The Role of Different Types of Teams in Cyber Security

Red teaming and blue teaming are a form of ethical hacking technique which involve companies hiring highly trained cybersecurity experts to infiltrate their computer systems, networks, and servers. While many businesses regard prevention to be the gold standard in security, detection and remediation are also critical components of total defensive capabilities. The point of hiring an ethical hacker is to strengthen the organization’s cybersecurity defenses by finding weaknesses using a simulated attack and remediating them.

Besides red teaming and blue teaming, there are other types of teams too such as Purple Team, Green Team, and White Team. In this article, we will take a look at the roles played by these teams and how they help in examining and strengthening the network of an organization.

Red Team

"Red teaming" is a security evaluation based on intelligence that is used to extensively examine an organization's cyber resilience as well as threat detection and incident response capabilities. A red team consists of security experts who play the role of adversaries in order to get around cyber security safeguards. Ethical hackers undertake red teaming by simulating the conditions of a real cyber-attack by employing the same tactics, methods, and procedures (TTPs) as criminal adversaries. This guarantees that interactions are as realistic as possible, testing the performance of technology, humans, and procedures to the fullest extent feasible.

Red teams generally have independent ethical hackers who objectively assess system security. To acquire illegal access to assets, they employ all possible approaches (described below) to uncover flaws in people, processes, and technology. Red teams use the information gained from these simulated assaults to generate suggestions and plans for improving an organization's security posture.

A red team is a group of people recruited to test a company's defenses secretly. They are typically unaffiliated with the company (target). The team consists of experienced, ethical hackers whose mission is to uncover and exploit holes in the target's cybersecurity or physical perimeters in a secure way. A red team is created to detect and analyze vulnerabilities, test assumptions, examine alternative attack approaches, and disclose an organization's limitations and security threats. This selected group evaluates your organization's security posture to examine how it will perform against real-time threats before they occur. Teaming exercises are commonly referred to as red-teaming because of the attackers' duties.

A red team typically obtains early access by getting user credentials or through social engineering techniques. The red team enhances its privileges and moves laterally across systems while within the network, with the goal of entering the network as deeply as possible while evading detection.

Traditional penetration testing such as vulnerability scanners like Nessus, employs noisy (generally visible) methodologies to uncover security weaknesses. A red squad, on the other hand, is notorious for its secrecy and will go to considerable measures to avoid being discovered. Some companies will put their trust in their systems.

Red teams are tasked with penetrating various systems and determining their security levels. A red team's tactics range from traditional phishing and social engineering attacks on employees to impersonation.

To obtain access to the network and move unnoticed across the environment, a successful red team must be devious in nature, adopting the attitude of a skilled opponent. An ideal red team member is both technical and creative, with the ability to exploit system flaws and human nature. The red team must also be knowledgeable about threat actor tactics, methods, and procedures (TTPs), as well as the attack tools and frameworks used by today's adversaries.

Blue Team

A blue team is made up of security specialists who have an insider's perspective on the company. Their job is to safeguard the company's most valuable assets from any threats. They are well-versed in the company's commercial goals and security strategy. As a result, their mission is to reinforce the castle walls so that no intruders may breach the fortifications.

The blue team is on defense when the red team is on the offensive. This group usually comprises incident response experts that advise the IT security team on where to improve in order to prevent complex cyberattacks and threats. The IT security team is then in charge of protecting the internal network from numerous threats.

The Blue Team is in charge of identifying intruders and stopping them from gaining access to the organization's network. Blue troops can start preparing for an attack by assessing the situation and hardening where necessary. During the assault scenario, their purpose is to quickly detect breaches, contain the infection by confining it to the system via which it entered, and successfully end the attack. The Blue Team may be preparing or implementing recovery actions in some scenarios.

Blue Teams, or internal security teams, guard against both legitimate attackers and Red Teams. Because most security operations teams lack the attitude of constant vigilance against attack, which is the purpose and perspective of a true Blue Team, Blue Teams should be isolated from conventional security teams in an organization. A blue team, which is commonly situated in a Security Operations Centre, is a company's own cybersecurity staff (SOC). The SOC is made up of highly trained analysts that work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to defend and strengthen their company's defenses.

Automated technologies on the network's perimeter will stop many of today's threats, such as malware and phishing emails. Endpoint security products and threat detection platforms, for example. The SOC, or blue team, is both proactive and reactive and adds critical human intelligence to the tools and technology. The blue team will be able to detect and neutralize the more advanced threats.

Purple Team

Purple refers to a philosophy in which attackers and defenders work together on the same team. As a result, rather than a specialized team, it should be viewed as a function.

