18 October 2022

See Your Cyber Defenses with an Adversarial Perspective Using Red Teaming and Pentesting

Synack

The Complementary Benefits of Red Teaming and Pentesting

Deploying Complementary Cybersecurity Tools

In our previous article, we talked about the growing number of cybersecurity tools available on the market and how difficult it can be to choose which ones you need to deploy to protect your information and infrastructure from cyberattack. That article described how Asset Discovery and Management solutions work in concert with Pentesting to ensure that you are testing all of your assets. In this article, we’ll take a look at Red Teaming and how it works together with Pentesting to give you a thorough view of your cybersecurity defenses.

What is Red Teaming and How Is It Different from Pentesting?

Red Teaming and Pentesting are often confused. Red Teaming is a simulated cyberattack on your software or your organization to test your cyber defenses in a real world situation. On the surface this sounds a lot like Pentesting. They are similar and use many of the same testing techniques. But Red Teaming and Pentesting have different objectives and different testing methodologies.

Pentesting Objectives and Testing

Pentesting focuses on the organization’s total vulnerability picture. With Pentesting, the objective is to find as many cybersecurity vulnerabilities as possible, exploit them and determine their risk levels. It is performed across the entire organization, and in Synack’s case it can be done continuously throughout the year but is usually limited to a two-week period. Pentesting teams are best composed from security researchers external to the organization. Testers are provided with knowledge regarding organization assets as well as existing cybersecurity measures. 

Red Team Objectives and Testing

Red Teaming is more like an actual attack. Researchers usually have narrowed objectives, such as accessing a particular folder, exfiltrating specific data or checking vulnerabilities per a specific security guideline. The Red Team’s goal is to test the organization’s detection and response capabilities as well as to exploit defense loopholes. 

Red Teaming and Pentesting Work Together

There are a lot of articles floating around the internet describing Pentesting and Red Teaming and offering suggestions on which tool to choose for your organization. The two solutions have different objectives, but they are complementary. Pentesting provides a broad assessment of your cybersecurity defenses while Red Teaming concentrates on a narrow set of attack objectives to provide information on the depth of those defenses. So why not deploy both?  A security program that combines Red Teaming with Pentesting gives you a more complete picture of your cyber defenses than either one alone can provide. 

Traditionally, Red Teaming and Pentesting have been separate programs carried out by separate groups or teams. But Synack offers programs and solutions that combine both Pentesting and Red Teaming, all performed via one platform and carried out by the Synack Red Team, our diverse and vetted community of experienced security researchers. 

With Synack you have complete flexibility to develop a program that meets your security requirements. You can perform a Pentest to provide an overall view of your cybersecurity posture. Then conduct a Red Teaming exercise to check your defenses regarding specific company critical infrastructure or your adherence to security guidelines such as the OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) Top 10, or the CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) Checklist.

But don’t stop there. Your attack surface and applications are constantly changing. You need to have a long-term view of cybersecurity. Synack can help you set up continuous testing, both Pentesting and Red Teaming, to ensure that new cybersecurity gaps are detected and fixed or remediated as quickly as possible.

Learn More About Pentesting and Red Teaming

To learn more about how Synack Pentesting can work with Red Teaming to help protect your organization against cyberattack, contact us.