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Purple Teaming

A purple team is a group of cyber security professionals who simulate malicious attacks and penetration testing in order to identify security vulnerabilities and recommend remediation strategies for an organization's IT infrastructure. The term is derived from the color purple, which symbolizes the combination of both red and blue teams.

Unlike traditional red team/blue teams, which are usually separate entities, the purple team works in close coordination, sharing information and insights in order to address acute weaknesses and improve the organization's overall security posture.

Purple teams vs. Red teams vs. Blue teams

The table below outlines the differences between purple teams, red teams, and blue teams.

Red Team Blue Team Purple Team
Who Offensive security experts or ethical hackers who act as adversaries Attack an organization’s cybersecurity defenses using real world tools, tactics and procedures (TTPs Members of the offensive (red) and defensive (blue) team working in unison
What they do Attack an organization’s cybersecurity defenses using real world tools, tactics and procedures (TTPs) Identify, assess and respond to the red team’s attack TTPs Simultaneously test and defend the organization and its assets
Why To identify gaps and weaknesses within the client’s IT environment that adversaries may exploit during an attack. To test an organization's cybersecurity defenses and IR playbooks To improve the overall security posture and preserve the health of the organization over both the short- and long-term

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Unlocking the Power of Collaboration: The Advantages of Purple Teaming

Purple teaming offers the same benefits of red teaming/blue teaming. In short, it allows organizations to actively test their existing cyber defenses and capabilities in a low-risk environment. Conducting a red team/blue team exercise allows the organization to:

Identify misconfigurations and coverage gaps in existing security products.
Strengthen network security to detect targeted attacks and improve breakout time
Raise healthy competition among security personnel and foster cooperation among the IT and security teams
Elevate awareness among staff as to the risk of human vulnerabilities which may compromise the organization’s security

However, implementing a true purple team strategy that brings together both the red and blue teams as one unit, offers additional benefits. These include:

Build the skills and maturity of the organization’s security capabilities within a safe, low-risk training environment
Enhanced protection through continuous feedback and knowledge sharing between a united offensive and defensive team
Consistency of testing, delivered through the continuous engagement of the purple team
Common goals between the red and blue teams