Model-Based Red Teaming” is the next in our series of online mini-courses.

One Reason We Fail to Red Team

Why doesn’t everyone red team all the time? Experienced red teamers can no doubt cite a range of reasons, but today we want to highlight just one (from Colin S. Gray): we don’t account for the adversary because it’s very difficult to do everything else we need to do and reason about an opaque and elusive opponent. As Gray puts it, military commanders Read on …

A Fun Example of Free Crowd-Sourced Red Teaming

This story about unicycle delivery drones caught my eye this morning. It’s an innovative application of a balancing capability similar to that found in the Segway. By the time I finished the article, I was already red teaming the concept and thinking that the developer should do the same. As I read the comments, however, I realized that the readers were doing it for them. It’s a great example of how even an untrained crowd can generate red teaming ideas rapidly. If the developer is savvy, he’ll take note of the free feedback when the idea is still in the concept phase.

Living with the Performance Engine

Few books of immediate interest to red teamers address red teaming directly.1 This is actually a positive thing; it forces us to explore concepts and tools that we might otherwise overlook. One of the better non-red teaming red teaming books I’ve discovered is The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.
      The authors’ open with this thesis: generating innovative ideas is only part of the innovation battle—often the easiest part; the hard part is implementing the idea fully and successfully. Even in this thesis, we see a strong parallel with red teaming: coming up with clever red teaming ideas and contrarian “gotchas!” is often the easy part, and the hard part comes after: persuading management to listen; appreciate; and, as appropriate, adapt to the challenges the red team or red teamer identifies. Read on …

  1. One relevant book to be published soon is Micah Zenko’s Red Team. []

Becoming Odysseus

We just finished our two-day Becoming Odysseus red teaming course in Columbia, MD. We hope the attendees enjoyed it as much as we did. We did discover that you can’t get that many red teamers in a room without adding substantially to your Amazon wish list! We also appreciated this Tweet from John Watts:

(By the way, he’s a very sharp guy and worth following on Twitter.)
      For those of you who couldn’t make it, please consider joining us August 27 for our next two-hour online mini-course, “Model-Based Red Teaming.” See the training page for more information and the registration link.

The Amazing Adventures of Dudley Clarke

To complement our series on R. V. Jones (“See It Like Jones Would“), we are adding a new series: “The Amazing Adventures of Dudley Clarke.” Brigadier Clarke remains one of the essential but largely overlooked heroes of World War II. As David Mure notes in Master of Deception, Clarke exhibited a “curious contradiction, that, secretly, he would have loved what he never achieved, recognition and notoriety.”1 We intend to do what we can to remedy that.
      The first sketch we would like to share is an otherwise throwaway anecdote that relates directly to Red Teaming Law #23 and the principle that everything is rarely as it appears to be. We present it in Mure’s words without further comment: Read on …

  1. David Mure, Master of Deception, 1980, p. 44. []

Always Contextualize Your Red Team Engagements

Despite the fact that we’ve now posted 50 red teaming “laws,” we hope that our readers understand that the superior red teamer should contextualize every red team engagement (within the obvious constraints of budget and schedule). Yes, it’s tempting to commoditize your approach and get in and out as efficiently as possible, but by overdoing it you risk delivering a misleading assessment to your client. Read on …

A Trip Down Memory Lane

On a whim, I decided to visit the Wayback Machine today, and guess what I found? Global OPFOR, the best wargaming/red teaming idea that few in 2015 have ever heard about. The original concept wasn’t my idea, but I did help develop and (try to) sell it. Why haven’t you heard of it before? Well, that’s a story I’d love to tell but probably shouldn’t. Instead, I’ll simply leave you with the archived Web site description: On to the screen shot …