Red team assessments are carried out by cyber security professionals to test the security of networks and systems. To do this, the red team simulates attacks on organisations to find their vulnerabilities and report these back to the organisation with recommendations of how to mitigate these issues.
Within red team assessments are tests on the physical, human and technical side of the cyber security practices of an organisation. Penetration testers will ethically and legally hack into networks to test for technical vulnerabilities, while ethical social engineers will carry out various techniques such as phishing, impersonating trusted sources or people, and using emotion to gain access. Within the social engineer’s role, the physical security of an organisation is tested too. This may be done by circumnavigating security guards or receptionists to gain physical access to hardware, or perhaps by using a fake ID badge to masquerade as an employee and gain access this way.
Testing vulnerabilities through red team assessments means that all areas of cyber security can be scrutinised and then improved. This is seen as useful for organisations with high levels of security already in place, or those looking to use ethical hacking as an awareness-raising demonstration.