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Red Team: The power of offensive security

Red Team services use offensive security to protect organizations

Red is associated, in Western culture, with danger. Blood is red, without going any further. And there is nothing more alarming than seeing someone bleeding profusely. This has been transferred, throughout history, to multiple areas. On a submarine, for example, when a problem occurs the lights turn red, to alert all personnel that something is wrong. In the field of cybersecurity, a Red Team is both an external attacker and an ally that seeks to ensure that everyone knows how to act optimally if the submarine’s light turns red. An offensive security team.

Testing one’s vulnerabilities without obviously informing most of the people involved is a practice as old as military strategy. However, it is in the field of cybersecurity that this type of technique has been systematized.

This is large because, with digitalization and globalization, the enemies of institutions and companies have multiplied and technological advances have increased the means of attack. It is no longer necessary to go to the headquarters of an organization with a can of gasoline and a match to set it on fire.

This is why Red Team services have become an essential tool for protecting systems against malicious attacks. In this article, we will discuss how it works and the advantages of using offensive security as a tool for preventing and strengthening malicious actions.

1. What is a Red Team?

An offensive team is made up of cybersecurity professionals who deliberately attack an organization. The aim is to accelerate the improvement of its defensive layers in the face of truly malicious attacks. To do this, the Red Team pretends to be a sponsored external agent challenging an organization, whether it is an institution or a company.

Its mission is not to harm, but to contribute to the organization’s defensive layers being «fit» and permanently strengthened. This allows organizations to optimize their defensive capabilities against real attacks.

This is why we can classify the Red Team as an offensive security service. Because these two words encompass its entire essence and methodology:

  • Security. Red Team’s mission is to help an organization optimize its protection system against malicious attacks. Both in terms of detection and response.
  • Offensive. To achieve this, it designs and implements attacks similar to those launched by cybercriminals.

In this way, the Red Team can simulate unauthorized access to corporate systems, using:

  • Classic intrusion.
  • Internal reconnaissance of an organization.
  • A lateral movement towards internal targets.
  • Persistence over time.
  • Privilege escalation.
  • The performance of activities of impact for the organization, such as the alteration or theft of strategic information for the business (among others).

What is achieved? Obtain a complete and complex overview of the organization’s weaknesses. A wealth of information to be used to:

  • Correct the problems.
  • Optimize both the security technology and the procedures and people who operate it.
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2. Characteristics of a Red Team

From the succinct description we have just given, five basic characteristics can be identified that help us to complete the picture of what a Red Team is. And what the mission of this type of offensive security service is.

2.1. Duration

The actions of a Red Team are not merely punctual. They are part of a series of exercises that can be more or less extended over time and consist of several phases, as we will see throughout this article.

Thus, Red Team services are not carried out overnight. They require a lot of research work, leading to the design of attack scenarios. Once planned, the attacks are launched, while a continuous process of information gathering is executed, which will be useful to support the different activities carried out throughout the exercise.

2.2. Intrusion vectors

Attacks planned and executed by a Red Team use a variety of intrusion paths. This is because cybercriminals can also launch their attacks in multiple ways.

Thus, we find physical access, perimeter assets of the organization (such as web or mobile applications, among others), social engineering techniques (such as phishing, for example)… In contrast to the analog past, in the digital and hyper-connected world, the defensive layers of an organization can be breached on different fronts. Or worse: on several fronts at the same time.

It is therefore essential for Red Team professionals to consider the various vectors of intrusion.

2.3. Imitation of the enemy

This is a key issue. The Red Team not only carries out attacks against an organization it seeks to protect. It does so by pretending to be an aggressor. To do so, it must mimic the enemy’s way of proceeding. And use the same techniques, tactics, procedures (hereafter TTP), or even tools that a real attacker would use. What does this entail?

Keeping up to date with technological innovations is essential in the entire field of cybersecurity. But, more specifically, of the TTP used by cybercriminals.

