Understanding Red Teams, Blue Teams, & Purple Teams As A Service

Jun 28, 2022
Graphic Image. Banner text says, Understanding Red Teams, Blue Teams, & Purple Teams As A Service

Understanding Red Teams, Blue Teams, & Purple Teams As A Service

Modern companies are relying more on their digital infrastructure. This brings along security risks, with malicious actors trying to hack into systems and stealing valuable data. Most organizations use Blue and Red teams; security teams whose job is to defend from intruders and fix vulnerabilities within their systems. But recently, a new type of security team emerged: the Purple team. In this article, we’ll explore what each team does and explore which organizations can benefit from hiring Purple teams.

What’s the difference between Blue, Red and Purple Teams?

Blue teams are defensive. They employ defensive strategies to prevent external parties from getting access to critical infrastructure (i.e. antiviruses, firewalls, security policies, access procedures, compliance rules). Most security departments will have at least a Blue team.

Red teams are offensive. They attack their own systems to find the vulnerabilities of a company’s network and infrastructure within a controlled environment (i.e. penetration testing, threat emulation, threat hunting). This is critical for security as it shows the real strength of the infrastructure, by stress-testing the defense mechanisms the Blue team created.

Purple teams act as an intermediary that allows Red and Blue teams to communicate. Ideally, a Blue team can install defenses, and a Red team will attack them and report if it found any exploits or weaknesses. The Purple team should then review this report with the Blue team and help them define a strategy to fix the issues. This creates a feedback loop between the two teams, so they can collaborate more effectively to patch vulnerabilities and establish a stronger more secure environment.

What is the value of Purple Team as a Service?

When our Purple team deploys threat emulations, the clients can come to the realization that they have some false negatives in their environment. A false negative is where you think you're safe and you're actually not safe. We might exfiltrate data, bypass their firewall or antivirus, or demonstrate how the organization could get infected with ransomware, despite the client spending millions of dollars on digital infrastructure and security measurements.

“A false negative is where you think you're safe and you're actually not safe.”

By doing a threat emulation, clients can focus on what it takes to properly secure their environment. If the threat is internal, the Blue team can resolve it. If it’s external, they can approach their vendors with the report and ask them to fix the issues. This allows vendors to also benefit from a Purple team engagement. Making vendors aware of vulnerabilities adds tremendous value to a security stack.

Who benefits from Purple Team as a Service?

Large organizations are the main target for malicious actors, but they will have their own Blue, Red and Purple teams. Smaller organizations are generally attacked by what is called “targets of opportunity”. Attackers may see an opening and strike for it, rather than the organization being directly targeted.

Growing companies will reach a point where they are big enough to appear on the radar of hackers, but might not have enough resources to install Blue, Red and Purple teams. These companies benefit the most from hiring a Purple team as a Service. The Purple team will work alongside their internal Blue team to hunt for and repair vulnerabilities.

“Growing companies benefit the most from hiring a Purple team as a Service!”

These companies might rely on out-of-the-box security solutions. But even the most cutting-edge solution needs fine-tuning to work effectively in an environment. The Purple team performs that tuning process, helping smaller and growing organizations to strengthen their digital infrastructure. The Purple team can perform penetration testing and/or threat emulations on a quarterly basis, making sure companies stay compliant with security guidelines as well as safe from evolving threats.

About Emagine IT

Emagine IT, inc. (EIT) is an information technology services and consulting company based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. EIT provides IT modernization, cybersecurity, and full lifecycle IT services to the public and private sectors. For more information, please visit their website at

Erik Dominguez
Sr Manager - Penetration Testing, FedRAMP Team

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