Organisations may need to simulate a real world attack to measure how their defences hold up against such an attack, in order to detect flaws in their detection and response.

What Is It?

Red team assessments mimic real world attack types, employing the same tools, techniques and procedures used by malicious actors to measure your organisation’s security posture. Often starting with as little information as possible, our consultants use a combination of open-source intelligence and active testing sources to reveal information about your organisation’s infrastructure that could be leveraged to gain access to the internal network. Once inside, our consultants will attempt to reach specific pre-determined objectives, such as accessing specific pieces of data or exfiltrating data from the network.

What Challenges Can Be Addressed By Red Teaming?

Security Control Effectiveness

Organisations invest in various security controls, including firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and anti-malware tools. However, determining the effectiveness of these controls in a real-world scenario is challenging. Red Teams test these defenses in action, providing insight into how well they protect against actual attack techniques and identifying areas where improvements are needed.

Vulnerability Prioritisation

One of the biggest challenges for organisations is understanding which vulnerabilities pose the most significant risk. Red Teams can identify existing weaknesses in the security infrastructure, including software vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and outdated systems. More importantly, they can help prioritise these vulnerabilities based on the potential impact and likelihood of exploitation, enabling organisations to focus their remediation efforts more effectively.

Incident Detection and Response

Knowing how well an organisation can detect and respond to an incident is crucial. Red Team exercises test the organisation’s incident response processes, including detection capabilities, communication protocols, and the ability to contain and mitigate threats. This evaluation helps improve the speed and effectiveness of the organisation’s response to actual attacks.

Insider Threats

Insider threats, whether malicious or accidental, pose a significant risk. Red Teams can simulate insider attacks to assess how well an organisation can prevent, detect, and respond to such threats. This includes evaluating access controls, the principle of least privilege, and monitoring systems for unusual activities that could indicate a breach.

Resilience Against Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

APTs represent sophisticated, long-term attacks by highly skilled adversaries. Red Teams mimic the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of APTs to see how well an organisation’s defenses hold up over time. This helps identify weaknesses in detecting and responding to slow-moving, stealthy attacks that aim for long-term presence within the network.

Employee Awareness

Human error is a significant factor in many security breaches. Red Team exercises can include social engineering aspects, such as phishing and pretexting, to test employees’ awareness and adherence to security policies. The outcomes of these exercises can be used to develop targeted training programs, improving the overall security culture within the organisation.

The Forfend methodology:

Pre-Engagement Scoping – This stage is a collaborative process involving key stakeholders from the client organisation where the objectives, boundaries (such as physical locations, networks, and systems), rules of engagement, and any specific targets or areas of concern that the organisation are defined. This process also involves determining the timeframe for the assessment, the techniques and tactics that can be employed, and any off-limits practices to protect sensitive data and ensure business continuity.

Planning and Reconnaissance – In this initial phase, Forfend consultants gather information about the target organisation to plan their attack strategies. This includes collecting publicly available data, understanding the organisation’s network architecture, identifying valuable assets, and determining potential entry points.

Initial Compromise and Establishment – This phase involves gaining initial access to the target organisation’s network or systems. This could be achieved through various means, such as exploiting vulnerabilities, phishing attacks, or social engineering tactics. Once access is gained, Forfend consultants work to establish a foothold within the environment, often by installing backdoors or other tools that allow for persistent access.

Lateral Movement and Escalation – With initial access secured, Forfend consultants seek to expand their control within the organisation’s network. This involves moving laterally to compromise additional systems and escalating privileges to gain higher levels of access. The goal is to reach sensitive areas of the network and achieve the objectives outlined in the planning phase, such as accessing critical data or systems.

Why Choose Us?

Experience, Qualifications and Expertise

All Forfend consultants are highly experienced and qualified penetration testers who hold the highest industry certifications. Experts in a comprehensive portfolio of testing methodologies, we identify system vulnerabilities and offer practical remediation advice, in a manner that is understandable and digestible by everyone from management to developers.

Personalised Consultancy Services

We deliver highly personalised, professional consultancy services; the consultant carrying out the engagement being involved throughout the entire process, from initial scoping to testing, reporting, and responding to questions that may arise once the remediation process is underway.

Value For

As a small cyber security consultancy with limited overheads, we’re able to offer prices that are very competitive when compared to the rest of the industry, yet still deliver a high quality engagement. Forfend consultants are well versed at identifying vulnerabilities missed by other consultants.

Experience In A Range Of Industries

Our consultants have experience working in a range of different industries, from central government departments, critical national infrastructure, and councils, to legal, finance and technology sectors. Forfend consultants understand the threats and challenges faced by each industry, and are suited to offer testing types tailored to each sector’s needs.

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