This characteristic has another derivative. Like real attackers, the Red Team must avoid being discovered and, therefore, must avoid leaving traces. The Blue Team thus faces a significant challenge that will require it to do its best.

2.4. Scenario design

As far as the Red Team is concerned, the crux of the matter lies not only in the execution of the attacks. But also in the design of the attack scenarios. These will be defined by what is known as the Cyber Kill Chain. This is a framework developed by Lockheed Martin and derives from the military field.

This is due to the need to simulate real attacks. Since it is not enough to act as a cybercriminal, the context must also be as realistic as possible.

For this reason, intelligence gathering is key. The Red Team is characterized by a complex and thorough investigation. Both the organization to be subjected to offensive security techniques and the potential attackers.

2.5. Ongoing information

Although this may seem obvious, it should be pointed out. The Red Team’s mission is to improve the security of an organization. While it is essential that the people involved in attack detection, response, and recovery (Blue Team) are not aware of the Red Team’s work, there is a small group within the organization that is aware of it (White Team). After all, someone had to hire their services.

The client’s contacts are kept constantly informed of the progress of the Red Team‘s work. And they have fully updated information on the discoveries made and on the weaknesses detected both in the system itself and in the way the defensive security team – the Blue Team – operates.

2.6. Feedback

A good cybersecurity strategy requires multiple actions to be implemented. These must be implemented by different teams, all of them responding to the organization’s objectives and needs.

With this in mind, it should be noted that the Red Team, although it carries out its work independently and hidden from the majority of the organization, does not fly on its own. Its strategy responds to the general cybersecurity strategy. And its mission is to enrich it.

Thus, for example, offensive security complements and serves as an accelerator to improve defensive security, it does not undermine or replace it.

The Red Team service places a team of professionals at the full disposal of the organization that hires it. And for it to function optimally, it will need other departments or teams to provide it with information, such as cyber intelligence. And your findings will enrich the other teams.

Offensive security helps organizations to be prepared for attacks

3. Differences between Red Team and Pentesting

In the light of the characteristics that we have just discussed, we can answer a question that many people will have asked themselves: Are Red Team and Pentesting the same thing?

The short answer is no.

Pentesting services are also based on carrying out attacks. But these usually have greater restrictions. Both in terms of time and scope, being limited to specific actions of the Cyber Kill Chain. Their objective is not so much to improve the level of resilience of an organization. Rather, it is to identify vulnerabilities to facilitate their correction.

Instead, the Red Team builds real attack scenarios to detect weaknesses that could affect:

  • Technology.
  • People.
  • The procedures of action.

In the same way, a Red Team identifies alternative ways to achieve the objectives set. Beyond the scope and limitations of a pentesting service.

Hence we can say that penetration testing pursues a series of specific objectives, focused on detecting and exploiting vulnerabilities. The Red Team, on the other hand, is committed to total simulation. To this end, it uses any means that allows the achievement of the objectives set. Just as a real attacker would do.

Pentesting seeks to keep technological assets free of weaknesses or, in other words, to patch the vulnerabilities found in them. The Red Team, on the other hand, facilitates the analysis of the behavior of the organization’s defensive layers in the event of a specific attack.

In addition, as far as penetration testing is concerned, there is a collaboration between the organization and the team in charge of performing the test. This is very different from what happens when we talk about the Red Team since the Red Team acts while the majority of the organization does not know that it is carrying out any activity.

4. Objectives and functions of a Red Team

Every Red Team service performs a series of activities aimed at resolving three issues of vital importance to a business:

  1. Identify the level of vulnerability of an organization to attacks.
  2. Analyze the ability to detect attacks.
  3. Assessing the organization’s readiness to defend itself against attacks.

Thus, these offensive security services aim to protect the organization and its system against attacks. To do so, it is extremely useful to put oneself in the cybercriminals’ shoes. And to carry out perfectly planned exercises.

It is precisely this last question that leads us to establish the three main functions of a Red Team, taking into account its objectives and the characteristics of its services.

