of countermeasure selection, preferably in a fully or semi-automated way, are of high demand. This is reflected in the literature, which encompasses a significant number of major works on this topic spanning over a time period of 5 years, that is, from 2012 to 2016. The survey at hand has a dual aim, namely: first, to critically analyze all the pertinent works in this field, and second to offer an in-depth discussion and side-by-side comparison among them based on 7 common criteria. Also, a quite extensive discussion is offered to highlight on the shortcomings and future research challenges and directions in this timely area.