What is Red Teaming in Cyber Security?

Having employees think like the attacker to expose flaws allows businesses to patch the vulnerabilities and mitigate risk - this is where red teaming comes in.

Ellie Gillard
Ellie Gillard
Sep 8, 2022 4 min read

Over the years, red teaming has increasingly become an essential focus in companies' defence strategies. Having employees think like the attacker to expose flaws allows businesses to patch the vulnerabilities and mitigate risk.

Red teams are invaluable in gathering insights, making sense of information and providing an external perspective to support planning and making decisions. Without a red team, you could be unaware of potential vulnerabilities across your networks and systems.

Those interested in red teaming are offered a wealth of learning opportunities, career paths and progression avenues, competitive salaries, and the satisfaction of uncovering exploitable vulnerabilities.

What is a Red Team?

Red teaming is the act of testing the security of an organisation’s systems through real-world attack techniques, intending to identify and assess vulnerabilities.

Red teamers pose as cyber criminals and emulate malicious attacks, whereas a blue team attempts to stop the red team in their tracks - this is commonly known as a red team VS blue team simulation. To establish how easy it is for attackers to gain access to an organisation’s security systems, red teams imitate the actions of cyber criminals whilst attempting to avoid detection.

The purpose of a red team is to test an organisation’s detection and response capabilities using various techniques and tools to exploit gaps within the security architecture.

Red Team Responsibilities

Red team hackers have various core responsibilities, which include:

  • Attempting to gain entry to unrestricted areas
  • Applying threat intelligence to red team engagements
  • Emulating the role of a hacker to uncover exploitable vulnerabilities
  • Bypassing host-based security solutions
  • Using social engineering tactics to manipulate users into sharing network credentials
  • Intercepting communication to gain information about a system or network
  • Assessing the threat intelligence and incident response procedures of organisations
  • Evading common detection solutions to remain undetected

Following on from the red team responsibilities is evaluation, in which red teamers report on insights with actionable data for organisations to avoid real-world instances.

Red teams use a multitude of tools and techniques to exploit weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Some commonly used tactics used in red teaming exercises include:

  • Email and phone-based social engineering
  • Network service exploitation
  • Penetration testing
  • Firewall evasion
  • IDS/IPS evasion
  • Building custom payloads
  • Physical facility exploitation
  • Application layer exploitation
  • Card cloning

With our new, more advanced red team pathway, TryHackMe can teach you how to simulate a potential adversary attack in complex environments, while understanding the ethics behind learning to hack. Our red team cyber security training equips you with the advanced skills needed to pursue new career opportunities in offensive security - learning in real-world simulations to enable skills developed to transfer to job responsibilities.

Are Red Teams Important?

The main objective for red teamers is to improve enterprise cyber security, so inevitably red teams are a critical component of organisational cyber security.

Red teams aim to avoid real-world instances of cyber attacks by taking an attacker-like approach when testing security and detecting vulnerabilities. Red team exercises are therefore vital to detecting, preventing and remediating cyber threats.

With a growing need for organisations to improve their security, there are many reasons to choose a career in red team hacking, featuring exciting challenges, fantastic job satisfaction, boundless career opportunities and a competitive salary.

Considering all the fantastic benefits of working in a red team, there has never been a better reason to pursue a career as a red teamer.

How to Become a Red Teamer

If you are interested in challenging systems to drive improvement, red teaming could be a fantastic career opportunity for you! TryHackMe can help you learn the tools and techniques to become a successful red team expert; kickstarting your career and opening new doors.

TryHackMe's learning paths will give you the fundamental technical knowledge to support you, with complex and highly technical developmental training labs in real-world, hands-on environments.

Get started with our Junior Penetration Tester and Offensive Pentesting pathways, and upskill with our brand new Red Teaming Pathway!

We teach cyber security in practice - where you can hack and defend virtual machines in a real-world environment to get realistic, transferable skills in entirely safe surroundings.

TryHackMe can kickstart your learning journey with red team training to help you achieve a career in offensive security.


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