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Guide to Red Team as a Service (RTaaS)

Learn more about why red team as a service is essential for businesses in today’s world, what red team services involve and what benefits it can bring to your organisation.

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In today’s digital age, businesses are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. The potential risks of these attacks are only becoming more severe.

A successful breach could result in the loss of sensitive data, revenue, reputation damage, and even legal repercussions for your business.

To remain secure across all infrastructure, businesses must regularly assess their data, security policies and processes. The best way to achieve this is to run regular red team security testing – or red team assessments.  

Learn what red team assessments are and why you need them, with DigitalXRAID

What is a red team assessment?

Red team penetration testing – also known as a red team security assessment – provides a comprehensive review of a company’s security programs, including physical security, network infrastructure, applications, and systems. 

Red team security consulting can also be an effective test of internal cyber security awareness training.  

A team of ethical hackers – also known as red teams – perform red team testing to identify vulnerable points across the customer’s attack surface. Red team pen testing is also utilised to assess the efficacy of a company’s blue team or defensive security response.  

The information obtained during a red team security assessment is also used to enhance an organisation’s security posture by creating effective countermeasures to address any identified weaknesses. 

A red team security assessment aims to achieve specific objectives, such as gaining access to sensitive information within a company’s systems or data held within applications or cloud environments.  

The primary goal of red team security testing is to replicate real-world hacking techniques and evaluate all security angles to gain a better understanding of the risk of a breach. 

For organisations that are confident in their security posture, red team security assessments are the most effective way to put security measures and your organisation’s ability to detect and respond to cyber-attacks to the test.  

According to an industry survey, organisations that use red team security tests are better able to detect and respond to advanced persistent threats (APTs) and experience 64% fewer security incidents compared to those that do not. 

Red team as a service with DigitalXRAID
Learn the common purposes of red team penetration tests

Red team penetration tests have some common purposes such as: 

  • Detecting vulnerabilities  
  • Testing software and systems  
  • Identifying potential threats to the business  
  • Looking for errors across people, process, and technology areas 
  • Effectiveness of existing threat detection 
  • Safeguarding against all threats found 
  • Awareness amongst staff and effectiveness of security training 
  • Demonstrating security commitment to stakeholders  
  • Meeting compliance requirements for standards such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI DSS and ISO 27001 

Discuss your cyber security options

Get in touch today to speak to an expert and secure your business, or call us on 0800 090 3734

What are the Benefits of Red Team security testing?

Red team security testing provides organisations with a clear understanding of how effective their cyber security programmes are in detecting and responding to cyber incidents. 

A study by Forrester found that organisations that undertake red team security testing are better able to identify and prioritise security risks, resulting in a 25% reduction in security incidents and a 35% reduction in the cost of security incidents. 

However, organisations should look to outsource red team security assessments to a red team as a service provider.  

With already stretched IT teams and a global talent shortage of 3.4 million workers, Red Team as a Service provides access to highly skilled cybersecurity professionals.

This enables independent and objective testing and helps to remediate security weaknesses before they can be exploited by real-world attackers. 

Red team security testing with DigitalXRAID

Why you need red team as a service

DigitalXRAID on why you need red team as a service

Any business implementing red team security consulting from a Red Team as a Service provider will gain an understanding of their current threat landscape, and the open attack vectors that threat actors could use to attack their organisation. 

A red team security assessment will deliver the following outcomes: 

  • Understand how well the organisation withstands typical real-world attacks 
  • Assess resilience against Advanced Persistent (APT) attacks/vulnerabilities 
  • Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) gathering to support attack strategies 
  • Provide insight as to how proactive monitoring and blue teams detect and manage an attack 
  • Track responses and apply targeted training where needed 
  • Conduct a deep analysis of your security strategy so you can reduce risk 
  • Design effective defensive policies and procedures 
  • Turn a potentially uncontrolled weakness into a solid defensive layer 
  • See the organisation as attackers would 
  • Demonstrate internally and externally that attack vectors are understood 

Discuss your cyber security options

Get in touch today to speak to an expert and secure your business, or call us on 0800 090 3734

How red team as a service works

Red Team as a Service provides regular red team security testing that can detect a range of potential threats.  

Red team services might use various methods and phases, depending on the simulated attack’s aims. 

