What is a red team, and why is it necessary?

Rohan Mathew

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With the growing technology, everything is accessible via the internet. The more you access the internet, the more you share your details on it. Be it your personal information for registration purposes, your business details, or your banking details. To access these, you should provide your information accordingly.

From personal details to government details, every data is stored in the cloud for easy access. From secret details to private military details are stored in a cloud base. Just imagine what would happen if these details are breached? The more we try to save our data in the cloud, the more are the chances for data theft. So securing the data is very important, and this is why government and private businesses set up automated red teaming to secure their data from possible data loss or theft.

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What is red teaming?

Red teaming is adopting an adversarial approach to policies, planning, and system. It can also be called a multilayered attack simulation or defense. It serves as a defense mechanism to withstand a real-time attack on physical and non-physical data or security control of the organizations and industries.

Red teaming is similar to disaster management. The red team can be an external or internal group that uses simulations and strategies that are disinterested or adversarial, which can be encountered from an outsider’s perspective. Some examples of red teaming are ethical hacking, pen-testing, etc.

Areas handled by the red team.

The main purpose or goal of the red team and its assessments is to demonstrate how real-time attackers attack and how to handle such situations. The red team takes care of the important areas as below.

  • Technology.
  • People.
  • Physical.


As we discussed above, now a days almost every data is stored in the cloud. Even if you improve your security management and firewalls to secure these data, a small loophole is enough for the attacker to steal your data. So implementing a red team in this area is essential as it saves from possible data loss or theft.

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Data loss and theft can also happen to people. For example, if you are running a restaurant with a hit menu, the recipe of that menu should be kept secret by your employees. If your secret recipe is out, then you are no longer the star of your business. The red team here lays rules for the employees and signs a contract with them to prevent them from spilling the tea.


Physical data thefts include data stored in devices like pen drives, hard drives, or documents in the form of physical files—also, areas like offices, substations, and data centers. Red teaming prevents possible attackers of these physical data thefts.

Red team assessment

Red team assessment can also be called the red team exercise. These red team assessments test the security vulnerabilities by penetrating or accessing your network to check the defensive capabilities of your security in every possible way. This is done to help you to improve the security of your network.

Red team assessment includes and improves the following:

  • Testing the environment.
  • Understanding the impact of a security breach.
  • Awareness of information security.
  • Discovering the weakness in the environment and developing it.
  • Checking the incident response capabilities.
  • Testing of security controls.
  • Testing the ability to protect and control real-time attacks.
  • Quantifi risk factors.
  • Upgrade the existing security features.

Structure of red team assessment

  • Research.
  • Planning and preparation.
  • Attack phase.
  • Deliverables.


Includes researching the environment that is going to be assessed and identifying the vulnerable gaps and loopholes which serve as an access point to the attackers.

Planning and preparation

Once the information is gathered through research, the next phase is to proceed with a plan for the assessment attack and prepare accordingly.

Attack phase

After research, planning, and preparation, the attack is carried out in three ways, which are active, passive, and physical phases.


Deliverables are the improvements and outputs provided by the red team assessment.

Why do we need automated red teaming?

An automated red teaming helps in the following:

  • Risk prevention.
  • Prevention of data theft and data loss.
  • Decision making.
  • Disaster management.
  • Protect sensitive information.

Red team vs. blue team

Both the red team and blue team are used as a cybersecurity assessment technique, which helps to lower the risks of data leaks and helps to improve the network’s security. Both do the same job in different ways.

The red team acts as an attacker and points out the possible attack points, whereas the blue team plays defense and tries to find those loophole access points with the assessment.