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How Can Purple Team Enhance Your Cyber Security Posture?

What is Purple Team in Cyber Security?

A Purple Teams are a group of cybersecurity experts that take on the roles of both a Blue Team and Red Team to deliver a more tailored, realistic security assessment to the organization being tested.  The purple teaming strategy involves red and blue teams collaborating closely to maximize cyber capabilities through continuous feedback and knowledge transfer. Purple team exercises combine defense and offense, improving security monitoring function more rapidly and at a lower cost than segregating both functions.

As a result of the purple teaming process, organizations can use the sharing of intelligence data between the red team and blue team to understand better hackers' tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). By simulating these TTPs through a series of red team exercises, the blue team can configure, tune, and enhance its ability to detect and respond in real-time. To measure the effectiveness of an organization's detection and response capabilities, experienced red and blue teams can offer purple teaming engagements that better align with actual operational threats.

What are Purple Team’s Responsibilities?

The Purple Team's purpose is to enhance information sharing between the Red and Blue teams to maximize their effectiveness individually and in conjunction. As a transient entity, the purple team functions to oversee and optimize the implementation of the red and blue teams. Purple teams may become redundant if the red and blue teams work well. It can be less of a function and more of a concept that encourages the red team to test and target specific elements of the blue team's defense and detection capabilities.

The objectives and responsibilities of the Purple team are as follows:

  • Analyzing and reviewing how red and blue teams work together and making any necessary adjustments to the current exercise or noting them for the future.
  • Being able to see the big picture and put yourself in the shoes of both teams. To illustrate, a member of the purple team will work with a blue team to review how events are detected. A team member will then shift to the red team to discuss how the blue team's detection capabilities can be undermined.
  • Implementing employee awareness training, patching vulnerabilities, and analyzing the results;
  • Maximize the exercise’s value by implementing learning and ensuring more robust defenses.

In addition, the following are some examples of purple team exercises:

  • Simulation of a real attack experienced by the organization
  • A walkthrough of a past red team exercise

There are several levels to this exercise, which becomes increasingly complex with each iteration

  • Level- 1: Noisy, for example, tools commonly used, brute force, scanning
  • Level- 2: Evasive tactics, for instance, in memory, privilege escalation
  • Level- 3: Stealthy: Red team compiles its own tools

Why is Purple Teaming Important to Enhance Your Cyber Security?

Purple team exercises are a simple and effective way to improve security monitoring capabilities. However, the purple team's role is less known and is just as important. Purple teams can take many forms. The first team consists of outside security professionals who perform the functions of both red and blue groups. In this scenario, an organization might hire a purple team to perform a security assessment. The purple team will be divided into red and blue sub-teams, and the engagement will begin. By switching roles rather than focusing exclusively on red or blue, team members can remain flexible in their skills. The same scenario can also be applied to the workplace. A company may form its purple team and have security personnel fill the roles of red and blue.

However, purple teams can be formed in other ways. Exercises involving the red and blue teams depend on open communication and close collaboration. The security testing engagement may not be able to provide a complete picture of an organization's security without these factors.

A purple team is a facilitator and mediator but can provide insight from a more detached standpoint. When all three elements work cohesively, an organization can gain a much clearer picture of its readiness to deal with attacks.

The following are some of the benefits of purple teaming:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of security

Blue teams can observe and participate in attacks, which gives them a better understanding of how attackers operate, allowing them to utilize technologies to deceive attackers and study their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

  • Performance enhancement without increasing budget

Purple team exercises combine defense and offense to allow organizations to improve security monitoring functions faster and more cost-effectively.

  • Enhance security efficiency

Among security industry professionals, another approach is to view purple teaming as a conceptual framework that runs throughout the organization. This approach can foster a collaborative culture that promotes continuous cyber security improvement.

  • Gain insight into critical issues

In addition to helping your internal security team identify areas that need to be strengthened, purple teaming provides critical insight into security gaps.

Purple teaming can significantly improve an organization's security posture. The objective is to increase the learning experience for both red and blue teams and the test organization. The next step is logical when an organization has already implemented vulnerability management processes and wants to simultaneously measure and improve its ability to detect cyber incidents and attacks. Purple teaming is valuable for identifying vulnerabilities (by penetration testing) and measuring responsiveness (by red teaming). The use of purple team exercises to complement the red and blue elements of the security monitoring function is beneficial regardless of your budget and maturity level. The goal of both offense and defense is to strengthen an organization's security posture.

Let NetSecurity Protect Your Network from Cyber Threats

Let NetSecurity’s purple team experts with cutting-edge ThreatResponder EDR and Forensic platform perform the purple teaming engagements and take care of your cyber threats. Click on the below button to request more details about our purple teaming services.


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I am a cybersecurity enthusiast and an author. I write technical blogs and articles related to cyber security.
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About Inno Eroraha
Dulles, Virginia Website
Inno Eroraha is the Founder & Chief Strategist of NetSecurity Corporation, a cybersecurity products and services company based in Dulles, VA. NetSecurity is the developer of ThreatResponder Platform.
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