  1. Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes. As mentioned above, emulating the attackers is one of the characteristics of the Red Team. Assuming the role of the attacker requires knowledge and experience, which is why the team needs to be made up of cybersecurity experts with experience in the field.
  2. Design and emulate attacks. In addition to designing scenarios, the Red Team builds them to implement various attacks that allow it to evaluate the detection and response of the organization’s defense systems.
  3. Exploit identified weaknesses and help assess the ability to protect critical functions. Offensive security practices are not carried out simply to check how the system responds, but rather to obtain as much information as possible to carry out an evaluation of the protection mechanisms. In other words, the Red Team does not simply seek to prove that an organization is vulnerable to certain threats. Rather, it is to find out why it is vulnerable and to help stop it from becoming so.

5. Actions carried out by a Red Team

Because of the above, the Red Team must carry out a series of actions to achieve the defined objectives.

This catalog of actions allows the offensive security team to check the state of the defense systems and the protection of the organization’s critical functions.

5.1. Continuous monitoring for target localization

This action makes visible the different ways of accessing key information to understand the business and its critical functions. OSINT practices are used for this purpose.

As we have been emphasizing, research is a central task of a Red Team. Without it, it is impossible to emulate real attack scenarios. This is why it is so important to continuously monitor organizations to detect targets susceptible to attack.

5.2. Continuous evaluation of possible access routes

In addition to continuous monitoring of priority targets, the Red Team also carries out a permanent evaluation of the access routes or compromise routes that can be used when executing the initial intrusion.
In other words, it studies the different paths that the attackers can follow to reach:

  • The identified assets.
  • The priority business objectives.

This analysis seeks to identify those weaknesses that allow progress to be made towards achieving the objectives.

5.3. Verification of response and resilience capabilities in the face of attacks

If the two previous actions were focused on detection, this offensive security activity seeks to check how an organization responds to attacks.

To this end, scenarios or exercises are used that could be part of the modus operandi of real cybercriminals. These are completed with hostile actor TTP, following technical classifications such as MITRE ATT&CK.

Systematization and best practices are key in this type of action.

5.4. Execution of attack scenarios against the corporate infrastructure

These actions identify vulnerabilities in the organization’s infrastructure. If in the previous tasks the objective was to analyze the response systems, in these the aim is to evaluate the capacity to prevent risks in the face of attacks against the corporate infrastructure.

During the execution of these activities, it is foreseeable that gaps that may exist in the infrastructure and where cybercriminals can attack will come to light. With a view to vulnerating critical corporate assets.

5.5. Identifying security risks limited to specific use cases

As we have been pointing out, the Red Team must not only investigate and launch attacks by impersonating people seeking to enter an organization illegitimately. It is an absolute priority that they identify critical vulnerabilities and risks arising from their exploitation.

At the end of the exercise, necessary improvements should be proposed. Both at the purely technical level and the executive and decision-making level. This is the only way to ensure that an organization and the equipment that must protect it are fully optimized.

5.6. Continuous optimization of the security governance structure

The work of a Red Team is long-term. It is precisely the duration of its actions that is one of the most important differences with penetration testing, as we have already noted.

This means that the Red Team operates on two different levels. But they are complementary.

On the one hand, its strategy is global and seeks to contribute to the effectiveness of the organization’s security system. On the other hand, the Red Team can identify short-term improvement actions.

This dual analytical capacity of the Red Team is particularly useful for companies and institutions. For, while the long-term strategy aims at a complex and global analysis of security mechanisms and equipment, the short-term strategy has an immediate impact on corporate protection.

Offensive security simulates real aggressions

6. Phases of a Red Team strategy

The actions or tasks we have just discussed always respond to the Red Team strategy. This is designed according to the characteristics and needs of the organization and its defensive capabilities.

Therefore, this strategy is fully customized and adapted to the organization. However, we can point out four main phases that are carried out in all Red Team services:

Threat analysis. This is the first phase and revolves around the gathering of information about the organization, its critical functions, and threats that could affect or impact them.

