Strong cybersecurity defense is very important thing for any company, and red team operator is there to help it get achieved. Even though this team role is unconventional but it is still very important part of cybersecurity. That is why, many people are interested in joining the team as operator.
What is Red Team Operator?
Red team operator is someone that responsible to perform a simulated cyberattack to a cloud environment to test its security. The process is done with the authorization from the company that own the cloud environment so you are not breaking any laws.
This attack is performed to train the company’s blue team and how well they can defense the system. The attack can also be done to active defense or application security with similar purpose.
There are different kinds of red team as well as different companies with this team. Some operator can be half when that person only responsible partially on the team function. Some operator can also be task to do a more offensive attack test such as vulnerability assessment or penetration testing.
Some companies may have large number of operators with their own defined roles which distinct them from the other security task so they can focus more on the response and detection. The most important thing is to match the company’s blue team capability with the red team capability.
Different Types of Cybersecurity Test Team
- Red Team
If you want to be red team operator then you will be working in this team. During cybersecurity test process, this team is the one that play as the attacker. Their mission is to challenge the company’s cyber security.
During the cybersecurity test, the team will simulate attack as realistic as possible. That is why, most team member on defenders’ side will not know the method used by the red team.
Only a few people on the defenders’ side that know that the test is carried out so the experience of this cybersecurity exercise can be optimal. Thus, it is also important to assign someone on the defenders’ side about this test.
- Blue Team
This team is the one that work as the defenders’ side to protect the system, application and network. They are the one that will detect, respond and mitigate the coming cyberattack. The member of this team usually unaware that the test is happened to make sure that the respond is realistic.
- White Team
This team work to provide link between the first two teams. They consist of people who are in charge of each of those teams. They are the one with the authorization to increase or decrease the intensity of the attack. Thus, the member of this team will get all information about the attack done by the red team. They are also the one that will approve every action including when to attack or stop as well as the types of attack performed by the red team.
- Purple Team
Most of the time, blue team is not informed when the cybersecurity test is being done to increase their response and realism. However, sometimes the blue team could be informed when the test happened to avoid wasting time when it is already clear what is happening right now. When this happen, then the blue and red team will joint together on the test and become purple team.
Job Responsibilities and Duties
As red team operators you will have some responsibilities and duties which you need to do before, during, and after the test. Some of those responsibilities are:
- Performing sensitive and risky ethical hacking on cloud network, system, application or software.
- Develop and design frameworks, tools, and script used to facilitate and execute complex cyberattack so it would not be detected
- Reviewing ethical hacks result and analyze it to know the severity found so proper remediation can be applied.
- Performing remediation and penetration test in technical environment that has fast pace then create report of the penetration technique and ethical hacking result.
- Identify the vulnerabilities of the environment, system and network and recommend counter measure and way that can be use to mitigate control to help reduce the risk.
- Create timely and accurate report of the finding then propose possible mitigation and remediation
- Perform exercises to learn new technologies used in cybersecurity
- Participate in designing the phases for the cybersecurity test project
Having the right education is important base to be red team operators. At minimum you should have bachelor degree in related field such as computer information, information assurance, computer science, information security and many other. Having master degree is recommended but if you have the right experience, then it may also become the substitute for the degree.
Having certification is very important for this career and some of the certification even become a must have requirement to work for some company. Some of the certification are:
- CCT INF certification
- CCSAS certification
- OSEP certification
- OSCE certification
- CCT APP certification
- CISSP certification
- OSED certification
- GPEN certification
- CCSAM certification
- CRTO certification
- CEH certification
- OSCP certification
Some company may want you to have a few years’ experience working in the same job for senior level. But for junior level, you need to have experience working in similar field or performing similar duties. Having specialized experience in CNA, CND, CNE, penetration testing and red teaming will increase your chance of getting hired.
Working as red team operators is very challenging since you need to have a lot of skills. These skills are used to perform your task which involved accuracy, efficiency and technical ability. Some of the skills that you need to have if you want to work in this job includes
- Offensive mindset
As part of the red team your job is to tear away the cybersecurity and break the system. It is a complicated task where you need to perform offensive attack using unconventional method. That is why, if you want to have this job you need to possess offensive mindset so you can have new idea to use when performing your task.
- Penetration test skill
This skill come with experience as you do even more penetration testing. As you hunt known vulnerabilities of the system you will be able to find various doors. You will also develop skill that can help you to determine when is the good time to take the opportunities to use those vulnerabilities during the test.
- Vulnerability research
It is important as the red team member to find vulnerability that you can exploit during cybersecurity test. There are a lot of unknown vulnerabilities that you can find on application, system, and environment. Thus, you need to have the ability and knowledge to search and find those vulnerability.
- Development knowledge
You need to have knowledge how the application is developed which will be very useful on your job. To do that you need to have knowledge on various languages used in different platforms. You also need to have ability to write code in those languages that can be used in the adversarial techniques applied during cybersecurity test.
- Infrastructure knowledge
Having ability to include infrastructure as you code will reduce your burden as part of the red team. You will not have to manage and tweak the infrastructure constantly and focus more on the attacking technique during cyberattack test. That is why, it is important for you to have this knowledge so you can configure and use automation to manage the infrastructure.
- Knowledge on system and network
You should have the basic knowledge on how the network and system work and function especially the security function. That way, you can make use of those information on your attacking technique and make your work more efficient.
- Knowledge on reverse engineering
Having knowledge to do reverse engineering is crucial for red team operator since it can help you to understand the exploit potential of an application. You will then be able to use what you find to create the exploit that can be use during cybersecurity test.
You will also use this knowledge to train yourself by analyzing new malware to understand its function. That way you will be able to emulate the method used by the malware for the test.
- Knowledge on Social engineering
Real threat actors often use schemes to trick people before the initial breach. That is why, it is important for you to understand the method which can also be use during the test.
Although usually, tricking people for the test only done optionally but it is still important for you to understand the process to find which door they usually use. Normally, you will only be using seeded access. You can also gain access by intentionally making remote access for the red team to use to reduce the test time.
Besides the mentioned skills, there are still a lot of skills that you need to be part of the team such as time management skill, communication skill, and many other. That is why if you want to work as red team operator you need to train your skill while gaining the right qualification.
Description: Red team operator is someone that responsible to perform a simulated cyberattack to a cloud environment to test its security, learn here.
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