Red team
(Adversary simulation)

Assess the impact of a real-world attack on your organisation

What is a red team engagement and how can it help you?

A red team engagement is designed to simulate a likely real-world threat, demonstrating if it is possible for an attacker to gain access to your organisation, evaluate the effectiveness of your defences and assess the damage that could potentially be done once inside, typically without being detected.

Testing is goal-based, and objectives are typically linked to your business-critical assets, such as intellectual property or sensitive data, and would therefore be highly impactful to your organisation if a malicious threat were to gain access to them. Red teaming looks beyond the security of an individual application or specific network infrastructure and takes a deeper approach than other types of testing, not just uncovering vulnerabilities, but showing how these could be exploited and chained together to achieve the set goal.

We work with organisations of all sizes, whether you require a company-wide assessment or a more focussed assumed compromise approach. Whatever your needs, our red team service can be tailored to suit your goals and budget, providing you with the robust information security assurances you require.

Our red teaming can help:

Ensure critical assets are protected

What are your organisation’s critical assets? Production systems? Financial information? We can provide you with the assurances that these are as protected as possible.

Put your security defences to the test

Implementing security measures and technology can be expensive, but can they truly detect a breach? We'll work with you (purple team approach) to put your defences to the test.

Assess the true business impact of a breach

Red teaming will help you fully understand the business impact of a breach and can help support your requests for security improvement funds.

Support your security improvement efforts

Following our engagement, we will work closely with your internal and external teams to improve your security posture, as well as your response to a breach.

Approaches to red teaming

Red team engagements are tailored to your needs and will look provide maximum benefit to your organisation in the allocated time. One way we can tailor our red engagements is through our approach:

Black Box Approach

This approach mimics a real-life attack scenario, where we have basic knowledge of the organisation but have no prior access. A black box approach typically begins with a reconnaissance phase (such as open-source intelligence (OSINT) gathering) and is often used by clients who wish to find out how a malicious threat could gain access to their organisation from the outside.

Assumed Compromise Approach

This approach assumes that an attacker has managed to gain a level of access within an organisation’s network and is typically used by clients who wish to understand what an attacker could achieve from this position. The assumed compromise approach avoids the need for any lengthy reconnaissance phase and in many circumstances, can offer the better value testing for clients.

Not sure what approach is best for you?

Our team will be happy to discuss your individual requirements and provide a no obligation proposal based on your needs.

The common threats we simulate

We will work with you to understand the most likely real-world threats to your organisation and simulate these faithfully. These often include:

Ransomware

Ransomware attacks can have a huge impact on your business, not only can they damage the day-to-day operations, but they could also lead to reputational damage, as well as potential financial loss.

Phishing

Phishing is a common entry point for attackers. They will often attempt to deceive staff and users into clicking on malicious links, hand over sensitive information or perform actions that may compromise your security.

Supply chain compromise

Attackers don’t have to specifically target your organisation to gain access to your sensitive material or negatively affect your operations, an unsecure supply chain could offer them a backdoor in.

Remote service exploits

Staff use a myriad of applications & cloud services to access their work environments and company information. These services can provide a direct route into an organisation.

Malicious insiders

Attacks don’t just come from outside threats; insiders often have access to sensitive information and if motivated, for whatever reason, could pose a threat to your information security.

Physical breaches

Information security doesn't just happen online, your physical premises can be a potential target for malicious attackers looking to access sensitive areas and information.

The routes we use during a red team

Our consultants will look to gather information from multiple sources, utilise various techniques and attempt numerous routes to achieve their set goal. The routes we use will be dependent on the scope set, but can include a combination of:

Technology

Your digital estate is often bigger than you think. Every connected device, website, application & server provides a potential way in for an attacker. Our consultants will look to understand your estate, probing and testing to exploit potential opportunities.

People

Staff can be your strongest line of defence, but they can also be a weak link. Our consultants can use a variety of methods, such as social engineering and open-source intelligence (OSINT) gathering, to obtain credentials, gain a foothold on your network and manoeuvre towards their goal.

Physical security

Our team are experienced in conducting physical red team operations and, if instructed, can look to manipulate their way into premises. Once inside they will attempt to gain access to sensitive areas or confidential information unchallenged.

Processes & controls

Once inside your organisational network, our security consultants will look to expose and exploit any poor security practices and controls. This will allow them to further their attack and work towards their overall goal.

Could an attacker really gain access?

The following case study shows, step by step, how our consultants were able to go from a web app vulnerability to domain level access during a red team engagement. 

Our red team process

Our red team process will be unique to your organisation, security posture, digital estate and the goals set. Broadly speaking, each assessment will go through the following stages: 

1. Scoping

Your dedicated account manager (AM) will work with you to understand your business, the scope of the engagement & your desired goals. The AM will then work with the assigned Pentest consultants & your stakeholders to ensure testing meets your exact needs.

2. Proposal

A bespoke proposal of work will be drawn up based on your requirements, our experience and our consultant’s expertise. This proposal will outline our recommended test approach & the time required to conduct the test.

3. Testing

Our consultants will communicate with you throughout the test, to your set requirements and will follow several stages in order to achieve their goal. This can include reconnaissance, vulnerability identification, exploitation, post-exploitation, manoeuvring and escalation.

4. Reporting

A comprehensive, quality assured report of our findings will be delivered following the test. Our reports can be tailored to your needs, providing you with a timeline of activities that took place during the test, an in-depth review of our findings and our detailed remediation advice.

5. Post-test support

Our job doesn’t finish on the delivery of a report, your test consultant will be available after the test to explain any aspect of the report, as well as provide remediation support to internal teams and/or external suppliers.

6. Evidence of testing

Many of our clients need to supply evidence of testing for security assurance purposes. We can supply additional documentation which will provide these assurances to your internal and/or external stakeholders.

Why choose Pentest?

Our comprehensive test process isn’t the only reason clients choose to work with us. Find out more about Pentest, our ethos and the support we offer our clients.

Contact us

Want to find out more about our red team engagements? Our team are on hand to provide you with the information you need. Please fill out the form below and one of our team will be in touch shortly.