Red Teaming at Scale to Uncover Your Big Unknowns


This article was originally featured on Dark Reading

During the global war on terror, a group of commissioned and noncommissioned officers in the United States military participated in a unique training event. Soldiers of various ranks, all with different specialties, assembled in a remote location where they were stripped of rank and other identifying markers. They changed clothes, adopted new names, and modified the very rhythm of their daily lives. And from there, they began planning a simulated attack on their own forces.

The exercise, an ongoing training opportunity called “Mirror Image” being conducted by the Terrorism Research Center, is part of a greater philosophy called red teaming. The simulation helped participants explore their predispositions and organizational weaknesses. Changing routines helped them better understand enemy motivations and anticipate possible insurgent attacks. It also revealed how biases and expectations interfered with reality.

In the business world, cybersecurity professionals use red teaming to test their organizations’ defenses before something happens. But other groups can utilize the concept to test resilience, blind spots, and continuity in the face of a crisis.

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