Redteaming vs Penetration Testing
June 5, 2021
There are various types of cyber security assessments that can be done in order to enhance the security of a given subject but when it comes to redteaming, things get much more intense ,sophisticated and serious .
While performing these operation the redteam brings an amalgamation of various aspects of information security to the table. They include Social Engineering ,Open Source Intelligence and deep reconnaissance in their arsenal when approaching targets. The reasons behind redteam’s versatililty is the team members . Members of a typical redteam will be having solid and deep knowledge as well as skills in particular domain in information security and each of them contribute equally to a redteam operation.
When an organization goes for a redteam operation, The team is just a normal user plugged in to their network, The teammates then escalate their privileges and perform lateral movements, The path is not simple as the team encounters various defense mechanisms deployed by the organization which they have to bypass.The redteams are very advanced in the way they simulate an adversary, and are very keen while performing anything in to the target network so that they don’t trigger the defenses and also the blue teams. The more customized we are the less chances of detections.
Redteam Operations realises an organization about the way they detect, respond and prevent a sophisticated attack, This gives an insight to them as in where to focus and learn lessons after completion of such operations, Which are being done in a controlled manner by a redteam.
Redteam vs Penetration Testing
Redteamers or redteams are often viewed under a grey shade due to their way of testing and sophistication. Let’s see how it is different from Penetration testing.
- The operational approach of pentesting is often target-driven , By stating this we mean to say that the approach of conventional pentesting are often narrowed down based on the target (Web App ,Mobile App ,Networks etc) .
- In pentesting we often look for vulnerablities ,misconfigurations that can be used for further escalations, As part of the pentest.
- When it comes to Redteam Operations, The main purpose of a redteam is to stage the attack on a target similar to how an APT(Advanced Persistent Threat) would do and the scope of target of these operations are much larger than pentests.
- Redteams are often hired by scientific facilities , institutes , corporate , government organizations in order to perform these operations.
Who should go for a redteam campaigns?
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- Before we could start an engagement, The first thing is having the right mindset inorder to approach the client, Which is an adversary’s perspective.
- We first start by performing reconnaissance, Which is indeed the most important phase even in penetration testing, With this we identify as much information about the target as possible, Employees working in the assets and much much more.
- We then try and find a specific vulnerability which could give us an initial access to any of their online assets, This is where it has a very thin line between pentesting and redteaming, This can be used for further escalations, We also go for a series of highly sophisticated social engineering attacks, Because the weakest link are the employees working there.
- After gaining an initial foothold in their network, Maybe by a sales or an HR person’s system, We then maintain persistence and move laterally in the network, thereby escalating our privileges, So that we get to the most privileged asset where they have the most sensitive data present.
Who should go for a redteam campaigns?
- Redteam Operation are not only limited to gaining access to sensitive data but also gaining physical access to places in the premises where only authorized persons are allowed, Therefore any organization who is also willing to get their physical security tested along with their present cybersecurity posture tested, Can also go for a redteam campaign.
- Redteam campaigns are not only for IT companies, It can be performed in organizations/companies with mature security implementations already done, Also a completed Penetration testing which could give an insight about an existing security posture.
- Having a right security budget and defined scopes are also very crucial, Generally redteams have a broader scope.
Cybersecurity, pentesting, redteam