Does the advent of continuous security validation spell out the end of red teams?
Not at all!
On the contrary, integrating continuous security validation solutions and processes such as an extended security posture management approach into your red team tool kit and processes raises the red teams’ members enjoyment of work due to removing low-interest non-repetitive routine work though:
Automating Launching and Running Basic Attacks
The red teams‘ job is indeed to launch, run attacks and check whether these attacks can succeed or not. With the number of attack types and their increased sophistication growing faster than the possibility to increase red team size, red teamer skills are required to run advanced and sophisticated attacks. Automating the management, from launch to report generation, of the growing number of basic attacks removes a lot of the tedious work and enables red teamer to
• Continuously run a large number of attacks – instead of doing so periodically and leave time gaps for malicious actors to leverage temporary security gaps
• Focus on sophisticated attacks requiring their skills and acumen
Eliminating the Need to Write Reports
Report writing is the bane of any job, but reports are crucial to empowering
those who can operationalize the result of the work performed.
When a continuous security validation tool is used to run attacks, the
automation includes report generation, ideally complete with mitigation
recommendations for uncovered vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.
This saves red teamers the tedious work of writing the report and eliminates
the time-lapse between the offensive test and the report creation.
Advanced continuous security validation solutions allow red
teamers to extend the security posture management even
further by providing a framework to customize attack templates.
This accelerates the creation of custom-made attacks
designed to target the organizations’ environment by
providing an array of customizable templates for numerous
Auto-implementation of Latest Threats,
Exploits and Assessments
When new attacks emerge, red teams are in charge of ensuring that the organization’s infrastructure is also secured against those. Yet, new attacks are not limited to those who make the headline. New threats and exploits are launched all the time. Keeping up with all of them is impossible for any in-house red team, however, well-staffed they are.
Continuous security validation solutions should always include an Immediate Threat Intelligence (ITI) component that red teamers can continuously run to ensure that the organization they work for is at least working on mitigating the risks posed by emerging threats.
This way, when a breach makes the headlines and the board calls up to check if the organization is protected against the newfangled attack that reportedly wreaked havoc on company X, the red team can immediately give a detailed answer such as: “We ran tests this morning and the system uncovered two potential entry and escalation points, therefore we informed the IT department. The system will be secured against that specific attack within 6 hours.”
Facilitates Documenting for Compliance Purposes
Regulators are always hungry for reports and documentation. Security validation is increasingly included in compliance requirements, and documentation is crucial to avoid non-compliance accusations.
Customizable automated report generation enables red teams using continuous security validation tools to produce regulator-friendly reports at a click, as often as needed. Should the regulations change, tweaking the report template to match the new validation requirements is all that is needed to remain compliant.
The crucial role of red teams in validating the security posture is only enhanced by the development of continuous security validation technology and extended security posture management approach.