What is Red Teaming and is it Important?

March 24, 2021
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

With DDoS attacks becoming increasingly frequent and increasingly sophisticated, red teaming is becoming more widely recognised as a key preventative practice for cybersecurity.

What is Red Teaming?

Red teaming is the name given to a cybersecurity practice which involves an external company testing an organisation’s resilience. The process involves simulating a multi-layered attack in order to test how well a company is securing their private information. The so-called ‘red team’ plays the role of the enemy in order to assess an organisation’s security level and find any weaknesses. Another term for this is ethical hacking or penetration testing.

Who is Red Teaming For?

Many sectors, including airport security, intelligence agencies, cybersecurity and the military, can benefit from red teaming. In addition to those with a clear security threat, any business is at risk of a security breach. Even if you think you are not a target, businesses of all sectors and sizes, can fall victim to a sophisticated security breach. This is not just concerning sensitive data and information but any computer is susceptible to being infected with malware.

How Does Red Teaming Work?

Red teaming involves hiring a security team, specialist or even a cybersecurity startup to simulate a sophisticated cyberattack on an organisation’s system in order to highlight vulnerabilities and areas of weakness. The team carrying out these simulations are cybersecurity professionals who understand how a hacker may operate. These simulations are typically very thorough, encompassing technical aspects, physical aspects such as any offices or warehouses and even a company’s staff, to identify any potential weak links. By covering all areas, they can expose risks that you may not have thought of.

Red Teaming Techniques

Red teaming goes beyond traditional penetration testing as rather than just focusing on one aspect of security, they take a holistic approach.

  • Physical Facility – Office spaces and warehouses hold a multitude of data and yet people underestimate how easy it is to enter a “secure” facility. These simulations look at how easy it is to gain physical access to your company’s space
  • Email and Phone – Email and phone scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated meaning that even the brightest staff member could fall victim to a hoax. A seemingly innocuous email or phone call is often the gateway to a far more advanced data breach
  • System or network – This is typically the area explored by penetration testing. It assesses any technological vulnerabilities that may expose a company to security risks.

How Red Teaming Can Help

It helps a business remain ahead of the curve as, not only does it ensure that their client’s information is kept safe, it also allows them to be well-prepared for any potential security risks. Regular red teaming ensures that your security systems are bulletproof. This, in turn, can save companies the enormous cost of a potential security breach as well as keeping their reputation intact with their customers.

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