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What Is Purple Teaming And Why does it Matter to your organization.

Who doesn't like a surprise? These days, we're all about surprises.


Surprise parties, secret gifts, getting your teeth whitened with the new Hollywood Smile — it's all about surprising and delighting those around you.


But there is another kind of surprise that has been rippling through the tech workforce: purple teaming.




Purple teaming refers to the "virtual team" concept where a company brings together knowledge workers from different departments/divisions.


I am Nitin Yadav(KD) back again with another write-up. So today we will learn about purple teaming.


Today Purple teaming is the most valuable thing an organization can do to protect itself. It allows your defensive team (blue team) and offensive team (red team) to work together.


This collaboration will create the organization more powerful as the attacking team and protecting team are both working.


The attacking one will try to attack the organization and if any bug or loophole is found then the protecting team will patch that which will make your organization more powerful in both attack and defense.


So let's deep dive into this topic and learn something new today.




What is Purple Teaming?


The work of the purple team is to combine both the blue team and red team together and improve their skills.

Also, it lets them work closely and defend and attack the particular target respectively.


This is vastly different from red teaming, where communication between the red and blue teams is restricted and prohibited during most of the exercise and where the red team typically has little knowledge of the target.


During a purple teaming exercise, the red team will attack a specific target, device, application, business or operational process, security control, and so on, and will work with the blue team to understand and help refine security controls until the attack can be detected and prevented, or perhaps just detected and resolved with

efficacy.


A purple team is a technical team of attackers and defenders who work

together based on predefined rules of engagement to attack and defend their target.


Purple teaming can start very simply with just one member of the blue team and one member of the red team working together to test and harden a specific product or application.


So it means purple teaming doesn't require a large team.


But...


the members must be skilled and professional.


That's the magic of the purple team means you can use fewer team members let's say you said to the best member of the blue team to work with the best member of the red team that's it.


They together will rock.



Many organizations begin purple teaming efforts by focusing on a specific type of attack, for example, a phishing attack.


It is most important to start with an attainable goal.


For example,


the goal could be to specifically test and improve a blue team skill set or to improve the ability to respond to a specific type of attacks, such as a denial-of-service (DoS) attack or a ransomware attack.


Then, for each goal, the purple team exercise will focus on improving and refining the process or control until it meets the criteria for success outlined for that particular effort.


One of the beautiful things about purple teaming is the ability to take past attacks into consideration and allow the security team to practice “alternate endings.”

Purple teaming exercises that reenact different responses to past attacks have a “chose your own adventure” look and feel and can be very effective at helping to decide the best course of action in the future. Purple teaming exercises should encourage blue and red teams to use current standard operating procedures (SOPs) as guides but should allow responders to have the flexibility and be creative.


Much of the value provided by purple teaming exercises is in requiring your defenders to practice making improvised decisions.


The goal is to perform simulations in order to give your team the ability to put into practice those issues identified as “lessons learned” often cited during an incident’s postmortem phase, with the goal of encouraging further reflection and mature decision-making.


What does the purple team do?


The top cyber defenders in the world have accepted the challenge of outthinking every aggressor. Operating an enterprise securely is no small task.


As we’ve seen in the news, there are a variety of ways in which protective and detective security controls fail.


There are also a variety of ways to refine how you respond to and recover from a cyber incident.

The balance between protecting an organization from cyber threats and from mistakes its team members can make, all while ensuring that it can meet its business objectives, is achieved when strategic security planning aligns with well-defined operational security practices.


Before we begin discussing purple teaming and advanced techniques for protecting an environment from cyber threats, we’ll first discuss the basics of defense.



As exciting and glamorous as hunting down bad guys may be, there are many aspects of cyberdefense that are far less glamorous.


The planning, preparation, and hardening efforts that go into defending an environment from cyber threats are some of the most unappreciated and overlooked aspects of security, but they are necessary and important.


It is my intent to provide an overview of some of the important foundational aspects of a security program so that you can build on the information presented to you here.


The intent is to provide a foundation for you to take your blue teaming knowledge and overlay information about purple team exercises, thus planting ideas and providing you with resources on frameworks, tools, and methodologies so that your purple teaming efforts have the appropriate context.



Decision Frameworks


Let's discuss its phases:

  • Observe: The raw input must be processed in order to make decisions.

  • Orient: We orient ourselves when we consider our previous experiences, personal biases, cultural traditions, and the information we have at hand. The intentional processing of information where we are filtering information with an awareness of our tendencies and biases. The orientation phase will result in decision options.

  • Decide: We must then decide on an option. This option is really a hypothesis that we must test.

  • Act: Take the action that we decided on. Test our hypothesis.

The goal of this framework is to better understand how we make decisions so that we can improve the results of those decisions.


A better understanding of ourselves helps us obscure our intentions in order to seem more unpredictable to an adversary.


Purple teaming involves detailed and frequent communication between the blue and red teams. Some purple teaming projects are short-term and don’t produce a vast amount of data. However, purple teaming efforts that are ongoing and are intended to protect an enterprise can produce a vast amount of data.


A communication plan should be created for each purple team effort prior to the

beginning of testing and response activities. Communication during a purple team exercise can take the form of meetings, collaborative work, and a variety of reports, including status reports, reports of testing results, and after-action reports.


Some deliverables will be evidence-based. The blue team will be incorporating indicators of compromise into the current security environment whenever they are discovered.


The red team will have to record all details about when and how all its testing activities were performed.


The blue team will have to record when and how attacks were detected and resolved.


Lots of forensic images, memory dumps, and packet captures will be created and stored for future reference.



Conclusion


The benefits of organizing a purple team test extend beyond simple attribution and response. While starting a purple team to conduct testing may seem like too big of risk or investment, the dividends are worth it for your organization. While it can be a challenge to set up the right protocol for these tests, learning from the results and working towards improvement is something that should be encouraged in any organization. Done properly, you won't find yourself with an easily attacked surface that your business and customers depend on. Instead, you'll have found places for improvement, closed gaps in your defenses, and gained experience in handling new threats as well as refining how you respond when they're discovered. This merits more attention from your security professionals to make sure your organization comes out ahead in this new threat landscape. And I believe that by doing so, you'll be better prepared to face whatever comes your way.


That is it for today. I hope you all liked this one.


If so please comment down below.


I'll meet you in another write-up another day.


Thanks for reading.










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