What is a Purple Team in Cybersecurity?

What is a Purple Team in Cybersecurity

Purple Team is an effective way of strengthening the cybersecurity posture of your organization, providing a holistic real-world assessment and effective ways to continuously strengthen it.

Purple teams can use automated adversary emulation tools like Picus to cut back on manual testing time. This approach ensures comprehensive threat coverage and timely vulnerability discovery.

What is a purple team in cybersecurity?

The purple team consists of cybersecurity professionals who serve as intermediaries between red and blue teams. Their services assist organizations with strengthening defenses and increasing vulnerability detection abilities; furthermore they offer insight from an impartial viewpoint, helping reduce friction between red and blue teams.

Purple teams provide an opportunity for both teams to overcome this difficulty through open communication and collaborative efforts between their members, which encourage openness between roles. Purple teams provide the necessary solutions by encouraging open discussion between all of them.

Purple teams play an integral role in supporting communication between red and blue teams while also working closely with stakeholders to identify and address security risks and vulnerabilities, such as IT teams, executives and internal stakeholders. Furthermore, purple teams conduct threat modeling and risk assessment activities for more holistic views of an organization’s defenses; furthermore using automated tools they simulate attack paths and evasion techniques continuously throughout their security posture management cycle.

Purpose of the Purple Team in cybersecurity

Purple Teaming creates a positive feedback loop that drives continuous improvement in an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. Through collaborative exercises such as Purple Teaming, security teams can quickly identify and address vulnerabilities before black hat hackers exploit them in real-life scenarios.

Purple teams foster an environment in which red and blue team members collaborate together on cybersecurity enhancement, without the use of us-versus-them mentalities or accusations of competition between teams. CISOs should ensure red team members do not receive punishment when they uncover security gaps during tests from management; on the contrary, blue team members should feel secure that their test results won’t receive a “fail” grade from them.

Purple teams are responsible for reviewing and improving an organization’s security policies. Their expertise allows them to align security measures with business goals, thus lowering cyberattack risk. Furthermore, purple teams provide incident response exercises for improved detection and mitigation of threats; and utilize tools like Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) for adversary emulations on demand in order to test defensive capabilities against continually shifting threat landscapes.

Benefits of purple teaming

Purple teaming is an efficient way to validate controls, test incident response procedures and assess vulnerabilities within an organization’s cybersecurity posture and prevent real-world attacks. By regularly conducting such engagements, organizations can enhance their overall cybersecurity posture and avoid real threats.

Successful purple team exercises depend on clear communication and cooperation among teams, creating an atmosphere in which both can freely share insights, questions, and information with one another. Engaging skilled professionals for these exercises ensures realistic testing conditions as well as productive collaboration.

Purple teaming helps break the “us-versus-them” mindset that exists between red and blue teams by encouraging collaboration through threat modeling and tabletop exercises, which allow both groups to understand potential attack paths, prioritize vulnerabilities and eliminate resentments between red and blue teams while working toward strengthening security for the organization as a common goal. By addressing critical vulnerabilities early, purple teaming also helps reduce organizational risk while meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

1. Strengthening overall cybersecurity faster

Purple teaming seeks to enhance overall cybersecurity by creating a collaborative bridge between red and blue teams, enabling both parties to share feedback in an efficient manner that ultimately boosts security posture within an organization.

Purple teaming’s success lies in its combination of members from both teams working collaboratively together, pooling skills such as penetration testing and incident response expertise. Furthermore, this process requires a structured training approach with emphasis placed upon shared knowledge and understanding between all involved.

While not replacing traditional red and blue teams, purple teaming can be an indispensable addition to any cyber defense strategy. By encouraging both sides to collaborate on performance evaluation and learn from one another’s work, organizations can more quickly identify vulnerabilities within their security infrastructure, optimize investments in defensive measures and quickly mitigate threats. Implementing purple team exercises using cloud-based breach and attack simulation (BAS) allows an organization to continuously test security controls against simulated attacks.

2. Improving the ability to detect vulnerabilities

Purple teaming offers several distinct advantages for organizations. Red and blue teams can collaborate on simulating attacks while sharing insights into effective defense techniques – which ultimately leads to improvements in vulnerability management, threat hunting and building security infrastructure.

Red and blue teams may seem straightforward enough; however, their implementation in a large organization with multiple teams and departments may prove more complicated than anticipated. Ideally, the purple team should bring together cybersecurity professionals from various departments; such as penetration testers and incident response engineers on one side and CTI analysts, DFIR teams, software engineering on another – for optimal success in terms of security management.

Purple teaming doesn’t aim to replace red or blue teams; rather, its purpose is to establish an umbrella framework for threat-informed security that spans these distinct functions. Cyber attack simulation platforms and ranges play an integral part here by providing the environment required to run mock attacks in collaboration between red and blue teams.

3. Works for many different kinds of organization

Purple teaming can benefit a wide variety of organizations. Cybersecurity teams may employ it to bolster overall defenses or identify and address specific vulnerabilities; similarly, training staff on security awareness could use purple teams.