  • Exercise design. It focuses on the design of scenarios and attacks based on the data obtained in the previous phase and the capital of knowledge and best practices accumulated by Red Team professionals.
  • Exercise execution. In this phase of the offensive security service, the necessary activities are carried out to achieve the defined objectives according to the designed scenarios, confirming their achievement and the response provided by the defensive layers.
  • Impact. In this phase, the final activity is carried out to demonstrate the compromise or impact of those critical functions previously identified. Among the multiple impact alternatives, nowadays very frequently the Ransomware Simulation is among them.
  • Closing exercises. The results are exposed and contrasted with the defensive actions carried out by the defensive layers, extracting improvement possibilities that should be implemented to improve the corporate security posture.

In the following, we will focus on each of these phases. We will pay special attention to Red Team scenarios and attacks.

7. Threat analysis

There are frameworks for conducting Red Team exercises that suggest the generation of a «Targeted Threat Intelligence Report» (hereinafter TTI).

The TTI is a cyber intelligence report that, as its name suggests, establishes the specific threats that could affect an organization.

This document is key to launching the work of the Red Team. It provides the Red Team with solid baseline information about the organization and its needs.

The main objective of this phase is to know which are the critical functions (CFs) of the organization. As well as to identify which are the main systems that support them.

This is achieved by knowing precisely which processes, technologies, and people are essential for the stability of the organization.

Through this analysis, a precise x-ray of the critical corporate assets is achieved. These are precisely the ones that need to be protected with the greatest effort and are the most desired by cybercriminals.

8. Design of exercises

The second phase of the Red Team strategy is of paramount importance: the design of attack scenarios. This is where the following are interconnected:

  • Information about the organization.
  • Intelligence.
  • Available knowledge about malicious practices in the field of cybersecurity.

8.1. Scenario preparation and development

The team will design Red Team scenarios considering the analyzed threats and critical functions of an organization. The proposed scenarios to be carried out will be collected. As well as the controls that will be applied to ensure that the test is carried out in a controlled manner.

This plan will also stipulate the objectives of the scenarios (the «flags» to be captured), as well as the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) that are intended to be used to achieve them.

The preparation of the scenarios must take into account three fundamental variables:

  • Malicious actors.
  • Intrusion vectors.
  • Targets.

Red Team scenarios are action plans whereby the offensive security team pretends to be a malicious actor that, employing an intrusion path, enters a system to obtain a series of fraudulent objectives.

8.2. Malicious actors

The typology of malicious actors is multiple and variable. This makes it more complex to detect them and understand their different methodologies. Whoever it is, the malicious actor pursues a criminal purpose by illegally entering the system.

Among the profiles of malicious actors we can highlight:

  • Remote attacker.
  • Compromised third party or collaborator.
  • Disgruntled or compromised employee.
  • Competitor.
  • Activist/Terrorist.

Beyond these five typical profiles, the Red Team can pretend to be another type of attacker. Either because it is requested by the client. Or because, as a result of the previous analysis, some other dangerous profile is detected.

8.3. Intrusion vectors

To enter the system, malicious actors must find a security breach. To do this, they can probe and use multiple access routes or intrusion vectors. Among the most common are:

  • The exploitation of a vulnerability detected after a research effort.
  • Social engineering: phishing, smishing, vishing…
  • Password guessing.
  • WiFi or Ethernet.
  • Remote access or VPN.
  • Leaked information, which may include system user accounts.

Knowing the intrusion vectors is the key to strengthening the security of a system. It is therefore essential to execute attacks through the most vulnerable routes or those most frequently used by cybercriminals.

8.4. Targets

If the actors and intrusion vectors are characterized by their variety, the targets are even more diverse. And they are changing as new techniques emerge. At present, we could highlight the following:

  • Elevation of privileges.
  • Compromise of targets: ERP, Treasury…
  • Deployment of ransomware.
  • Obtaining sensitive information for the attacked company.
  • Leaking, manipulation, and sabotage of products or services, such as, for example, the company’s patents.
  • Forcing unauthorized payments to directly steal money.

