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4 Signs Your Organization Needs Red Team Penetration Testing

According to a recent poll conducted by PwC, executives believe that mandated disclosures, tests of resilience, and pressure to get data security and privacy right will be their biggest challenges for 2023.

Shoring up your security landscape can only be accomplished through rigorous testing and mitigation techniques. Yet the question often remains: Could a threat actor compromise my organization? Many organizations are getting the answer to that question by utilizing Red Team penetration testing. Below, we’ll cover the four signs that your organization needs Red Team pentesting.

 

What Is Red Team Penetration Testing?

Although all types of penetration tests are simulated cyber attacks against your organization, Red Team penetration testing is derived from the military concept that additional strategies and attack points can be used to achieve the objective — AKA the gloves are off. 

This safe yet effective “war game” approach pits the Red Team — ethical white hat hackers — against the blue team — your organization. During the operation, the Red Team can use multiple attack points and strategies against your organization to breach your defenses. 

Similar to other pentests, a Red Team engagement is carefully documented so you know what happened, how the Red Team was able to penetrate your organization, and what steps you can take to prevent real threat actors from causing harm.

 

4 Signs It’s Time for Red Team Penetration Testing

1. You’ve Already Been Through Regular Pentesting 

Red Team pentesting may not be the first type of security assessment for an organization, but it can be the most robust and definitive way to test your organization. You should have an established cybersecurity landscape that has already been through multiple regular penetration tests. 

You should also have already completed any remediation strategies found in your pentesting reports to ensure that your systems, networks, and employees are prepared for this advanced simulated attack on your organization. Being prepared for anything is crucial to a beneficial engagement because Red Team pentesting may use any or all six types of pentesting to run the gamut on your system’s defenses. The purpose of this test is to find any hidden vulnerabilities that have not previously been discovered, so you can keep threat actors at bay with confidence.

 

2. You Want To Prove You Have a Mature Security Landscape 

If you are confident in your system’s defenses and want to see if it can stand up to a realistic threat actor simulation Red Team testing is a good option. Upgrading to Red Team pentesting to exploit a singular entry point reinforces the reputation of your organization as being secure and trustworthy. 

Given that the monetary damage caused by cybercrime has increased exponentially year after year since 2001, all organizations with seemingly strong cybersecurity defenses can gain confidence from a completed Red Team exercise.

This is especially true if your organization has fallen prey to cyber attacks in the past or if your organization holds extremely sensitive customer or company information. 

 

3. Your Organization Has Recently Recovered From a Data Breach

One of the only things worse than suffering a data breach is suffering multiple data breaches. If your organization was the victim of a cyber attack and you have undergone remediation with a cybersecurity expert, investing in a Red Team engagement can help make sure history can’t repeat itself. 

Since a Red Team test can be tailored to your organization’s specific needs, you can take this opportunity to validate your remediation efforts or prove to the public that you’ve undergone rigorous testing to strengthen your security posture.

 

4. There’s Room in Your Cybersecurity Budget

Despite economic uncertainty, CNBC reports that executives, such as those in the tech industry, “say they’re expecting to spend more on key initiatives like cybersecurity and new technology.” Since threat actors have continued to use social engineering and other tactics to exploit organizations, such as Uber, adding Red Team penetration testing to your cybersecurity budget is crucial to identifying gaps in your security across your networks, systems, and platforms. 

Traditional penetration tests can cost a minimum of $25,000, while a Red Teaming project typically begins at $40,000. Although Red Team operations can take up a significant portion of your cybersecurity spending, it comes nowhere near the average cost of recovering from a data breach: $4.4 million.

Alongside the budget, you’ll need to ensure that your team is prepared and you have the time set aside as Red Teaming can take longer than traditional tests. Although most penetration tests take roughly two weeks, an extensive Red Team engagement typically lasts three to six weeks. 

 

Test Your Defenses With Red Team Pentesting

When it comes to cybersecurity, knowledge is power. The more you know about your organization’s effectiveness against threats the easier it is to mitigate risks and harden your defenses the right way. 

At Mitnick Security, Kevin Mitnick and The Global Ghost Team assist organizations with all penetration testing types — including Red Team engagements — for those ready to take their cyber security to the next level. Request more information about Red Team pentesting.

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