The Day Before


When it comes to haunting events, we tend to remember the date: Dec. 7 (Pearl Harbor), Nov. 22 (Kennedy assassination), Sept. 11 (World Trade Center attack). As risk and security professionals, we also tend to start working on the problem retroactively the next day, doing our best to make sure something like it doesn’t happen again. What we don’t think about nearly as much is what was happening the day before.
      Ask yourself, “What would a red team have said on Dec. 6, Nov. 21, or Sept. 10?” How would the team have characterized the risk landscape? Would it have identified the approaching attack vector? Would it have characterized the vector as likely or unlikely? Would anyone have listened? Of course, it’s impossible to answer these questions, but by expressing them, we expose some of the inherent limitations of (some? most? all?) red teaming—limitations we should do our best as red teamers to address before the next event, whatever or whenever that might be.


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