Purple teams use real-world attack techniques to assess an organization’s cyber resilience. This assessment is essential in identifying security weaknesses, adhering to regulatory requirements, and strengthening an organization’s overall security posture.

An effective Purple Team engagement requires strong collaboration and communication between red and blue teams, rather than competition between them. The objective is not to “win” an exercise but rather understand and learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses – creating an ongoing feedback loop where red team attacks adapt based on improvements from blue team, ultimately leading to improved overall cybersecurity posture and providing value addition to any organization’s security posture. That is why working with an experienced partner who has successfully run Purple Team engagements is so valuable.

4. Continuous feedback

Purple teaming gives organizations an effective way to evaluate their defenses using realistic scenarios, providing financial institutions with a means to analyze how attacks unfold, identify vulnerabilities, and strengthen detection and response capacities.

Purple teaming’s success depends on establishing an ongoing dialogue between red and blue teams. To facilitate this dialogue, bringing in an independent observer can help monitor how teams interact while providing valuable feedback on performance. Involvement from CISOs also plays a vital role here – encouraging teams to embrace this new process and work collectively as one team.

Purple teaming requires cooperation between all aspects of testing – from planning through execution. This ensures all gaps and vulnerabilities in an organization’s cybersecurity posture are discovered, while simultaneously discouraging reliance on past successes for defence purposes. Purple teams should view assessments as opportunities to constantly strengthen security measures as this step will contribute to creating a threat-informed defense strategy.

5. Creativity and innovation

Purple teaming provides an opportunity for creative and innovative approaches when it comes to finding new attack vectors that the defense can exploit. When finding these gaps, red and blue teams must collaborate closely to gain an understanding of what attackers are doing and why.

This allows them to quickly identify an attack and quickly take steps to address it, while strengthening overall resilience against cyber attacks – something every business strives for and needs.

Purple teams typically comprise both offensive (red) and defensive information security practitioners – such as detection engineers, SOC analysts, digital forensics/incidental response (DFIR) teams or managed service providers (MSSP), though anyone is welcome to take part. Purple teaming’s beauty lies in its accessibility; anyone interested can participate. Ideally, more people join in to break down barriers and reduce siloed mentalities; the goal being increasing collaboration and knowledge sharing for increased overall infosec posture within an organization.

Purple Teaming has gained popularity due to the many advantages it can provide both sides of security. Red teams gain insight into where they’re being detected while blue teams benefit from learning from their adversaries’ experience.

Purple exercises also encourage teamwork by eliminating any adversarial rivalries that exist among red and blue teams, leading to improved knowledge sharing and reduced time to remediation.

Purple team exercises and activities

Purple team exercises provide an invaluable way of evaluating an organization’s cyber resilience when under attack, with people, processes and technology all being evaluated simultaneously. By simulating attacks in real time they identify vulnerabilities which could be exploited by adversaries to bypass security controls; additionally they help develop and prioritize remediation strategies.

Purple teaming’s objective is to decrease an organization’s attack surface and enhance its overall cybersecurity posture through an iterative exercise involving red and blue teams, where red simulates attacks while blue evaluates and discusses possible solutions to vulnerabilities discovered.

Establishing frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK into purple team exercises is critical for accurate testing and productive collaboration, while encouraging open dialogue and knowledge exchange between red and blue teams throughout their engagement process. This will enable both groups to learn from one another while building a more coordinated and efficient defense, as well as identify any gaps or weaknesses they may have overlooked.

Purple team best practices

Purple teaming refers to an approach in which red and blue teams combine their expertise, merging their respective strengths together in order to provide organizations with greater protection from attacks by evaluating vulnerabilities and building up fortresses of security.

Purple teaming offers several distinct advantages. Chief among them is providing an ongoing feedback loop to enable teams to continuously enhance their defensive capabilities. This is accomplished via a collaborative approach where red and blue teams work closely together, sharing knowledge and insight for improving an organization’s cybersecurity posture.

Purple teaming’s success also depends on the quality and depth of information shared among teams, unlike traditional penetration testing which often occurs in silos. Instead, purple teaming calls for more collaborative environments – tabletop exercises or collaborative sessions using cyber attack simulation platforms may provide this space – so red and blue teams can work more closely together as both collaborate in real-time to simulate attacks while simultaneously identifying weaknesses within an organization and developing solutions to strengthen defenses through threat-informed security.

1. Plan and scope thoroughly

At the outset of an exercise, it is critical that purple team leaders establish clear goals and activities to achieve. This enables teams to concentrate their efforts on activities that provide maximum value while eliminating wasted time; depending on their objectives, this may include identifying vulnerabilities, validating controls, testing incident response protocols or conducting an analysis of adversary techniques.

As exercises progress, it’s not unusual to discover new actions or findings not initially planned for. This provides an excellent opportunity for red and blue teams to collaborate on learning from each other while improving the process by incorporating insights from those experiences into future exercises. Furthermore, discovering new attacks or tactics may prompt additional tests that enable red and blue teams to collaborate on defense methods against those methods.