Purple Teams should not be needed in companies where the Red Team / Blue Team relationship is healthy and working effectively since the primary objective of a Red Team is to develop methods to improve the Blue Team. For example, when a group that is unfamiliar with offensive strategies seeks to understand how attackers think. That might be an incident response team, a detection team, a programming team, or anything else. It may be called a Purple Team activity if the good people are attempting to learn from white hat hackers.

Purple Teams exist to ensure and maximize the Red and Blue teams' efficacy. They combine the Blue Team's defensive strategies and controls with the Red Team's threats and weaknesses into a unified narrative that maximizes both. Purple teaming is a security approach in which red and blue teams work closely together to maximize cyber capabilities by exchanging information and providing frequent feedback.

Purple teaming may help security teams improve vulnerability detection, threat hunting, and network monitoring by realistically reproducing typical attack scenarios and promoting the innovation of novel techniques to prevent and discover new types of threats.

Specific organizations use purple teaming as a one-time targeted engagement with well-defined security goals, deadlines, and main deliverables and a disciplined approach for analyzing lessons learned throughout an operation. It's challenging to set up an efficient security monitoring function since it entails recognizing offensive and defensive vulnerabilities and setting out future training and technological requirements.

A purple team is a makeshift group tasked with supervising and improving the red and blue team exercise. It is generally made up of the company's security analysts or senior security personnel. Purple Team Exercises bring together the Red and Blue teams for a pre-planned activity that includes testing and remediation all in one place, similar to a coached scrimmage.

Purple Team Exercises usually contain more than simply the first possible route to breaching your defenses. Similar to Tabletop Exercises, the Red Team will simulate multiple Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) throughout the engagement, launching an attack and waiting for the Blue Team to indicate detection and response to that specific style of attack, identifying any weaknesses or gaps in detection and response, and immediately supporting remediation of the issue. As a result, you leave with a clearer understanding of what needs to be handled, as well as the knowledge that dials are being changed.

If the red and blue teams do well, the purple team may become outdated. It can be more of a concept than a function, with the red section being tasked with testing and targeting specific areas of the blue team's defense and detection abilities.

Purple Team – Goals and Responsibilities

  • The Purple team works with the red and blue teams, analyzing their interactions and suggesting any necessary adjustments to the current exercise or documenting them for future reference.

  • The Purple team gets to see the whole picture and embracing the mindsets and responsibilities of both teams. For example, a purple team member will work with the blue team to examine how events are detected. The team member will then join the red team to discuss how the blue team's detection abilities may be exploited.

  • The Purple team analyzes the results and overseeing the implementation of relevant remedial actions, such as addressing vulnerabilities and giving staff awareness training

Purple Team – Advantages

  • Purple team exercises integrate defense and offense, helping businesses to improve security monitoring tasks more quickly and for less money.

  • Streamline the procedure to improve security. Purple teaming may also be thought of as a conceptual framework that covers a whole security organization. This can assist in building a collaborative culture that promotes ongoing cyber security development.

  • Obtain important details. Purple teaming alerts your internal security team to security flaws.

Green Team

The Green team's role is to provide policies and guidelines for the Yellow team to follow, as well as to enable communication between the Blue and Yellow teams. The goal is to improve cybersecurity and code quality and third-party audit libraries, and open-source dependencies and develop detection, incident response, and data forensics defense capabilities.

The Green Team's goal is to eliminate as many of the Red Team's vulnerabilities and misconfigurations as possible and to do it as quickly as possible throughout the whole business. So they're pondering where organizational mistakes are being produced, and they're going straight to the source to try to modify behavior.

Members of the software team who contact the Blue Team regularly make up the Green Team (Yellow Team). The ultimate objective is to use code-based and design-based defenses to increase detection, incident response, and data forensics capabilities.

White Team

The White Team assists in establishing the engagement's rules of engagement, metrics for evaluating results, and processes for providing operational security. The White Team is usually in charge of extracting lessons learned, conducting the post-engagement evaluation, and disseminating the results.

The White Team is in charge of officiating a fight between a Red Team of fictitious attackers and a Blue Team of real-life defenders of their company's computer systems. The White Team serves as a judge in an exercise, enforcing the exercise's rules, observing the exercise, scoring teams, resolving any problems that may arise, handling all requests for information or questions, and ensuring that the competition runs smoothly and does not interfere with the defender's mission.

The White Team assists in establishing the engagement's rules of engagement, metrics for evaluating results, and processes for providing operational security. The White Team is usually in charge of extracting lessons learned, conducting the post-engagement evaluation, and disseminating the results.