Red Team Assessment: A Full & In-Depth Overview

How Does Red Team Assessment Work?

Your organization has it all: The firewall, the antivirus, the team of virtual piranhas swimming around your server stacks in a moat— Well, perhaps just the security equivalent of the last bit. Nonetheless, you feel that your company’s data protection is up to snuff, but what if it isn’t? Hackers are crafty, and there’s no way to guess how they would come in without simulating the real thing.

That’s where red team assessment can step in.

What is Red Team Assessment?

Red team assessment, sometimes called red teaming, is a goal-based exercise in which a team of IT specialists will attempt to breach a business’s security protocols to obtain data. The goal is to abscond with as much valuable information as possible, exposing the true weaknesses in seemingly airtight security.

Red team assessment can be a useful tool for organizations that already have counter-hacker measures in place, especially those wanting to pin down any weak links in the chain.

What Happens During Red Team Assessment? 

Your company should first decide on what data is most valuable to potential hackers and make sure all of the usual protocols to keep that data safe are in place. Once this has been done, a squad of highly-trained security specialists will set to the task of making off with this prize. 

Your other employees will typically not know this assessment is taking place in order to better simulate real conditions. The red team is encouraged to attack creatively, considering hardware, software, and often most fallible, human components of the security system to worm their way in. By introducing a multi-angled, human approach, your system will be tested in situations that closely mimic a real-life digital heist. 

Some common tactics your red team may include are: 

  • Sending emails to employees while posing as someone else. These “phishing” emails may come from addresses from your company domain, or have the same name as company executives to fool unwitting employees into opening them. They do this by exploiting email “back doors” and cross-site vulnerabilities to gain access. Once attachments are downloaded from these files, the red team can then infiltrate your system from the inside to further delve into its vulnerabilities. They can even install valid cookies that read as identical to those from your system, granting the hackers access to employee-side data.

  • Use employee-side access to infiltrate vulnerable points. Certain parts of your system’s programming language, known as SQL-injection sites, may be especially soft to hacking attempts. Hackers can exploit these points to gain access to all user accounts, locate the ones with admin privileges, and then identify which employee passwords may grant access to the domain.
  • Use different techniques to attack from multiple angles. One member of the team could infiltrate the back end of the system while another attacked in person. Security glitches created from either end of this versatile type of assessment can allow further, deeper penetration into the system. Stealing an unencrypted hard disk from company servers while security is down, for example, would allow for major damage to be done.

How Can Your Business Benefit from Red Team Assessment? 

Even the most advanced firewalls can have gaps in coverage. If your organization has employees, (and of course it does,) then there are ways around the security systems in place. The average IT team isn’t equipped to predict and manage all threats all at once, but red team assessment can help highlight specific points of weakness and make it easier to reinforce them.

Ransomware and other nefarious programs can take less than three seconds to find and exploit system deficiencies. Human teams may take longer but are more likely to navigate around complicated systems. Data leaks are costly to both assets and public image– Some of which are irrecoverable. Using red team assessment can cut off these opportunities before crooks can exploit them.


The cyber threats facing companies today are innumerable, and when you add in human ingenuity, it can seem nearly impossible to fend off the veritable legion of attackers. Hiring in an outside firm specializing in cybersecurity is an excellent option to defend your assets against malicious players. By utilizing cutting-edge techniques such as red team management, a managed detection service can cut off attacks before they start.

Your company deserves the best protection available. A notable firm, Cyber Guard USA provides top-of-the-line managed detection and response services that can make a difference for your business. When it comes to security don’t skimp: A cutting-edge cybersecurity service provider is well worth the money, and at a fraction of the cost of the average piranha-filled moat.