Red Teaming Telsy Cover

Red Teaming is an ethical hacking methodology that helps assess a company’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to sophisticated and targeted threats, as well as identify and quantify existing security gaps and improve future processes.

In front of the growing cybersecurity threat landscape, Red Teaming helps companies identify risks and susceptibility to attacks against key business assets.


What is a Red Team?

There is a wide variety of strategies that large and small companies can adopt to protect their networks and data from cyber attacks.

One of these involves verifying the strength of the cybersecurity perimeter in a corporate environment. So it is necessary to have a focused team that thinks and acts like an attacker.

The Red Team is responsible for executing simulated cyber attacks against the client company and determining the effectiveness of the security solutions on-premise.

The attacks operated by Red Team are multi-level simulations designed to measure the ability of a company’s people, networks, applications, and physical security controls to detect, alert and respond to a cyber attack.

We find the name “Red Team” within military wargames, where a red team of attackers is countered by a defending blue team.


What is Red Teaming?

Red Teaming is also known as Adversary Simulation or Red Team Testing.

During Red Team Testing, experienced professionals simulate attacks by cyber criminals and attempt to penetrate the company’s cyber defenses.

Red Teaming Telsy TunnelThese attacks take advantage of a full range of tools that the most aggressive hackers dispose of, including social engineering, web exploitation, cross-site scripting, or even the creation and dissemination of specially designed malware.

Before the assessment, rules of engagement are established between Red Team members and a very small number of participants within the company to be tested.

This number varies but generally involves no more than 5 employees in key positions within the company.

Of course, confidentiality is a must in these exercises, and company personnel should not be aware of them, lest they may adopt more careful behaviors only during testing.

Through this process, Red Team tests help security managers identify any loopholes or weaknesses that could provide an opportunity to gain access to a company’s systems, resulting in a serious data breach.

In addition, these practices highlight gaps in identifying and thwarting these malicious activities on a daily basis.


Red Team, Blue Team and Purple Team

There are not only Red Teams. In fact, other colors are associated with teams dedicated to specific aspects of this type of test.

Here we briefly explain two other important teams: Blue and Purple.

Red Team Blue Team TelsyBlue Teams refer to the internal security team, which defends against both real attackers and Red Teams.

Blue Teams should be distinguished from the standard security teams in most organizations.

Most operational security teams do not have a mindset that keeps vigilance against attacks, which is the mission and perspective of a true Blue Team.

Purple Teams, on the other hand, exist to ensure and maximize the effectiveness of Red and Blue Teams.

They do this by integrating the Blue Team’s defensive tactics and controls with the threats and vulnerabilities found by the Red Team into a single narrative that maximizes both.

Ideally, the Purple Team should not be a team at all, but rather a permanent dynamic between Red and Blue.

In fact, the Purple Team is a moment of experience sharing between the Red Team and the Blue Team.


Why rely on Red Teaming operations?

Every aspect of the corporate business could fall victim to cyber-attacks. As a result, there are many solutions, including Penetration Testing, to analyze the effectiveness of corporate security.

However, organizations that have a mature security program and rely on the oversight of a Security Operations Center (SOC) can benefit from Red Team testing.

Nevertheless, because of the complexity of the testing involved, Red Teaming can be an expensive process.

The value and importance of Red Teaming to a company may also depend on the nature of the activities performed and the value of the data or property.

The adoption of methodologies belonging to the areas of ethical hacking and Penetration Testing seems to be increasingly necessary in the enterprise.


The differences between Red Teaming and Penetration Testing

Although some phases of the two activities may overlap, it is crucial to remember that we are dealing with two different types of assessment.

Red Teaming Penetration Testing TelsyBoth offer benefits to companies, but not in the same way.

Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing (or Pen Testing, as it is often referred to) consists of a simulated cyber attack on a specific, limited target such as an application or service.

It is intended to identify and validate as many vulnerabilities on a company’s systems as possible and provides no indication whatsoever with respect to what actions might be taken by a real attacker. Pen Testing activities typically last about 2 weeks.

Red Teaming

Red Teaming does not provide precise information about the vulnerabilities in the systems, but it can show the operation mode of an attacker who wants to gain access to corporate information.

Red Teaming activities can typically last weeks, months, or even years.

While Penetration Tests are generally aimed at a specific, narrow target, a Red Team performs an activity involving multiple systems in order to achieve the goal.


Red Teaming for enterprise security

Red Teaming also exploits the human component, often the major security flaw in organizations.

How many employees might open a phishing e-mail, how many click on the link in it, and how many fill out a form? And what would be the consequences of such an action?

And again, how much would the damage caused by the leakage of sensitive data amount to? How much would the image damage amount to?

Properly conducted Red Teaming is able to assess and find weaknesses in business processes, then propose solutions to improve them and test, in addition, the ability to respond to an attack.

Can the organization detect an attack in progress? How do key figures behave during an emergency?

Red Teaming shows organizational detection and mitigation capabilities, clearly indicating where resources should be allocated for infrastructure improvements or staff training.

In the latter case, accompanying corporate staff on security awareness courses and pathways can be very helpful in increasing their cyber defenses.


Find out more at