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Red Teaming in Your Business: Offence Is the Best Defence

Alongside creating a cyber culture, developing an offensive security mindset across your organisation helps to create better defence plans; therefore strengthening your cyber security standing.

Ellie Gillard
Ellie Gillard
Sep 20, 2022 4 min read

Companies are under a continuous cycle of threats from opportunistic attackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities. Alongside creating a cyber culture, developing an offensive security mindset across your organisation helps to create better defence plans; therefore strengthening your cyber security standing.

Offensive cyber security is invaluable for the cyber security positioning of an organisation, through the execution of red team engagements. Red teaming can incorporate social engineering and physical security testing, which businesses undergo in order to imitate a real-world attack, uncovering flaws and vulnerabilities.

If you haven’t yet conducted red teaming exercises, then you may be unaware of potential vulnerabilities in your networks, systems, and data storage ecosystem. Your defensive security team can use this information to action patches and mitigation techniques.

Keep reading as we explore the core benefits of using red team assessments to maximise and fine-tune your defence plans.

Launch TryHackMe’s Red Teaming Pathway to empower your team to conduct successful Red Team engagements and challenge the defence capability of your company.

Assess the Effectiveness of Security

The most thorough way to assess defence controls is to test them in an offensive manner. This is where red teams prove invaluable, through emulating real-world threats in a controlled environment.

Red teams covertly perform exercises to analyse and measure the effectiveness of processes, technology and people used to defend environments. Some of these exercises include vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, and social engineering attacks to test networks, applications, physical safeguards, and even employees.

As the first and best line of defence against an attack, people are a huge component of security. With human error contributing to the weakest link in security, cyber red teaming exercises commonly include phishing simulations to gauge employee awareness of attacks and how a workforce responds to realistic threats.

Discover and Exploit Security Vulnerabilities

Red team exercises aim to avoid real-world instances of cyber attacks by taking an attacker-like approach when testing security. While pentesters identify weaknesses in technologies, red teams identify the weaknesses in your defences by exploiting vulnerabilities, including those ​​often overlooked.

Red team assessments should be designed to test an organisation’s defences against a wide range of possible attacks, including uncovering vulnerabilities so they can be addressed before it’s too late. Following on from this, red teams will identify why these vulnerabilities are present.

It is therefore essential to execute red team attacks through both vulnerable routes, and those used most frequently by cyber criminals.

Highlight Security Strengths

Red teaming places your organisation’s security team as close to a real security incident as possible. Not only do red team exercises discover flaws, weaknesses and vulnerabilities, but they also aim to highlight security strengths to define what is working.

These insights are vital in pinpointing the strengths of the organisation, acting as an indispensable mechanism to allow continual growth in those areas, alongside understanding where to deploy your cyber security budget.

Gain Actionable Insights of Security Posture

When red teaming exercises conclude, the team will document and report their activities to expose all security issues and loopholes present in the system, enabling critical improvements to be made and increasing cyber resilience.

Reporting is the final and the most crucial part of red team exercises, outlining remedial actions that must be taken to resolve existing security gaps and loopholes. Red teams are a crucial aspect of cyber security in creating better defence plans, allowing you to patch vulnerabilities and mitigate risk.

As a result of red teaming exercises, 50% of businesses increase their security investment and 30% added to their security infrastructure to keep up with today's adversaries.

Using Red Teams for Defence

The best way to defend against attacks is to adopt a proactive approach with realistic simulations and continuous offensive security training and upskilling. Security controls and threat assessments need to be tested from the adversary’s perspective, therefore red team exercises are vital to detecting, preventing and remediating cyber threats.

Adopting an offensive security focus enables your blue team a wealth of information straight from the mindset of a hacker. TryHackMe consists of over 500 real-world training labs to teach these topics in-action, arming your team with the knowledge needed for red, blue, and purple team engagements.

Launch our new Red Teaming Pathway to learn how to execute adversary attack emulations as a Red Team Operator. Going above and beyond penetration testing, your team will learn to conduct successful Red Team engagements and challenge the defence capability of the businesses, ready for your blue team to action.

We recommend teams complete our Junior Penetration Tester and Offensive Pentesting pathways for fundamental knowledge first.

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