Teaming is a practice in cybersecurity aimed at simulating real-life cyberattacks on a company’s system, network, or workforce. The idea is to determine the impenetrability of the company’s defense against cyber threats. There are two types of teaming in cybersecurity: blue teaming and red teaming.
This guide will focus on red teaming and how it differs from penetration testing.
A blue team comprises individuals in the internal security team of an organization that defends it against real-life attackers and the red team.
Cybersecurity solutions typically defend against a wide array of cyberattacks. But the job of the blue team is to spot and neutralize more covert attacks that these technologies cannot detect.
The blue team closely monitors an organization’s system to detect suspicious traffic patterns. It also identifies indicators of compromise, which they shut down immediately.
Red Teams are the attacking group, comprised of security experts who test the effectiveness of a security infrastructure by mimicking the techniques of hackers as realistically as possible.
Their job is to stealthily try to break the defenses of the company’s cybersecurity. They identify and exploit vulnerabilities and weaknesses while striving to remain undetectable. While a red team can consist of individuals that work for the company, the usual practice is to employ the services of external cyber experts that will look at the defenses with fresh eyes.
In doing their jobs, the red team employs any means possible that a real cyber attacker would to penetrate both the systems and physical premises of the company. This could involve creating malware and employing social engineering tactics on the employees.
Difference Between Red Teaming and Penetration Testing
Red teaming is similar to penetration testing but there are some clear differences. They are both used to determine how solid the cybersecurity of a company is and how well cyber defenses will fare in the face of an attack.
Goals of Red Teaming vs Pen-testing
However, pen-testing only revolves around identifying the flaws in the systems of an organization. It notices easy penetration points for hackers and exploits these flaws to see the potential destructiveness of a security breach. The goals in pen-testing are not specific.
Red teaming, on the other hand, is multi-leveled and targeted. It looks to achieve specific goals such as gaining access to a specific server that carries sensitive information. It not only finds and exploits vulnerabilities but also tests the ability to detect and respond to breaches.
Red teaming provides a more holistic answer to the question of how well a company can handle possible future cyber threats. It simulates real-life attacks using any means available to break both cybersecurity and physical barriers.
Length of Execution of Red Teaming vs Pen-testing
Also, red teaming typically lasts longer than pen-testing. It could go on for about 3 – 4 weeks, though it depends on the kind of attack. Conversely, pen-testing typically lasts for a week or two.
Red teaming is indispensable for big companies that store sensitive information since they are susceptible to hackers.
Red teaming does not stop at just staging an attack. Following the test attack, they work with the blue team to evaluate the effectiveness of the barriers they encountered. The red team shows the blue team the flaws they exploited and how they were able to penetrate the security system.
The blue team, armed with this valuable information, devises and implements tactics to remove the flaws to protect the organization against real future attacks.