I'd like to talk about the field of Information Security and the occupations Security Specialst, Penetration Tester and Red Teamer.

From what I've looked up:

  • Security = Sicherheit (which also means "safety")
  • Information Security = Informationssicherheit
  • Security Specialist = Sicherheitsspezialist
  • Penetration Test = Penetrationstest
  • Pentest = Pentest
  • Penetration Tester = Penetrationstester
  • Red Team = rotes Team (probably not the one I want)
  • Red Teaming = Rotes Teaming
  • Red Teamer = Red Teamer

Which of these can be used to describe someone working in the Information Security field, Pentesting and Red Teams? Which need to be changed and how?

  • 1
    Das sind 9 Fragen in einer. Wie dann üblich beantwortet jemand einen Ausschnitt davon und sammelt Upvotes. Andere werden sich vielleicht auf die verbleibenden Lücken stürzen. Welche Antwort kürt man zur ultimativen? Die qualitativ beste? Die, die am meisten abdeckt? Besser man schließt die Frage. Und was ist ein Red Teamer? Ein Demokrat, wahrscheinlich. Nov 8, 2019 at 0:19
  • 1
    Das ist nicht 9 Fragen, sondern 1. Ich frage, welche Auswahl richtig sind. Sie sind technisch Titel/Wörter von mein Forschungsgebeit. Ein "Red Team" ist ein Gruppe, die "Penetration Test" und mehr macht. Nov 8, 2019 at 2:06

2 Answers 2


The world of information technology in Germany is highly dependant on the English language.

Every IT guy will understand when you say „Security Specialist“ and „Pentester“ better than if you use any German terms for this.

And even people who do have to do with this field only remotely (using a computer at work will be mostly enough) will understand.

If you really want to explain your work in German, then „IT-Sicherheitsspezialist“ would be something that almost everybody should understand. Don‘t use „Sicherheitsspezialist“ alone without context as people will assume you make buildings secure (building alarm systems or alike).

  • 4
    If you want to explain your work to non-IT people in German, skip technobabble, use a sentence like "Ich mache Computer sicherer, indem ich versuche, Schwachstellen zu finden, bevor Verbrecher dies tun." If you talk to IT people, use English.
    – Alexander
    Nov 7, 2019 at 10:33
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    I am a programmer (application developer), but I never had to do with system security. I never came across the term "penetration tester", though I can make an educated guess for what it means; I have no idea what "red teamer" might mean. Nov 7, 2019 at 13:32
  • @VolkerLandgraf I can only assume a "Red Teamer" is an employee of the company "Red Team Pentesting" like a "Mieleaner" is an employee of household appliance manufacturer Miele.
    – Alexander
    Nov 7, 2019 at 14:21
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    @Alexander wrong guess :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_team
    – Arsak
    Nov 7, 2019 at 16:48

I am an IT security expert (security researcher on a university), and in this branch, like in all subfields of IT, english terms are much more common than German terms, even in a German conversation.

The German word Sicherheit is ambiguous. It can mean both, security and safety, which are distinct terms in the field of IT security. So, among security experts it is better to use the english terms even if you speak German.

If you use "red team" as synonym for "pentesters", then it is more common to use the Term Pentester. If you use it to name the group playing the enemy in a management game or map exercise, i.e. as counterpart to the blue team, then the German terms blaues Team and rotes Team or also Team Blau and Team Rot are frequently used beside the english term.

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