Red teaming: maybe it’s a term you have heard, maybe not. Essentially, red teaming is playing the devil’s advocate by looking at your organization from an outside view. To break it down, red teaming is a safe way to learn about your organization’s security issues before they put your organization at risk. Red Team Security Consulting defines it on their website as: a full-scope, multi-layered attack simulation designed to measure how well a company’s people and networks, application and physical security controls can withstand an attack from a real-life adversary.
Red teaming vs. Penetration testing
We know what you’re thinking—what is the difference between red teaming and penetration testing? To gain clear insight to the difference, Ryan Manship laid it out for us. Manship stressed that although you’ll hear penetration testing and red teaming used interchangeably, but they are two distinct forms of security testing. The major difference between the two is the scope. Manship explained,
penetration testing aims to discover on organization’s broad cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The goal of penetration testing is to find as many vulnerabilities and configuration issues as it can, exploit them and determine the risk levels.
Manship went on to explain that red team operations are highly focused attacks that involve more people, more resources and more time. RedTeam poses as a real-world attack by using a simultaneous approach testing multiple facets at the same time.
Why do you need it?
RedTeam finds themselves facing a few common misconceptions on why and who needs red teaming, when working with organizations. The first is the idea that red teaming is exclusively for large companies. Manship explained,
In reality, sometimes smaller companies face even more risk because they’re just that—small, unassuming and often unprepared for an attack…. We customize our approach based on the organization’s actual risk profile, which includes their size.
The second misconception is that red teaming is some “Mission: Impossible,” Hollywood-style operation. He explained,
While some red team operations are highly tactical and complex, that is not always the case… Red teaming is meant to be realistic, it should identify realistic threats.
How do you convince your boss spending money on red teaming is worth it?
Now we understand, it isn’t always easy to convince your boss to spend money on cybersecurity. Often times budgets are tight and if the boss doesn’t see immediate ROI, they are less likely to invest money in the service. But as Manship suggests looking at it differently, ask yourself, “can you afford notto do it?” He follows this question up with a startling statistic,
The average data breach costs the affected company $7.35 million in damages, which breaks down to about $225 for every customer record that’s compromised.
So, if you are in the position to suggest red teaming to your boss, offering them hard numbers as to what a potential data breach could cost will help them understand how the money spent on red teaming is a financially smart move.
In life, it is better to be proactive rather than reactive. By using red teaming in your organization, you are doing just that. Apart from red teaming there are additional ways to keep your organization safe. Check out our blog for more tips!