Purple teaming can be an effective tool for organizations looking to strengthen their security posture and combat cybersecurity threats, but effective implementation requires careful planning and execution. By following a few key best practices, organizations can maximize its benefits while also seeing real results in terms of improved security posture.

2. Get the right people

Purple teaming can be an invaluable asset to any organization looking to enhance its cybersecurity posture. By combining elements from both red and blue teams into one integrated strategy, purple teams leverage threat modeling platforms with automated testing solutions in order to develop an informed defense against threats.

Purple teaming requires strong communication and collaboration between both teams, which may prove challenging when red and blue teams operate from different departments within an organization. CISOs must foster an atmosphere of open dialogue among both groups to ensure everyone stays on the same page.

LRQA Nettitude’s Purple Team engagements serve to bridge the divide between offensive and defensive security functions, providing invaluable feedback from experienced third-party experts that can be applied directly to an organization’s security measures and processes. By employing an objective threat modeling approach and automation techniques, our services may lead to improved security outcomes such as reduced attack surface. If you would like more information about our Purple Team services, reach out today – one of our consultants would be delighted to assist in selecting an engagement model suitable for your company!

3. Track and revise the process

Purple teaming is a means for red and blue teams to collaborate to strengthen security posture, by eliminating silos that form from specialists working within discrete, uncoordinated teams. Collaboration results in better and more comprehensive results than either could achieve on its own.

Samuel Rossier, a security engineer and author of The Defensive Cyber Operations Manual, has seen organizations struggle with starting purple team initiatives. According to Rossier, one key issue lies in making sure both teams have enough time and energy available for participation – otherwise people working on purple team exercises may become overwhelmed with other day-to-day tasks and be too busy participating.

Other challenges associated with purple teaming may include unclear goals and scope, insufficient leadership support and automation tools like Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) which automate testing and evaluation processes to prevent last-minute exercises while identifying any gaps and remedying them in a timely fashion. Rossier suggests establishing clear KPIs and metrics for purple teaming, along with using Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) tools like Breach and Attack Simulation for testing and evaluation to address such problems. To address them all more efficiently Rossier suggests setting KPIs/metrics/metrics against which challenges can arise; to address such problems he advises setting clear KPIs/metrics/metrics while using Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) tools to automate this process as well. To address them Rossier suggests using Breach and Attack Simulation to automate testing and evaluation and testing so as to eliminate any ad hoc exercises while quickly identifying and remedying gaps quickly to eliminate unnecessary exercises while making gaps visible and remedied quickly before becoming apparent.

4. Document and report

Purple teaming provides red and blue teams an effective means of learning from one another, providing mutual knowledge transfer that can enhance both skill sets. Furthermore, this approach can also help them better understand and empathize with one another more readily as well as accelerating timeframes between identifying security weaknesses and taking necessary actions to remedy them.

For maximum effectiveness of purple teaming, it’s vital that results are documented and reported on. This allows red and blue teams to explore findings and identify areas for improvement while giving both groups the chance to present progress to executives – which can prove extremely valuable for organizations.

Cloud Range’s Cyber Range can assist organizations in automating security testing and reducing manual effort and risk. Furthermore, this platform provides organizations with a continuous window into organizational defense by helping identify vulnerabilities more frequently than traditional red and blue team exercises, thus helping avoid critical gaps which attackers could exploit during time between purple team exercises.

5. collaboration and effective communication

Organizations often rely on red and blue teams as part of a comprehensive approach to discovering infrastructure vulnerabilities and countering cyber threats, yet often experience difficulties reconciling this adversarial relationship between teams. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to disconnection; therefore making bridging it harder than expected.

Collaboration and effective communication are essential in order to bridge this gulf between red and blue teams, helping builder (yellow) teams, blue teams, and red teams (depending on the situation) collaborate effectively in analyzing potential attack vectors, vulnerabilities and defense baselines – ultimately leading to less conflict between red and blue teams and helping avoid “us vs them” mentality that often develops during testing engagements.

As well as encouraging collaboration and communication, using the Purple Team methodology consistently is essential for driving continuous improvement of an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Therefore, setting clear goals for each session – be they to test controls, validate security alerts or identify and prioritize vulnerabilities – is imperative.

Final Thoughts

Purple teaming is a collaborative framework between red and blue teams designed to strengthen cybersecurity. However, this strategy should not replace an established red and blue team structure but serve as an extension. By sharing experiences with whitehat hackers from both teams, good guys can gain more insight into attacker perspectives in order to better defend against them.

Security communities can use this technique to be proactive against attacks rather than waiting until an attack happens to their networks. In addition, this allows red teams to see how their attacks were detected so they can further perfect their techniques and improve them over time.

Purple teams can be an effective means of improving security monitoring and threat detection at lower costs. Engaging purple engagements enables organizations to maximize return on their cybersecurity investments while creating an environment which supports ongoing improvement efforts for cyber security.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.