Using in-depth evaluation and scoping, Red Team as a Service will identify gaps and vulnerabilities in an organisation’s defences:  

  • Unprotected data and poor access credentials handling  
  • Lack of network segregation 
  • Lack of patching or unsupported software  
  • Limited network monitoring  
  • Phishing attack vulnerability 
  • Vulnerable servers 
DigitalXRAID and their red team assessment cyber security
Red team security assessments with DigitalXRAID

The objectives of the red team security assessment cyber security attack simulation are for the ‘attacker’ to attempt to gain access or attack via methods such as:   

  1. Obtain Domain or Global Admin level permissions (access to existing account, or elevate permissions of granted account in grey box phase)
  2. Exfiltrate data (any) including any login credentials – this could also be though social engineered means
  3. Gain access to an endpoint or server – in the initial black box test phase
  4. Move laterally within the network – access to restricted data or server areas in the grey box test phase
  5. Simulated ransomware attack – possibly as a separate phase, primarily to test incident response times 
Offensive Security

The average cost of a data breach has reached $4.24m
With 60% of organisations globally suffering a cyberattack

54% of organisations use red team security testing
To evaluate the effectiveness of their cybersecurity controls

96% of data breaches are avoidable
Red team security testing can address vulnerabilities

Red team assessments are conducted across 5 key phases

Features of Red Team as a Service

By using advanced attack methods and techniques alongside social engineering tactics, a red team security testing can harvest account credentials or gain access to systems, providing the organisation with a clear view of their risks and how to mitigate them.  

Red team security testing can include internal and external infrastructure and web application penetration testing.  

Red team penetration testing can be confused with singular penetration testing services. However, a full Red Team as a Service engagement is much more advanced than penetration testing alone.  

By bringing together a comprehensive range of penetration testing services, businesses achieve a holistic view of any security vulnerabilities – both inside and outside of the organisation. 

Red team testing by DigitalXRAID

Obtain publicly available information using various techniques. These include the enumeration of subdomains, usernames, and leaked passwords, GitHub repositories, misconfigured cloud containers, and others. This information can be used to establish an attack path. 

The external infrastructure information obtained via OSINT will be subject to port mapping and service enumeration, which can be used to identify common weaknesses and potentially exploitable avenues that will allow access into the network. 

If access is granted into the internal infrastructure further attacks could be performed which then aim to move across the network and escalate to a domain administrator. If a specific high-risk target is identified in the scope for data exfiltration, then a targeted attack could be made. 

All subdomains discovered will be inspected to identify potential exploit avenues, including remote access servers, VPN (Virtual Private Network) endpoints and will exclude applications such as brochureware. 

A vulnerability assessment should be conducted against the external and internal estate after the red team exercise has been conducted to ensure that any security weaknesses are correctly documented. 

Phishing – A phishing test will be conducted to try and engineer employees into either clicking on a link and obtaining valid network credentials or downloading a document that contains a remote backdoor into the internal network.  

Vishing – A phone call will be made to specific employees to manipulate staff into performing a password reset for valid user accounts so that the penetration testing red team can obtain network credentials. 

USBs created specifically for the red team security testing exercise are usually sent to an organisation’s office and placed in visible areas to understand the awareness of security risks and gain access from the internal network. 

Red team services should aim to identify any weak wireless encryption, outdated technologies, poor authentication and access control measures which can be bypassed to gain unauthorised access or breakout of a security zone.  

A device will be secretly placed by the penetration testing red team, to mimic the legitimate SSID AP and intercept authentication requests accessing the Wi-Fi network. This is a Man in the Middle attack and can enable credential harvesting.

The red team security consulting team will do a walkaround investigation of the office building’s security features. Attempts will be made to access the building using social engineering techniques and connecting to the network.  


of tests identify critical vulnerabilities


of assessments found sensitive data begin transferred

4 days

is all it takes for a hacker to breach a network and gain access to data and systems

Red team service vs pen testing service

Red team security consulting by DigitalXRAID

Both penetration testing and red team services have an ultimate goal of improving an organisation’s security defences. However, the format and tools, techniques and methods used differ.  

Penetration testing is a point in time view of vulnerabilities in a specific application, system or network.  

Red team security testing aims to test an organisation’s ability to respond to attack by attempting to exploit vulnerabilities. Red team assessments involve a much wider range of attack methods.  

One of the main penetration testing vs red team assessment differences is that red team security testing is aiming not to be discovered during the attack.  

IT and security teams within the organisation must react as they would to a real-life cyberattack as part of the overall red team security assessment. 

Red team penetration testing should only be considered if security measures have been put in place and a specific end goal of the test has been identified. 

Discuss your cyber security options

Get in touch today to speak to an expert and secure your business, or call us on 0800 090 3734

DigitalXRAID’s Red Team Services

DigitalXRAID’s red team as a service has been designed to leverage state-of-the-art industry best practices, to deliver market leading security services for any business. 

DigitalXRAID’s red team security testing provides you with some of the highest qualified security professionals in the business. If there’s a vulnerability, our red team pen testers will find it.  

With DigitalXRAID’s Red Team as a Service, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your security has been tested from all angles.  