As with intrusion vectors, both the company and the previous research and analysis can determine other kinds of targets to simulate. All these thanks to one of the characteristics of Red Team’s services: its customization and adaptation to corporate needs.

9. Execution of exercises

After researching and analyzing the information and designing the attack scenarios based on it, it is time to execute them. This is an extremely delicate phase.

It should be noted that the use of the same techniques used by attackers in real scenarios is key. Since it makes it possible to complement detection capabilities at all points in the chain. This allows the effectiveness to be measured in each of the sub-phases of the execution.

9.1. Phases and objectives

  1. Reconnaissance phase. The organization’s attack surface, available information, fingerprinting, and active reconnaissance in security devices such as IDS or Firewalls, among others, are studied…
  2. Intrusion phase. The necessary tools, exploits, or payloads are developed to evade the detection of the defensive layers, such as perimeter IDS/IPS or EDR, WAT, SIEM, Antivirus, etc. Once the required evasion is achieved, assets are compromised to allow pivoting to the inside of the corporate network.
  3. Lateral displacement/escalation. Internal assets are pivoted and compromised to gain visibility of the exercise target. This process is usually accompanied by privilege elevation, which facilitates lateral moves.
  4. Persistence/exfiltration. To secure future access to compromised assets, persistence needs to be achieved at both the network and user levels. This can be achieved by using APT tools that allow tunneling communications through proxies or DNS, among others.

Every one of these actions must be documented for monitoring and analysis. There is no point in carrying out a Red Team exercise if the knowledge acquired cannot be systematized.

Precisely, the objective of Red Team exercises is to simulate scenarios in which the Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) that are used in real attacks are captured.

In this way, all the information obtained by the Red Team is used to help the Blue Team to implement the necessary improvements. And thus improve the organization’s protection against threats.

9.2. Types of attacks

Some of the attacks that are usually raised in a Red Team exercise are multiple. Among them we can highlight:

  • Attacks against corporate applications. Such as remote access or company websites.
  • Attacks against corporate devices that connect to wireless networks.
    Brute force attacks against users and authentication platforms.
  • Attacks against transactional infrastructure and platform software components.
  • Actions against cloud infrastructure and microservices.
  • Attacks against communications devices.
  • Evasion of WAF and perimeter security elements.
  • Sending targeted attack campaigns through spear-phishing or phone calls directed against company employees.
  • Creation and distribution of APTs physically or through online means to penetrate user equipment.
  • Attempts to gain physical access to network points of facilities associated with the organization.
  • Attacks against accessible communications devices, such as WiFi networks.

As we have argued previously, the catalog of attacks is constantly expanding. As cyber criminals need to develop new methodologies to circumvent the defense measures of organizations.

This is why innovation and research are relevant in the entire field of cybersecurity and certainly concerning Red Team’s services. To be able to simulate an attack, you have to know it inside out.

10. Impact phase, such as Ransomware Simulation

Although threats can have multiple types of impact, if there is one type that deserves special attention it is the deployment of ransomware within the corporate system. Why?

These types of attacks are becoming more common every day and have become more sophisticated over time, reaching enormous levels of complexity. Both methodologically and in terms of the ability to detect and respond to them.

For this reason, many organizations are increasing their economic and human efforts to be prepared to combat attacks of this type.

As a result, ransomware simulation has become one of the most widely used techniques within Red Team’s services.

This type of attack simulation makes it possible to know precisely whether the organization is prepared to resist this type of attack:

  • The organization is prepared to resist a malicious ransomware attack.
  • The defensive layers are prepared to identify, contain and recover the operation after an attack of this type.

In addition, if, fortunately, the organization has never had to deal with ransomware attacks, it offers defensive security teams a unique opportunity to learn through an extremely realistic experience how to manage them.

