Red teaming and penetration testing

If you’re not entirely new to the world of cybersecurity, you’ve probably heard the words penetration testing and red teaming. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are, in fact, two completely different things. In this article, we will explain what red teaming and penetration testing is and how you can choose which option better suits your company.

What is penetration testing?

Penetration testing has become very common in most fields of business and today it is considered to be a necessary measure by most companies. During penetration testing, a team of cybersecurity experts examines your company’s servers, wireless networks, devices and cyber practices from the point of view of a potential attacker and discovers all existing vulnerabilities. Once penetration testing is completed, the penetration testing company presents a report that contains information about all vulnerabilities that hackers can potentially exploit, how the attack would be carried out, how your cybersecurity protocols and practices would hold up and the potential scale of a security breach. Penetration testing can be carried out automatically to save time and money, but manual testing is preferred for maximum efficiency. The bottom line is that even if you think that your company doesn’t need penetration testing because it doesn’t have any sensitive information or client data, a security breach can still halt your operations for several hours and even days, costing you thousands of dollars.

What is red teaming and how does it compare to penetration testing?

While the goal of penetration testing is to find as many potential security vulnerabilities and threats as possible, the goal of red teaming is to take a more nuanced approach and to plan focused attacks that exploit hidden vulnerabilities. Red teaming is often more expensive than penetration testing and involves more people. Typically, penetration testing is done first to identify most security issues. Then, once these issues are fixed, a company can take advantage of red teaming services to identify remaining security flaws that may not be obvious during regular penetration testing. Red teaming puts final touches on a company’s cybersecurity practices, bringing the risk of security breaches and attacks to an absolute minimum.

What does a red team assessment include?

During a red team penetration test, a cybersecurity company examines a company’s hardware, software, networks and other components to determine physical, human and digital vulnerabilities. Then, they provide a detailed and realistic assessment of your company’s cybersecurity risks and help to fix vulnerabilities to minimize security risks.

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    Vitaly is a principal consultant at Hackcontrol as wall as aa business and IT thought leader. He has over 15 years of experience in consulting, account management and is a specialist in cybersecurity.