We often hear them reciprocally, but in fact, they’re 2 distinct things. So what is the difference between these 2 terms(Red Team Assessment and Penetration Testing) precisely?
Generally, penetration testing is turned into one huge umbrella with all security considerations. Many people do not realize the differences between a Red Team Assessment, a Penetration Test and a Vulnerability Assessment. Hence they call them all Penetration Testing. Nevertheless, this is a delusion. Though they have related components, each one is different and must be used in diverse context.
At the foundation Penetration Testing identifies as many configuration issues and vulnerabilities as possible in a fixed duration of time and exploiting those vulnerabilities to figure out the risk of the vulnerability. This does not basically mean illuminating new vulnerabilities; it’s more of looking for well-known, unpatched vulnerabilities. Similar to vulnerability assessments, penetration testing is intended to find vulnerabilities and evaluate to make certain they are not false positives. nevertheless, Penetration testing digs further, as the tester tries to exploit vulnerability.
How is Penetration Testing performed?
This can be done in various ways, and even when the vulnerability is exploited a good tester will not stop. They will carry on to search and exploit new vulnerabilities, processing attacks together to attain their goal. This goal keeps changing, as every organization is unique, but generally, it comprises PHI (Protected Health Information), PII(Personally Identifiable Information), and trade secrets. Sometimes it may need Domain Administrator access.
In comparison to penetration testing, Red Teaming is focused on target objectives. Instead of hunting for vulnerabilities, red team puts in efforts to check how the security teams of an organization reacts to different threats. The Red Team will always concentrate on the objectives, in the hunt to achieve access to receptive data in furtiveness, preventing detection.
Usually, a Red Team assessment will design detailed objectives and the progression will involve a lot more people than a typical penetration test.In expending more time in investigation and wanting more resources, Red Team assessments may result in a more deep comprehension of the level of risk that known security vulnerabilities might cause to the organization.
Why Red Team Assessment
Attackers use numerous techniques to breach an organization. Being tough to modern attack tactics is the only optimal solution for this. You need to spot security loop-holes that are consumed by APT groups and repair them to avoid security breaches.
Red Team assessment can help you in the following way,
Put your perimeter security to test with a simulation of a real-world attack on your organization.
See how your incident response team responds to real-world threats through Stress-tests.
Authenticate your security controls for crucial infrastructure.
Get immune to the real world attackers tactics.
Ensure your threat prevention program is bullet-proof.
Obtain a virtual view of your organizations public-facing assets and construct defenses around them.
The duration of Red Team Assessments is usually longer than Penetration Testing. Red Team Assessment occupies multiple people and typically lasts for more than 3-4 weeks, whereas a Pen Test habitually takes place over 1-2 weeks.
Goals and Methods
Instead of hunting for multiple vulnerabilities, Red Team Assessment looks for vulnerabilities that would help them to achieve their goals. Normally the goals resemble to a pen-test. A Red Team Assessment method involves Social Engineering (both Physical and Electronic) Wireless, External, and more.
Which to Prefer?
Which one is better? Generally Pen-Testers and Red Teams are the same people who use divergent procedures and methods for different assessments. Superlatively, one is not essentially better than the other. It’s just that each is supportive in particular scenarios.
Example, a Pen-Test is not prudent to judge how good your incident response is and a Red team assessment is not prudent to discover vulnerabilities. It all depends on the circumstances and scenarios that would help us opt for the better one.
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