We’ll provide you with a full scope, multi-layered attack simulation to gain a complete understanding of how your internal incident response, your workforce, networks, applications and physical security controls respond to an attack. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how our red team penetration testing services can protect your business, get in contact to scope your project today.  

Managed Red Team Security Testing Service

No single test or report is ever going to be enough to secure an organisation against the complex cyber threat landscape. As your Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) we will construct a developed, bespoke and reactive plan to take care of your entire cyber security requirements now and into the future. 

  • Your trusted partners, we’ll deliver guidance, support and recommendations based on tangible evidence and genuine assessment of your business needs. 
  • We’ll continually test your networks, identify exploitable factors, and upgrade your facilities to meet your evolving needs. 
  • We’ll make sure your cyber protection remains robust, comprehensive and innovative. 

Find out more about our managed Red Team as a Service.

Talk to the Team

Red Team as a Service FAQs

A red team is a group of skilled security professionals who simulate real-world cyber attacks across an organisation in order to identify vulnerabilities.  

The goal of red team security consulting is to act as an adversary, using various techniques to find weaknesses in an organisation’s infrastructure that could be exploited by an attacker. 

A team of ethical hackers perform red team security assessments to try to breach any vulnerable points across the customer’s attack surface.  

Red team pen testing can also be used to test the effectiveness of your blue team – or your defensive security response. 

The red team’s objective is to gain access to sensitive data or resources that the organisation is trying to protect. 

Red team testers will use a range of techniques, such as social engineering, phishing, and network penetration testing, to find ways to bypass security controls. 

By adopting the perspective of an attacker, red team services can provide a comprehensive assessment of an organisation’s security and help businesses to stay ahead of potential threats. 

A blue team is a group of cybersecurity professionals who are responsible for defending an organisation’s entire network and systems against cyber threats. The blue team ensures that an organisation’s security controls are working effectively on a 24/7 basis and will identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in their IT infrastructure.  

The term “blue team” originates from the military’s use of the term “red team,” which refers to a group of skilled attackers who simulate attacks against a defense team, also known as the blue team. The blue team’s goal is to defend against these simulated attacks and improve the overall security posture of an organisation.  

The responsibilities of a blue team can vary depending on the organisation’s needs. Typically, they are responsible for monitoring network traffic, detecting anomalies and security breaches, and responding to security incidents in real-time. They also work to ensure that an organisation’s security policies and procedures are up-to-date and maintained effectively.  

To accomplish these tasks, blue teams use a range of technologies and tools such as intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS & IPS), firewalls, security information and event management (SIEM) systems, and endpoint protection systems (EDR). They also use data analysis and threat intelligence to identify potential threats and respond to them proactively.  

In cybersecurity, red teams and blue teams play different roles to protect business systems and data. A red team is responsible for simulating cyberattacks, while a blue team is responsible for defending against these attacks.  

Red teams act as ethical hackers, at the request of the organisation, to try to penetrate an organisation’s security defenses by testing its effectiveness against real-world attacks. Red team security consulting identifies vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and any misconfigurations in an organisation’s defenses that could be exploited by an actual attacker. The goal of the red team is to provide a realistic view of how an actual attacker might breach an organisation’s defenses before a breach can happen.  

The blue team use various security technologies and techniques to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber attacks. Blue teams monitor network traffic, detect anomalies, and respond to security incidents on a 24/7 basis, ensuring that the organisation’s defenses are effective.  

Red team penetration testing is a much more thorough and in-depth exercise when compared with penetration testing services 

Red teaming pen testing involves much more time than a pen test – maybe 3-4 weeks. This is because red team assessments are far more complex and consider multiple penetration testing areas and physical security.  

Red team penetration testing takes into account the organisation’s response capabilities and existing security measures, rather than simply looking for vulnerabilities.  

Where a penetration test is designed to find all vulnerabilities in relation to the area being tested, red team penetration testing will stop at the first vulnerability that allows them to achieve their access goal. A red team pen test plays out over a longer time so that the red team can remain undetected during the simulated attack. 

magnifying glass on screen icon

What is a Red Team?

A red team is a group that plays the role of an enemy or competitor to provide security feedback

What is a Blue Team?

A blue team defends against cyberattacks and responds to security incidents when they occur

outline of two heads

What is a Purple Team?

A purple team is a collaborative approach that combines the offensive tactics of a red team with the defensive tactics of a blue team.

Protect your business with Red Team Security Testing

A security partner you can trust

Make sure you’re truly protected by putting your networks, systems and applications to the test. As with all cyber security, red team penetration testing forms part of a robust security posture. We’ll work with you to identify and remedy weaknesses in your security before a malicious party exploits them. 

Make a red team security assessment enquiry

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