When we hear about cybersecurity, we all learn by self-taught and standalone. But when we get a job in any company we have to work in teams. Teams in cybersecurity are different from other fields such as Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, etc. Because in cybersecurity, there are numerous teams whose objectives to each one’s responsibility is different.
This article will discuss How the red team is differs from the blue team. Two important teams are the Red team and Blue team.
There are three types of teams in cybersecurity:
- Red Team (Attacker)
- Blue Team (Defensive)
- Purple Team (Attacker and Defensive)
There are more teams from the three above, but this depends on or varies from company to company.
What Is Red Team?
A red team comprises security specialists who operate as adversaries to bypass cybersecurity mechanisms. Red teams are frequently made up of independent ethical hackers who objectively assess system security.
They utilize all available tools to identify vulnerabilities in people, procedures, and technology to obtain illegal access to assets. As a consequence of these simulated assaults, they develop suggestions and plans for improving an organization’s security posture.
How Does A Red Team Work?
Red teams spend more time preparing attacks than they do execute them successfully. In fact, they use various techniques to obtain access to a network.
For example, social engineering attacks focus on reconnaissance and research to provide targeted phishing e-mail tactics. Similarly, packet sniffers and protocol analyzers are used to scan the network and obtain as much information about the system as possible before conducting a penetration test.
A red team which types of information finds
- Identifying operating systems in use (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
- Identifying the brand and model of networking hardware (servers, firewalls, switches, routers, access points, computers, etc.).
- Recognizing physical controls (doors, locks, cameras).
- Learning which ports on a firewall is open or closed to enable or prohibit specific traffic.
- Making a network map to establish which servers are executing which services and where traffic is routed.
Once they has a better understanding of the system, they develop a strategy to target vulnerabilities based on the information collected above.
For example, they learned that a server is running Microsoft Windows Server 2016 R2 (a server operating system) and that the default domain policies are still in place. Now, they will attack the Microsoft server first, if it’s vulnerable or not.
Examples Of Red Team
Red teams utilize various tactics and tools to exploit network flaws and vulnerabilities. It’s vital to understand that they will use all methods required to break into your system under the conditions of engagement. Depending on the exposure, they may use malware to infect hosts or even overcome physical security barriers by cloning access cards.
The red team’s aims and responsibilities include the following:
- By obtaining information, penetrating the target’s systems, or breaching its physical perimeters, you put the target’s security at risk.
- Keeping the blue team away. Many attacks happen in a flash, making it incredibly difficult for the blue team to neutralize the threat before the ‘damage’ is done.
- Exploiting flaws and vulnerabilities in the target’s infrastructure. This identifies holes in the organization’s technological security that must be addressed, enhancing its security posture.
- Initiating hostile action, such as sophisticated penetration testing, provides a credible evaluation of the blue team’s defensive capabilities.
Red team activities include the following:
- Penetration testing, often known as ethical hacking, is the process of attempting to gain access to a system through software tools. ‘John the Ripper,’ for example, is a password-cracking tool. It can detect the type of encryption used and attempt to overcome it.
- They uses social engineering to convince or deceive staff members into exposing their credentials or granting entry to a restricted location. Social engineering can be used in terms of e-mail or text messages.
- Phishing is the practice of sending seemingly valid e-mails that attract employees to perform specific tasks, such as login onto the hacker’s website and inputting credentials.
What Is Blue Team?
A blue team consists of security specialists who have insider knowledge of the company. Their job is to secure the organization’s essential assets from any harm.
They are well-versed in the organization’s security strategy and its commercial objectives. As a result, their mission is to strengthen the castle walls so that no attacker may breach the defenses.
How Does A Blue Team Work?
The blue team begins by gathering data, documenting precisely what needs to be safeguarded, and conducting a risk assessment. They then limit access to the system in various ways, including implementing stricter password requirements and educating employees to ensure they understand and follow security measures.
Monitoring tools are frequently installed, allowing system access to be logged and reviewed for odd behavior. They will undertake frequent system checks, such as DNS audits, internal or external network vulnerability assessments, and network traffic sampling for analysis.
