Reasons to Hire a Red Team Assessor for the IT Infrastructure

Published on : 27 Sep 2022

Hire a Red Team Assessor

Red team assessors are professional hackers who are hired to assess the IT Infrastructure of an organization. They are hired to evaluate and perform hacks on systems in a way a malicious hacker would perform an attack and break in into the systems. They basically simulate an attack to exploit gaps in the organization’s IT Infrastructure.

This is precisely the way how a red team assessor evaluates the effectiveness of an organization’s security controls in place. Compared to the penetration test, the red team assessment is broader in scope involving a full-scale attack on the IT Infrastructure which lasts for hours, days, or even weeks.

This type of hack provides insightful data on how and for how long a hacker managed to maintain access within their systems and network. Such assessments help organizations improve and strengthen their cyber security posture. Covering more of this in detail we have today shared the top 5 reasons why we believe organizations must hire red team assessors.

Top 5 reasons to hire a red team assessor

1) Identify Gaps in the IT Infrastructure

Red Team Assessors are often hired by IT firms and businesses to help them identify potential gaps in the systems. More than often the internal team fails to identify gaps, vulnerabilities, or weaknesses in systems that a hacker would possibly find. Such loopholes and gaps are essential to be identified and fixed immediately to prevent incidents of breaches and hacks.

The exercise is performed for finding gaps in terms of operational disruptions, coding errors, misconfigured patches, insider threats, and weaknesses in processes, workflows, technology, and negligence of people involved such as employees, suppliers, and business vendors. So, for these reasons, it is recommended that organizations annually perform a thorough red team assessment to identify such gaps and remediate vulnerabilities in systems. After all, even the best of defense can fall prey to attacks by hackers, given the dynamics of the evolving cybersecurity industry.

2) Evaluate the Effectiveness of Security Controls

Evaluating the effectiveness of security controls is crucial for a business looking to strengthen its cyber security posture. So, Red team assessment is one of the best ways of evaluating the effectiveness and performance of security controls established within the organization. Although internal assessment of security controls and systems may suggest strong security in place, yet a third-party assessment may suggest otherwise.

This is because internal teams may tend to overlook certain things that a third party may detect. So, in that sense, the Red team assessment is a perfect exercise as it gives the organizations a third-party perspective of their cybersecurity posture. Further, their assessment and reports give more credibility to the stakeholders of the organizations.

Moreover, the red team assessment exposes vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the infrastructure and verifies the effectiveness of the security control implemented in the organization. This helps the organization fix gaps and improve the security controls while also allowing the organization to strengthen the overall cybersecurity posture in the industry.

3.Risk Exposure & Impact

Performing red team assessment involves simulating a real attack on systems and infrastructure. This helps the organization understand the risk exposure to the organization and the potential impact of a security breach or compromise on business.

The assessment demonstrates different ways and means by which a hacker can stage an attack on systems and IT infrastructure. It also demonstrates the amount of damage that the attack could have on the organization and the extent of data leakage in case of a compromise.

Not just that, the assessment also helps an organization understand and prioritize their resources on assets and processes that need immediate attention. This is especially for those assets that are highly exposed to risk. Overall, the assessment conducted by the red team assessor highlights the vulnerabilities and their implications on the IT infrastructure and operations.

4.Effectiveness of Security Team

Simulation of real attacks allows the organization to test the effectiveness of not just the security controls but also the effectiveness of the security team within the organization. The assessment will help organizations evaluate how well the security team is equipped to deal with situations of data breach and how quickly can they address the issue. Incidents of data leakage and compromise need to be neutralized at the earliest to prevent further damage. For this, the security team should be well equipped and undergo regular training. So, this way red team assessment will ensure the effectiveness of not just the controls in place but also the effectiveness of the security team.

5.Effectiveness of Incident Response Plans

Red Team Assessment also provides an opportunity for the organization, to test the effectiveness of its incident response plans. The test evaluates the security controls and the real-time incident response of an organization in case of an incident. This process demonstrates the preparedness of the organization in terms of responding to incidents and, strategies for mitigating the risk. The entire process also works as a guide for organizations to improve their Incident Response plans and establish a strong cybersecurity program within the organization.

Final Thought

Red Team Assessors are professional hackers having the skills, experience, and expertise of finding gaps and security flaws like a real-world hacker would, in a given scenario. So, talking about hiring a read team assessor, it would definitely be considered as a good decision for it helps find vulnerabilities and also test the effectiveness of controls in place.

Their dynamic approach and multi-layered, thorough assessment process bring out the accuracy in the evaluation process and test the effectiveness of the organization’s security controls. So, organizations looking to strengthen their cybersecurity programs and ensure the effectiveness of their security controls must definitely consider hiring a red team assessor for performing the exercise.

Narendra Sahoo
Narendra Sahoo

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QPA, PCI QSA, PCI SSF ASSESSOR, CISSP, CISA, CRISC, 27001 LA) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr. Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2 Compliance & Audit, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.