Red team operations have become an increasingly popular way for businesses to evaluate and test their cyber security. In fact, red teaming could be considered the most advanced and in-depth form of ethical hacking available today. Whereas other forms of ethical hacking – such as penetration testing – may only test a specific part of your defences, a red team operation is a full simulated cyber-attack. It will use any and all tactics and techniques that could be employed by cyber criminals if they were attempting to breach your systems.
If you are considering commissioning a red team operation, or if you’re not sure whether this sort of assessment is right for your business – this article can help, and furthermore – this explanatory guide from penetration testing and red teaming experts Redscan certainly will.
Here we will take a look at what you can learn from red teaming.
How effective are your controls and processes at preventing attacks?
A red team operation is the ultimate test of your cyber security – and the first key thing that you can learn from a simulated attack is whether the preventative security controls you have in place, such as firewalls, antivirus software and intrusion prevention systems, are effective. When working efficiently, these controls are able to reduce the success of attacks.
Red team operations simulate a wide range of adversarial tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) – which means that they can help to identify lesser known security weaknesses, such as hidden software vulnerabilities and poorly configured systems and applications.
If an attack breached your defences, could you detect it?
Cyber criminals and hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated – a process being facilitated by increasing access to tools and knowledge. They use a broad range of tricks and techniques, which makes them increasingly harder to detect. It is necessary, then, for modern cyber security systems to have the ability to keep up with the latest TTPs.
A red team operation will allow you to assess whether your existing controls are strong enough and configured correctly to more effectively detect the latest attacks techniques. Red team assessments can be commissioned to simulate common threat scenarios, such as insider threats and supply chain compromises.
If your organisation has poor threat visibility, there is a risk that it could be breached without you even realising it. To counteract this, you may need to invest in endpoint security monitoring – but a red team is an easy way to find this
How good are your incident response procedures?
Yes, being able to detect threats in advance is absolutely essential to modern cyber security. But being able to detect a breach does not necessarily mean that you are able to respond to it quickly enough to minimise potential damage and disruption. It is also important to understand how quickly your business can respond to threats – can you stop threats before they become serious breaches? Swift incident response is essential to avoid damage and operational disruption.
Red teaming can help validate the effectiveness of your organisation’s current incident response procedures and highlight areas for improvement. It can also show you not only how your systems and procedures respond to an attack, but also how well equipped your staff are to contain and shut them down.
When you have undertaken a red team operation and learned how well you can prevent, detect and respond to attacks, you will have a good understanding of your organisations’ real cyber security risk, as well as having the information you need to make tangible improvements to the company’s overall security posture.
A red team operation will include a final report that will present full details of the exercise and make short and long-term recommendations to improve your organisation’s cyber security procedures so that you will be better prepared to respond, should a genuine attack occur at any point in the future.