This type of simulation usually consists of two phases. A design and execution phase. An analysis and evaluation phase:

  1. Red Team scenario. Design and implementation of a ransomware attack scenario. During this phase, an end-to-end ransomware simulation is devised and executed. Gathering all the information about the attack.
  2. Gap-Analysis. The information collected in the first phase is analyzed. In such a way the response provided by the organization’s defensive layers during the attack is studied. Both in terms of detection, containment, and recovery of assets. The objective is to identify possibilities for improvement.

11. Evaluation and recommendations

Although we have discussed the Gap-Analysis about the Ransomware Simulation, the study of the information is key in all Red Team scenarios. This analysis can be used to extract key data to create a systematic, complete and global improvement plan.

The evaluation of the performance of the defensive layers during the Red Team exercise is carried out, as mentioned above, at three levels:

  1. Detection capability – how long did it take the defensive security team to detect the attack? Are the detection mechanisms optimal? What vulnerabilities were found?
  2. Containment capability. Once the attack was detected, how was it contained? Are the containment methodology and techniques correct? What can be improved?
  3. Resilience. Once the attack is over, how long did it take to restore the system to normal operation. Was information lost during the malicious action? Are the recovery protocols efficient? Do they limit the malicious actors’ ability to cause irreversible damage?

The improvement plan will summarize all the recommendations that can be made after analyzing all the relevant issues from the different phases of the Red Team exercise. Offensive security will thus contribute not only to detecting the organization’s weaknesses, especially concerning its critical assets but also to remedying them.

Red Team and Blue Team working in the same direction

12. White Team, Blue Team, Purple Team. Not all colors are the same

Throughout this article, we have spoken several times about the Blue Team, the defensive security team that must proactively deal with malicious attacks. This is why its relationship with the Red Team is a fundamental pillar of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. But more colors can come into play in an organization’s defense.

12.1. White Team

As we pointed out at the beginning of the text, the Red Team does not act on its own; its mission is in line with the overall strategy of the organization it works for. Moreover, although most of the organization is unaware of their work, there is a small team of people who not only know them but also act as interlocutors, providing them with the intelligence information necessary to develop their services.

Well, this small group is the White Team. This select team is permanently informed of the Red Team‘s progress and supervises their work. It also leads to the drawing of conclusions and recommendations for improvement. Although its role does not involve it in the operational work carried out by the Red and Blue Teams, its coordination and interlocution work is fundamental.

12.2. Blue Team

On many occasions, you will have read about the opposition between the Blue Team and the Red Team. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both teams walk in the same direction, but from different trenches of the defense strategy of a system.

Thus, the Blue Team must proactively develop a series of tasks aimed not only at solving a crisis but, above all, at preventing it. Among its multiple functions we can highlight:

  • Responding to incidents. Planning and implementing reactive measures to respond to and contain malicious attacks.
  • Detecting and responding to attacks. Searching for Indicators of Threat (IoA), Indicators of Compromise (IoC), searching for TTP, and analyzing information provided by security technologies to detect malicious activity. In a situation of confirmed detection, the necessary response will be provided to minimize the potential impact, as well as to recover compromised systems and prevent further occurrences.
  • Root cause analysis. If a compromise is detected, it should be analyzed to its root cause, such as through Forensic Analysis, to confirm both the impact produced and the level of compromise performed, so that it can be confirmed whether the response and recovery initially performed by the Incident Response team is sufficient or whether any additional activity may be required.
  • Early threat detection. For this purpose, it will use vulnerability identification techniques. In addition, it will define proactive alerts and deploy decoys, with deception techniques.
  • System bastioning.

12.3. Purple Team and cooperation between reds and blues

Although in small companies, which cannot afford to hire cybersecurity services, there may be a team that combines the functions and objectives of the red and blue teams, in reality, this concept is more associated with collaboration and complementarity between the offensive and defensive security teams.

