Service Details

Adversary Simulations

Our Process

Manual Methodology

Adversary simulations, including red teaming and purple teaming, go beyond conventional penetration tests by emulating sophisticated threat actors in real-world scenarios. These assessments cannot be done through automated tools. Forza Ops employs sophisticated tools and techniques to emulate threats in order to bypass modern security mechanisms such as AV, EDR, Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC), or other security solutions that organization’s deploy. Adversary simulations can also target the human element via phishing in order to measure the effectiveness of employee training. This comprehensive, hands-on approach ensures vulnerabilities are identified and addressed, offering insights that automated tools simply cannot discover. This fosters a richer understanding of potential threats and defense readiness.

What to Expect

Red Team Engagements

A Red Team assessment is designed to simulate real-world cyberattacks, providing a comprehensive evaluation of an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Starting with the initial phase of information gathering and reconnaissance, the Red Team will discreetly collect data about the organization without triggering alarms. This is followed by actively exploiting identified vulnerabilities, attempting to bypass security controls and mechanisms in place. The goal isn’t just to find weak points, but to understand the depth and breadth of potential breaches, often aiming to achieve specific objectives like gaining access to sensitive data or critical systems. Throughout the assessment, the organization might remain unaware of the ongoing simulated attacks, mirroring the stealth and tactics of genuine threat actors. This immersive experience offers invaluable insights into an organization’s real-world resilience against cyber threats.

Purple Team Engagements

A Purple Team assessment bridges the gap between offense (Red Team) and defense (Blue Team) to create a collaborative environment focused on strengthening an organization’s cybersecurity posture. In this unique engagement, the Red Team simulates realistic cyberattacks, probing the organization’s defenses, while the Blue Team works to detect, respond, and mitigate these simulated threats in real-time. Throughout the assessment, both teams maintain open communication, sharing insights, techniques, and feedback. This allows for immediate understanding and rectification of vulnerabilities and gaps in detection or response mechanisms. The result is a dynamic, interactive session where defense strategies are tested and refined on-the-fly. The overarching goal of a Purple Team assessment is to holistically enhance an organization’s ability to detect, respond to, and prevent cyber threats.

Pre-engagement
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Pre-engagement

Scoping

Before any assessment, the preliminary phase is defining the scope and engagement details. Scoping entails determining the range of systems, networks, or applications to be tested. Any restrictions or constraints will also be set at this time to ensure a controlled and targeted assessment aligns with the customer’s needs.

Engagement
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Engagement

Active Testing

With a well-defined scope, the active testing period will begin next. This phase is where the tester will put “hands on the keyboard” and actively probe and attempt to explot any in-scope systems in order to uncover vulnerabilities. Any discovered vulnerabilities are assessed on how they might be leveraged by a malicious actor as well as their impact on the organization.

Post-Engagement
3
Post-Engagement

Reporting and Review

The reporting and review phase is a critical phase of a penetration test. Any findings discovered during testing will be compiled, analyzed, and delivered in a thorough report. The final report will be debriefed to stakeholders in order to discuss any findings, provide technical explanations, and offer remediations and guidance on how to harden the in-scope systems. This phase ensures the organization fully understands the risks and can prioritize and implement effective countermeasures.

Elevate Your Cybersecurity Posture

Challenge your defenses with a red team engagement.

Red Team and Purple Team Engagement FAQ

Red Team
Assessments
Purple Team
Assessments
Red Team vs. Purple Team
Which one do you need?
Black Box vs. Assumed Breach
What's the difference?

Red Team Engagement

A Red Team engagement is an advanced form of cybersecurity evaluation designed to simulate real-world cyberattacks against an organization’s infrastructure, employees, and operations. Operating under a defined scope and objectives, the Red Team employs a variety of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by actual adversaries. The goal is to assess the effectiveness of the organization’s defenses, identify vulnerabilities, and understand potential impacts of successful breaches. Unlike traditional penetration tests that focus on specific systems or applications, Red Team engagements take a holistic approach, targeting the organization’s broader environment and often incorporating elements like phishing and social engineering. The findings offer invaluable insights, allowing the organization to fortify its defenses against sophisticated threat actors.

