Red Team Operations

Test your organization’s defense against a simulated real-world attack

Advanced attackers infiltrate and devastate enterprise networks, appearing as ghosts that exfiltrate vast amounts of information. Whether you’re a government agency, defense contractor, healthcare providerfinancial services corporation, or multinational enterprise, you’re at risk.

Red team testing is a specific application of penetration testing that tests your organization’s ability to detect an attack, respond, and minimize or negate its effect. Coalfire Labs acts as an attacker, attempting to exploit your organization without detection. Our red team escalates the nature of each attack to test the detection and response capabilities of your blue team (security monitoring and incident response) to answer these questions:

  • Were you able to detect the attack?
  • How long did it take to detect it?
  • How long did it take to respond to the attack?
  • Was the response the correct one?

This exercise enables us to provide a realistic analysis of how breaches occur while providing valuable insight into the business and mission impact of network intrusions. Our red team testing attempts to compromise your environment through any method possible, including:

External hacking

We exploit vulnerabilities from an external IT perspective by attempting to escalate privileges and gain unauthorized access to systems or data. Using your externally facing compromised systems, we attempt to penetrate your perimeter and gain access to your internal systems.


Performed over the phone or in person, we exploit vulnerabilities in staff training and awareness programs by coercing employees into providing access to sensitive information such as user credentials, business data, or network access. 

Spear phishing

Using publicly available information about your company, emails are sent to your organization’s key personnel to see if they click links or open files. The links may direct your employees to something as innocuous as a survey website or a “clone” of your website, where specific information is requested. Or the links may lead to a site that hosts malware that attempts to automatically compromise your systems. Files sent to users are written by Coalfire and contain a Trojan that only the Coalfire team can use to control and leverage the user’s computer to compromise the organization.

Wireless exploit

Leveraging the inherent weaknesses in wireless protocol, we attempt to subvert the security of wireless networks in your environment to gain access to your internal network.

Internal hacking

Once we’ve established access to your network, we enumerate vulnerabilities on systems and within internal applications that can be exploited to achieve the testing goal. Vulnerabilities exploited could include misconfiguring file sharing, executing buffer overflows against vulnerable operating systems or services, or compromising applications.

Reporting on the red team cyber exercise

A formal report details all identified and potential threats and vulnerabilities, and provides recommendations for countermeasures to eliminate or mitigate these risks.

Why partner with Coalfire for red team testing?

Ensure your organization is prepared for a real-world scenario by simulating attacks with a team that continues to advance the technique of advanced tradecraft. Just as we’ve successfully done for government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, we can help you:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness your organization’s cyber defense, security posture, and responsiveness to a cyberattack.
  • Get valuable and actionable results including discovered vulnerabilities, potential attack paths, business impact of breaches, and remediation steps.
  • Understand how to immediately improve your current security posture.
  • Learn how to use advanced tradecraft to strengthen your defenses from a team that has undergone extensive training, participated as industry thought leaders, and earned numerous industry certifications, including GXPN, GPEN, GCIH, GWAPT, CREST CCT, MCSE, RHCT, OSCP, OSCE, NSA IAM/IEM, CEH, PMP, GXPN, and CISSP.