What is the OODA Loop and why is it relevant to Red Teaming?

The OODA Loop, also known as the Boyd Cycle, is a decision-making process created by U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd. The OODA Loop is relevant to red teaming because it helps red team members understand how their opponents make decisions.

The OODA Loop consists of four steps:

Observe - Red team members watch their opponents and gather information about their capabilities and intentions.

Orient - Red team members analyze the information they gathered and develop a plan of action.

Decide - Red team members execute their plan of action.

Act - Red team members observe the results of their actions and make changes to their plan as necessary.

The OODA concept is vital for Red Teams who wish to be successful. The cycle of Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act is what allows them to rapidly adapt to their target environment. By observing their surroundings, they can orient themselves and understand what is happening. They then make decisions on how to best proceed and act on that decision. This allows them to quickly pivot and respond to any changes in the environment. This agility is key in order for them to defeat defenders.

This level of flexibility are able to deliver a higher quality engagement and better position themselves to achieve the goals outlined for the team. Additionally, a flexible team is more likely to maintain morale throughout difficult projects and be less likely to experience the politics that can so often cripple teams.

Looking to expand your knowledge of red teaming? Check out our online course, MRT - Certified Red Teamer. In this course, you’ll learn about the different aspects of red teaming and how to put them into practice.