This team is responsible for establishing security measures around an organization’s essential assets. They begin their defence strategy by identifying important assets, documenting their value to the firm, and the impact their absence would have.
This teams then conduct risk assessments by identifying threats to each asset and the vulnerabilities that these threats can exploit. They produces an action plan to apply controls to reduce the effect or possibility of threats materializing against assets by analyzing and prioritizing risks.
A blue team, for example, may detect that the company’s network is vulnerable to a DDoS (distributed denial of service) assault. This attack limits the network’s availability to genuine users by delivering incomplete traffic requests to a server. Each of these requests necessitates using resources to carry out an operation, which is why the attack significantly cripples a network.
Examples Of Blue Team
Blue teams utilize several strategies and technologies to protect a network from cyber-attacks. Depending on the circumstances, they may assess that extra firewalls are required to prevent access to an internal network. Or, the danger of social engineering attacks is so severe that the cost of establishing security awareness training across the organization is justified.
The blue team’s aims and responsibilities include the following:
- Understanding and reacting correctly to each stage of an occurrence.
- Identifying symptoms of compromise and detecting suspicious traffic patterns.
- Putting an end to any type of compromise as soon as possible.
- Identifying and preventing the red team/threat actors’ command and control (C&C or C2) servers’ connectivity to the target.
- Conducting analysis and forensic testing on the many operating systems that their organization uses, including the utilization of third-party systems
Blue team activities include the following:
- DNS audits (domain name server) are performed to prevent phishing attacks, stale DNS problems, downtime from DNS record removals, and prevent/reduce DNS and web assaults.
- Conducting digital footprint analysis to trace user behavior and discover available signs that may signal a security compromise.
- Endpoint security software is installed on external devices such as laptops and cellphones.
- Making certain that firewall access rules are correctly implemented, and antivirus software is kept up to date.
- Using intrusion detection and prevention software (IDS and IPS) as a detective and preventative security control.
- Putting SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) technologies in place to log and ingest network activities.
- Analyzing logs and memory for odd behavior on the system and identifying and pinpointing an attack.
- Segregating networks and ensuring proper network configuration.
- Frequently, use vulnerability scanning tools.
- Using antivirus or anti-malware software to secure computers.
- Integrating security into procedures.
What Is Purple Team?
While red and blue teams have similar objectives, they are not always ideologically aligned. Red teams, for example, who report on vulnerabilities are commended for their efforts. As a result, they are not encouraged to assist the blue team in strengthening their security by giving information on how they bypassed their security.
It’s also pointless to “win” red team tests if you’re not sharing the results with the blue team. Remember that the primary goal of red and blue team exercises is to increase the organization’s overall security posture.
This is where the idea of a purple team comes into play. Though it may be, a purple team isn’t always a stand-alone squad. A purple team’s purpose is to bring together both red and blue teams while encouraging them to exchange ideas and establish a strong feedback loop.
Management should guarantee that the red and blue teams collaborate and communicate with one another. Improved cooperation between both teams through effective resource sharing, reporting, and information exchange is critical for the security program’s ongoing progress.
The purple team’s aims and responsibilities include the following:
- Working alongside the red and blue teams, analyzing how they interact, advising or marking any necessary changes to the present exercise, or noting them for the future.
- Seeing the complete picture and adopting both teams’ mindsets and duties. A purple team member, for example, will collaborate with the blue team to analyze how events are identified. The team member will then switch to the red team to investigate how the blue team’s detection skills might be circumvented.
- Analyzing the data and supervising the necessary corrective measures, such as fixing vulnerabilities and implementing staff awareness training
- Finally, get the most out of the exercise by implementing what you’ve learned and fortifying your defenses.
Now, you were thinking which team is best. In my view, each team, whether it is red, blue, or purple, has its own different methods and objectives in their day-to-day tasks. It varies from company to company.
It depends upon each person’s personal interest to join any team.
The main reason is that the whole cybersecurity sector has to learn more about bringing both teams together to collaborate and learn from each other. Some may refer to it as the purple team. Still, whatever you name it, the collaboration of the red, blue, and purple teams is the only way to achieve genuine and comprehensive cybersecurity.
Check this link for more articles on attacking or defending any company from black hat hackers.