Purple Team Engagement

A Purple Team engagement is a collaborative cybersecurity exercise that brings together the offensive tactics of the Red Team with the defensive strategies of the Blue Team. This engagement simulates real-world cyber threats, with the Red Team launching controlled attacks on the organization’s systems, while the Blue Team actively detects, responds to, and mitigates these threats. The unique aspect of a Purple Team engagement is the open line of communication between the two teams. As attacks are executed, feedback is shared (often in real-time), allowing the defense to adapt and the offense to modify tactics. The end goal is to enhance the organization’s detection and response capabilities, offering a dynamic learning environment and immediate remediation of identified vulnerabilities.

What’s the difference between a Red Team and Purple Team engagement?

Red Team

  • Realistic Attack Simulation: Companies seeking a realistic evaluation of their cybersecurity defenses often opt for Red Team engagements. This approach emulates the actions of genuine threat actors, testing the organization’s entire defensive apparatus without any forewarning to internal security teams.
  • Holistic View: Red Team engagements provide a comprehensive view of potential vulnerabilities across people, processes, and technology, offering insights into how different vulnerabilities can be chained together to achieve an objective.
  • Maturity Evaluation: For organizations with mature security postures and protocols, Red Team engagements can validate the effectiveness of their security investments and practices against sophisticated threats.
  • Identify Gaps in Detection and Response: By simulating real-world attacks, Red Teams can help organizations identify blind spots in their detection and response capabilities.

Purple Team

  • Collaborative Learning: The primary advantage of a Purple Team engagement is a collaborative nature. It’s a real-time learning experience for the defense (Blue Team), allowing them to understand the attacker’s perspective and refine their tactics on-the-fly.
  • Immediate Remediation: As vulnerabilities and gaps are discovered, the Blue Team can implement fixes in real time, enhancing the organization’s defenses.
  • Skill Development: The constant interaction and feedback loop between Red and Blue Teams can help upskill internal security teams, offering insights into the latest attack vectors and techniques.
  • Customization: Purple Team engagements can be tailored to focus on specific areas of concern or recent changes in the environment, ensuring a targeted and relevant evaluation.

So which one?

Organizations aiming for a raw, real-world evaluation of their defenses might opt for a Red Team engagement, while those looking for a more cooperative, educational experience to quickly shore up defenses might gravitate towards a Purple Team engagement. Often, companies will conduct both types of assessments at different times to reap the unique benefits of each.

What’s the difference between a blackbox and assumed breach assessment?

Blackbox

A Black Box assessment is where the Red Team starts with little to no knowledge about the target organization’s infrastructure, emulating the perspective of a real-world external threat actor. This “blind” approach requires the Red Team to conduct initial reconnaissance to gather information and mapping out the digital landscape of the organization. They then identify and exploit vulnerabilities to gain access, mimicking genuine attackers’ strategies and techniques. The goal is to test the organization’s external-facing defenses, detection capabilities, and overall cyber resilience without the advantage of internal knowledge. This assessment provides a realistic gauge of how well an organization can defend against and detect unsolicited attacks, offering insights into vulnerabilities that could be exploited by genuine threat actors.

Assumed Breach

An Assumed Breach assessment is a specialized type engagement that operates under the premise that an initial breach has already occurred within the organization. Instead of starting from the outside, the Red Team is granted a foothold within the target environment, simulating the actions of an attacker who has successfully infiltrated the network. The Red Team then focuses on lateral movement, privilege escalation, and identifying high-value assets, seeking to understand what an attacker could access or compromise once inside the infrastructure. This assessment provides a deep dive into the organization’s internal defenses, detection mechanisms, and response protocols, highlighting potential vulnerabilities and security gaps that might be exploited post-initial breach.

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