Red Teams

About the Blog

This blog presents concepts, ideas, stories, tips and examples of Red Team operations and the Red Team Mindset based on the Team's past projects and current events in the Red Teaming world.

What is a Red Team

A Red Team is a group of highly skilled professionals that continuously challenge the plans, defensive measures and security concepts of an organization by emulating an adversary. In other words: a group of highly trained people that act as attackers. Red teams assume the role of an adversary to challenge and test assumptions, look for unexpected security issues and find vulnerabilities that no one thought of before. By consciously working to assume the adversary's role, a Red Team can provide a realistic view of how a new idea, plan or approach can  perform in the real world, and while doing so, out-do the defense team, providing out of the box views. 

A good Red Team is a "thinking enemy", they help leaders to understand and address the risks in every aspect of the business. A Red Team provides unorthodox views on problems and their solutions across all fronts: digital, physical, social and planning.

Because adversaries use a broad spectrum of tools and tactics to compromise security, Red Teams try to do the same. Red Teams test the entire security posture of the organization.When used effectively, a Red Team doesn't just help security organizations find vulnerabilities in their environments. Red Teams can also help organizations prove the need for changes in plans and strategies. A good Team can assist in sharpening the skills of the quick reaction teams in charge of the defense against real-world attacks. The simulations carried out by Red Teams can provide IT personnel, network security teams, physical security organizations and government teams with a realistic view of what a possible attack might look like. This results in a better understanding of possible adversaries and help to improve counter measures against them. 

A Red Team provides alternative and adversarial analysis of plans, operational orders and tactical decisions as well. Like an adversary, the a Team identifies patterns that lead to vulnerabilities in the strategy and often expose alternative ways to examine the breaking point of policies and plans.

The Mindset

Adversaries don’t play by any rules. Attackers adapt and learn from their failures. A good Red Team then has to adapt and play by the same rules of the adversary, in other words: no rules. Red Teams can solve problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

The unique talents that the members of a Red Team have, combined with the adversarial mindset - the Red Team Mindset - make this team of individuals a unique and useful asset to organizations looking to test their security as well as the military and law enforcement units searching for a better understanding of the enemy.

Red Team members think outside the box; they are not bothered by rules. They look at a problem from multiple perspectives at the same time, often probing the different sides of a problem - or solution - that was never considered.  Red Teams recognize contingencies and bring them to the forefront of analysis by asking the right questions and challenging underlying assumptions.

Note: Combining all the qualities of a Red Team and adding the fact that a Red Team is a great natural recon/surveillance tool, they can provide SOF units with much more than just adversarial services. They can provide on the field SIGINT, COMMINT and sometimes HUMINT capabilities.