The mission of both teams is to ensure the security of the organization’s assets. Their functions are not opposed, but complementary, in such a way that they feed each other.

Red Team services provide realistic scenarios to test the organization’s protection measures and the Blue Team’s detection, response, and recovery capabilities against malicious attacks. In addition, by simulating attacks, an enormous amount of data is obtained to improve the organization’s defenses and optimize its security techniques and methodologies.

This is why both services, Red Team and Blue Team, are complementary and necessary to develop a solid and comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

13. Benefits of Red Team services: offensive security and analytics

Throughout this article, we have discussed different aspects of the Red Team and offensive security services. Given that we live in a digitized and hyper-connected world, cybersecurity risks must be a central concern for institutions and organizations.

Malicious attacks can trigger crises that lead to the loss of key information or the theft of money and knowledge. A cyber-attack can impact the entire organization and its people.

For this reason, protection and security are key issues to be addressed. In this sense, Red Team’s services are configured as a basic tool to permanently analyze defense mechanisms. And to be able to strengthen them in the face of the disparity of attacks that can occur.

A Red Team helps to detect and contain an intrusion in the early stages. As well as to prevent the theft of strategic information or any disruption in the normal operation of the business.

Among the many benefits of Red Team services, we will highlight five that show the importance of offensive security strategies.

13.1. Detection of transversal weaknesses

This benefit once again distances it from penetration testing. The latter are more focused and have a narrower scope of action. Whereas the Red Team implements a strategy aimed at protecting the organization’s critical assets.

The detection of these types of weaknesses can mean that what is learned through the work of the Red Team can be useful for issues that were not directly addressed by the Red Team.

Offensive security services are capable of providing extremely contextualized information on the overall security of the organization.

13.2. Optimization of response procedures

The Red Team‘s mission is not to perform any response function, but rather the opposite: the attacks are intended to provoke the organization’s defensive response. Once it has been triggered, it can be analyzed.

The Red Team thus makes it possible to collect all the data on the response procedures to malicious attacks and to optimize them, rectifying the deficiencies found and incorporating the necessary improvements.

13.3. Improving monitoring and detection systems

The same applies to the monitoring and detection of cyber-attacks. The Red Team‘s actions are aimed at simulating an attack as realistically as possible. Therefore, on the one hand, it makes it possible to reliably observe whether the security system is capable of detecting and identifying the attack and how quickly and accurately it does so.

On the other hand, it makes it possible to scrutinize the procedures and techniques used and, thus, to solve the weaknesses found not only in detection but also in the analysis of disruptive events.

13.4. Training of personnel managing real incidents

As we have pointed out on several occasions, Red Team simulations are an ideal training scenario for professionals who have to manage malicious attacks. These simulations are realistic and allow teams to test their methodologies before a real attack puts them to the test.

This is why having a Red Team service is so valuable to an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. It improves the way to test the efficiency of the system and defense techniques, attacking them to obtain information that enriches them and, in turn, allows professionals to place themselves in a context of maximum stress.

13.5. Providing technical evidence to support decision making

Beyond the design and implementation of Red Team scenarios, offensive security services are characterized by their ability to collect valuable data on the overall protection of an organization and its critical functions.

All this information enriches the work of all cybersecurity professionals but also helps managers to make important decisions for the defense of the organization.

These decisions will be based on the technical evidence gathered and systematized by the Red Team during its work. This will help to ensure that changes in the cybersecurity strategy respond to the real needs of the organization. For example, investing more human, technological, and economic resources in a certain area. Or to change a professional from one team to another based on the weaknesses and strengths that have become evident during the simulated attacks.

In short, Red Team’s services contribute to strengthening the level of resilience of an organization, preventively detecting possible breaches or vulnerabilities, providing valuable information on existing risks, and contributing to the implementation of improvements.

Thus, offensive security services increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and power of the cybersecurity strategy of a business or institution, helping to ensure the protection of its critical functions and the development of fully optimized response mechanisms.

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