Think Like a Hacker: The Importance of The Red Team

A new study highlights the benefits of looking at your network from the other side…

An article review.

security in a field of 1s and 0s split in half inverted colors denoting red and blue text

If you were trying to attack your organization’s network, how would you start?  That’s a question you may not have asked yourself, but experts say it’s something that can help you strengthen your security.  That’s according to the 2022 Ethical Hacking Survey, which takes a look at some of the ways that organizations have added an adversarial, or “Red Team,” approach to their security practices to try and benefit from a hacker’s perspective.

Many organizations approach cybersecurity from the perspective of the “Blue Team,” or the people attempting to secure their resources from hackers, and while this is a natural way to look at the problem it can create blind spots that might not be apparent unless you’re thinking like the bad guys.  For example, the report highlights the tendency for organizations to focus on patch management–which is important, but can miss the fact that a hacker is likely to try and breach a network by using social engineering tactics on an employee.  A fully patched and properly configured system can still be penetrated if an employee lets an attacker in, and this is where your Red Team can come into play.

Employing a Red Team can help immensely, but as the report notes it can be difficult sometimes to have your employees shift into a “criminal mindset.”  If you can get your organization to adopt that mindset, though, you can gain valuable insights into your organization’s security and uncover threats you may not have realized existed.

Original article by Mary K. Pratt, writing for CSO.



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