What is Red Team Security?

Red Team Security

Red Team Overview

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A red team is formed with the intention of identifying and assessing vulnerabilities, testing assumptions, viewing alternate options for attack, and revealing the limitations and security risks for that organization. 

Benefits of Red Teaming

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There are many benefits to red teaming. First, you have a designated group with tactical experience in challenging the security of your organization at all times. This is important to see how your organization will fair against the very same tactics adversaries will hope to deploy on your environment. An effective red team: 
  • Challenges your organization’s assumptions and identifies faulty logic or flawed analysis 
  • Assesses the strength of the evidence base or the quality of your information 
  • Identifies alternative options or outcomes and/or explores the consequences of an action or attack plan 
  • Tests your system, network, applications, and more through the eyes of an adversary 
  • Understands the options for an adversary to break into and move throughout your system 

Red Team Penetration Testing

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Penetration Testers are a must have for any organization. A pen tester is designated to ethically hack and evaluate your environment. In this role they will be the point of contact and operate as the brains behind your security scope. 

While it’s good to have someone in place to handle this – keeping up with the number of tests needed is growing to be too much for one individual to handle. The number of attacks are increasing and the amount of research and experience that’s required to get ahead of these attacks is expanding the gap between time of attack and time of discovery. That’s where red teaming comes in. Hiring a group of individuals to test and monitor with full visibility into your security posture routinely and consistently better ensures you have the appropriate measures in place to secure your organization. 

Role of a Red Team

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This designated group tests the security posture of your organization to see how it will fair against real-time attacks – before they actually happen. Hiring people with different backgrounds and specialties helps to round out your security red team to ensure you are testing and seeing your company from the various perspectives of an attacker. 

Your red team should periodically challenge your security measures throughout the year. Their job will primarily be testing your infrastructure to see how it would hold up against different attack methodologies without giving notice to fellow employees. It’s also worthwhile to have your red team test your organization after implementing a new security software or program.

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Keys to Building a Red Team

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1. Have the Right Conditions – Red teamers need an open learning culture with the ability to continuously train and improve their skill set. 
2. Set Clear Objectives – Plan from the outset. This will not work as an afterthought but should be an integral part of your security posture and, as such, should have measurable goals in mind. 
3. Get the Right Tools – Red teaming is about more than a penetration test. Make sure that you provide your team with the right testing, vulnerability management, and further assessment tools for analysis. 
4. Focus on Key Issues – Red teaming should produce quality thinking and advice, not qualitative results. If all you want are a list of vulnerabilities, you need a scanner – not a red team. 

When to Use a Red Team

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A red team can be set loose on your environment in various instances, such as: 
When you’ve implemented new security software, programs, or tactics to your organization- You will want to see how it fairs against those of true attackers. Your red team should then come in and emulate attacks of adversaries – without the knowledge of your employee base – to see how these implementations stand. 
 • When a new breach or attack occurs- Whether this is happening to your environment or not, when seeing or hearing of the latest attack you should see how you would fare if it actually happened to you – and hopefully do so before it is happening in real-time. 
 • Routinely and sporadically- As your organization continues to grow and while the threats seem to be quiet, it’s good to test.

Is Your Team Ready to Scale?

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Discover if you are and how you can by building a red team with a strong mission. 
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