Attack simulation & Red Teaming

What is an attack simulation?

During an attack simulation, an attacker is simulated within a controlled setting.

For this purpose, targets are defined in advance, which an attacker team (the Red Team) tries to achieve. Possible targets here can be, for example, a company secret or access to a mission-critical server.

An attack simulation therefore not only identifies and reports individual vulnerabilities, but also puts existing security solutions and the response of the IT security department (the Blue Team) during security incidents to the test.

In this way, the company as a whole is tested during an attack simulation.

What is an attack simulation?
Why is an attack simulation useful?

Successful IT security is the combined effect of various measures. Yet, how effectively these measures protect one’s own systems can often only be seen in retrospect.

Attack simulations therefore offer the opportunity to test the measures taken and to identify any shortcomings at an early stage.

The attacker model in an attack simulation assumes a capable and motivated attacker, such as one would expect in an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). Therefore, in addition to purely technical attack vectors, an attack simulation also considers social and physical attack vectors. Even the best application security will not protect the information if an attacker has physical access to the server.

Thus, an attack simulation is useful for all companies that want to put their current security measures to the test.

Why is an attack simulation useful?

Course of an attack simulation

  • Reconnaissance

    In the reconnaissance phase, intelligence is gathered to plan the attack. Here, possible attack targets are identified, considering the agreed attack vectors.

  • Exploitation & Initial Access

    An attempt is made to establish initial access to the network via the identified attack targets.

  • Exploration & Lateral Movement

    As soon as the initial access has been established, an attempt is made to identify more systems within the network. Building on this, we can begin to move around in the network (lateral movement) and attack other systems.

  • Achieving the goals

    After the target systems are identified, they are attacked to accomplish the set goals.

  • Analysis & reporting

    After the attack simulation comes the most important part: Analysing the weaknesses found and compiling the results in our report. This also includes highlighting specific recommendations and a presentation of the results, in which we explain our approach step by step.

Wrap-up and conclusion

At the end of the attack simulation, you will receive a detailed report on the attacks carried out and the vulnerabilities exploited. Finally, in a presentation of the results, questions can be clarified and lessons learned can be discussed together with the Blue Team.

Before you can finally implement the newly gained insights, the last step of the attack simulation is the so-called “house cleaning”. In this process, you should remove the user accounts, configurations, etc. that we created during the attack simulation and reset the network to its original state.

  • Test of the IT security of the entire company
  • Large scope, high depth
  • Test of the company’s reaction

If you are in the process of setting up your IT security, an attack simulation does not make sense (yet). An attack simulation is mainly suitable for checking the existing hardening measures.

Instead, an OSINT analysis is suitable to first get to know your own attack surface or a penetration test to check business-critical systems.

We are happy to have an initial conversation with you to determine your needs. Just contact us via [email protected].

In contrast to an attack simulation, the aim of a penetration test is not to exploit vulnerabilities in order to achieve a set goal.

Instead, the aim is to gain an overview of the existing problems of the given system that is as comprehensive and as broad as possible.

In the so-called Purple Teaming, the Red and Blue Teams work particularly closely together. The goal is not only to test the capabilities of both teams, but also to refine the capabilities of both teams through active communication and joint test planning.

We are happy to work with your Blue Team as part of Purple Teaming.

That is very understandable. We offer a wide variety of attack simulations, which we can adapt to your individual needs together with you.

For example, an insider attack scenario would be suitable here, in which the starting point is a user account with minimal privileges. This also saves the expenses for gaining initial access to your network.

Get in touch

Curious? Any more questions? Call us, write a mail or book a meeting with one of our consultants right away!


Would you like to stay up to date? Sign up for our newsletter: