In the context of cybersecurity testing, red teams play the role of attackers, and blue teams act as defenders. A purple team falls somewhere in between, often performing both roles. Purple teams can also be inserted into red/blue testing engagements to help evaluate the testing protocol and ensure that red and blue teams communicate and collaborate effectively.
During cyber security testing engagements, blue teams evaluate organizational security environments and defend these environments from red teams. These red teams play the role of attackers by identifying security vulnerabilities and launching attacks within a controlled environment. Both teams combine to help illuminate the true state of an organization’s security.
Red teams are “ethical hackers” who help test an organization’s defenses by identifying vulnerabilities and launching attacks in a controlled environment. Red teams are opposed by defenders called blue teams, and both parties work together to provide a comprehensive picture of organizational security readiness.
Breach and attack simulations are an advanced computer security testing method. These simulations identify vulnerabilities in security environments by mimicking the likely attack paths and techniques used by malicious actors. In this sense, a breach and attack simulation acts much like a continuous, automated penetration test, and it improves upon the inherent limitations of red and blue team testing.
Penetration testing is a technique used to identify security vulnerabilities within a system, network or application that could be exploited by attackers. Penetration testing may be conducted by manual testers who employ a variety of techniques and strategies or via penetration-testing tools and advanced, automated breach and attack simulations.