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Cybersecurity

Red Team vs. Blue Team

August 16th, 2022 | 3 min. read

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You’ve probably heard the terms “Red Team” and “Blue Team” mentioned when discussing cybersecurity. Every organization, regardless of size, should be assessing their cybersecurity defenses and security team. You want to make sure your business is safe from attacks and data breaches. In today’s modern world, security breaches and attacks are increasing and businesses don’t have the capacity or right team to mitigate these risks. This is where the Red Team and Blue Team come in to play.

These two teams both work towards improving and ensuring an organization’s security, but in different ways. In this blog, we will discuss what each of these teams do and how they are different from each other.

Red Team: Proactive Experts

The Red team is a proactive group of cybersecurity experts that identify vulnerabilities in your systems. Plus, they also provide expert guidance on regulatory items and emerging threats.

Many larger organizations will build out an internal Red team, but smaller organizations will often contract with a third party. Outsourcing will eliminate the staffing overhead, thereby reducing the total budget of the project, while still receiving the service they need.

Common Red Team activities include:

  • Security Assessments
  • Penetration Testing
  • Vulnerability Scanning
  • V-CISO
  • Incident Management

Blue Team: Reactive Experts

The Blue team is a reactive group of system and security experts that focus on eliminating the risks and vulnerabilities the Red team identifies.

Blue teams need to ensure they can manage security operations across the technology stack of an entire business. Oftentimes, the Blue team remediation activities are added to existing IT staff responsibilities.

This can create challenges when existing IT resources are scarce, and systems for testing and QA are often difficult to build organically.

Common Blue Team activities include:

  • Vulnerability Remediation
  • Proactive Patching
  • System Upgrades
  • System Standard Creation
  • Managed Change Control Processes
What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, the Red Team is the proactive, or offensive, team and the Blue Team is the reactive, or defensive team. The Red Team acts as an attacker to break into your systems and find vulnerabilities, while the Blue Team defends the organization from such attacks. In the event that the Red Team is able to breach the system or finds a vulnerability, the Blue Team is in charge of fixing that exploit and patching the breach.

The Blue Team also ensures staff members are properly trained to recognize security threats and that they follow all cybersecurity procedures. They are instrumental in staying up to date with the latest scams and making sure staff members are aware of these scams and how to handle them. It is up to the Blue Team to bring awareness to security trainings and policies, such as password policies.

The Emergence of a New Team

The Red and Blue Teams are equally important in any organization, which is why it’s important that they work and function together. This is where the Purple Team comes in to ensure that the Red and Blue teams are working together towards a common goal: securing and improving your organizations security and defenses. In next week’s blog post, we will talk about the Purple Team and why it’s important.

In the meantime, if you are looking to eliminate risk and address the overall security within your organization, Guide Star takes a Blue Team approach and we are here to engage with you and customize a plan towards your wants and needs. We will work with you and your budget to ensure protection of your employees and customers and can refer you to our excellent partners if you are looking for a Red Team.