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It is commonly assumed that the task of cyber attackers will always be easier than the cyber security teams’ mission, because the assailants need only one breach in order to succeed, while the defenders must supply complete security from any breach.

A new IDF team dubbed the Red Team operates in order to prevent any cyber attacks on the IDF systems. The Red Team was established by Sergeant Major M., the head of the Cyber Field in a technological unit within the IDF Cyber Defense Directorate, who has recently won the Chief-of-Staff excellence honor.  

The mission of the Field headed by him is to defend all the communication and teleprocessing systems operated by the soldiers in the battlefield, supplied by the IDF technological unit.

Red Team is a cyber term referring to the enemy color or an internal attack. Its role is to check the vulnerability of all the military systems – communications, programming, etc. – and create reports regarding their security level.

In addition to this role, which is similar to what is done in the civilian cyber sector, the Red Team also fulfills a task unique to the military sector – operating cyber exercises that simulate

an internal threat in order to expose situations whereas the unit is not prepared, and to reveal the security gaps. The exercises are also intended for training the cybersecurity personnel.

The Red Team operates in an endless mission of vulnerability search, while new threats keep appearing constantly. The team refers to any vulnerability and breach in the civilian cyber world as a potential threat to the military systems, and therefore it checks them as well.

In an exclusive interview iHLS, SGM M. said that within the framework of his Field, a software designed for coping with new challenges in being developed independently. He developed a major software for the security monitoring of a communication system, a development that relates more to cybersecurity and less to the Red Team. SGM M. received the Chief-of-Staff Excellence honor for his outstanding achievements, in a ceremony held at Palmachim on March 26.

The teams that work under his command expertise in specific technologies. The soldiers and officers, dubbed Cyber Defenders, receive a focused training. The teams do not include only cyber experts. The need for a fresh and non-conventional thinking led to the opening of the Field also to soldiers with technical skills and an out-of-the-box thinking. The recruitment of these persons is achieved through the publishing of cyber challenges in the various technological units.

In addition to the Red Team, the IDF also receives assistance from external organizations which execute penetration testing as well.

SGM M. said his vision is to enhance cybersecurity as much as possible and to aspire to achieve close to 100% by investing a 100% of the capabilities.