Cybersecurity: Red Team vs Blue Team Explained

Red Team vs Blue Team Cyber Security

Advancements in technology and the development of the internet have led the modern world on a technological trajectory that redefines business and personal habits daily. The advantage is that systems and people have become interconnected to communicate, produce and perform tasks at a considerable speed and higher accuracy than ever before. However, this level of interconnectivity has brought its own challenges. Organizations and individuals have to consistently develop skills and strategies to protect the new space they are operating. Within this space, cybersecurity is the new defense corps that every organization should employ to keep their computer systems and electronic data safe.

Offensive and Defensive Strategies

Several organizations and services often collaborate to provide tactical offense and defense strategies against potential threats in a real-world security setting. The different roles armed forces play in a military environment is an example of this. A similar principle is used in the world of cybersecurity, where security teams assume various functions to protect computer networks, devices, and data from ever-increasing sophisticated adversaries.

There are essentially three teams that contribute to your organization’s cyberspace security capabilities: red, blue, and purple. These terms are often used interchangeably; however, there are differences. Let’s look at their respective functions, skills, and benefits and how their collaboration can ensure more robust security for your company.

Definition of Red Team

red team is a group of professionals trained to use their hacking abilities to benefit an organization. Also known as white-hat hackers, a red team uses real-world adversary tradecraft to exploit weaknesses within an organization to improve its security. To do this, they employ a 6-phase simulation to mimic attack scenarios. These scenarios reveal the potential physical, hardware, software, and human vulnerabilities within your organization. They will then provide recommendations on better securing your company’s network moving forward. The list of phases include:

  • Performing an investigation. The team conducts an analysis to understand the target and its vulnerabilities.
  • Gaining access. They then plan and execute the best ways to access their target.
  • Take inventory and expand. During this phase, the team conducts a reconciliation to calculate the best position in the network to achieve their goal.
  • Repeat. The team will repeat some or all of the steps to move toward your company’s critical business assets and their required goal.
  • Establish persistence. Skilled attackers use tools and techniques that are most likely to remain undiscovered, leaving no trace of their activities. A red team establishes persistence through non-destructive means to demonstrate they are able to maintain access over a long period.
  • Evaluate and erase. After exploiting the security weaknesses, the team returns systems to their previous state, presents their findings, and gives recommendations

What Skills Are Required for a Red Team?

Red team consultants are highly trained computer professionals with excellent knowledge and understanding of computer systems, protocols, and security techniques. They possess powerful software skills to develop tools to circumvent security measures. They also have extensive penetration testing experience to help exploit common vulnerabilities.

Finally, red team consultants have the social engineering skills to manipulate others into sharing information. They play a critical role in assessing your company’s ability to prevent, detect, correct, and improve its security vulnerabilities.

Definition of Blue Team

In contrast to a red team that conducts attacks to identify weaknesses, a blue team consists of incident response consultants. It is their goal to protect your company’s critical assets against security threats. The blue team provides guidance to your company’s IT security team. IT, in turn, is responsible for maintaining the internal network against various types of risk, including cyberattacks and threats.

The blue team gathers data that shows the security vulnerabilities in your organization. They assess risks and introduce more stringent security policies, such as passwords, to reinforce system access requirements. They are also responsible for monitoring and logging system users and checking for unusual activity that poses a threat to company assets. The Blue team will evaluate security vulnerabilities and compile an action plan to prevent or lessen the impact of threats if attacked.

What Skills Are Required for a Blue Team?

As the red team essentially focuses on playing the role of offense, the blue team’s role is focused on defense. This means that they are responsible for preventing and detecting security threats and strengthening existing security protocols.

Blue team members need to fully understand your organization’s security strategy across people, tools, and technologies. They must have adequate knowledge of your company’s existing security detection tools, systems, and alert mechanisms. Blue teams require highly developed analytical skills to identify potential threats and prioritize threat responses. Additionally, they must possess the relevant hardening techniques to reduce attack surfaces such as phishing and other web-based breach techniques.

Red and Blue Makes Purple

A purple team is a group of professionals that assume the roles of both a red and blue team. They select targets and techniques closely related to real-world threats. Whereas red teams find vulnerabilities and blue teams help address the risks, purple teams work together to share their knowledge for ultimate security.

Selecting these teams depends on your organization’s security goals. However, as cybersecurity threats become increasingly automated and sophisticated, your company will benefit from both red and blue teaming.

Your Partner in Cybersecurity

At Snowfensive, we aim to provide the ultimate offensive and defensive cyber security service, putting security awareness in your company’s culture. Our services cover a broad range of industries in private and public businesses, including Fortune 500 companies and local, state, and federal government agencies.

Let Snowfensive’s highly qualified team of consultants help you by conducting penetration testing, finding your vulnerabilities before attackers do. Our social engineering skills and system-tailored tests can assess your employees’ security awareness. Our incident management, digital forensics, and malware analysis services will protect your company’s assets against potential cyber-attacks.

Don’t leave your organization’s most important assets to chance. Contact us today to learn how Snowfensive can eliminate your security team’s downtime, comply with regulatory requirements, and save you money. Our passion for cybersecurity will help your business identify and mitigate the risks, and protect your data and reputation.