Red Team / Blue Team
Security is one of the most important parts of an organization, and with most vital information being digital, cybersecurity is more important than ever. The parts of cyber security are broken down into teams, with the main two being Red and Blue Teams.
A Red Team is meant to test an organizations security measures, and finding and exploiting vulnerabilities.
Blue Teams monitor and improve an organizations security, making sure all possible risks are known.
Many larger organizations employ their own red team, but there are independent contractors. When these teams are hired, simulations are preformed and a specific contract is laid out to show what is “in scope” of the test. This could be a list of IP addresses, buildings, specific people, or other things within the organization. Red teams must stay within the given scope, going outside of it would be illegal.
Once the scope has been established the team will start mapping out any networks, web applications, employee portals, or physical spaces that will be targeted. Then, they begin looking for any vulnerabilities they can take advantage of to gain entry into the systems. This can include anything from phishing to XSS exploits.
If the team is able to gain access, they will then see what lateral movements or escalations they can make to gain more privileges. They will continue to do this until the goal is met, or they can no longer continue.
Some of the most popular tools used in these simulations are Nmap, Wireshark, Metasploit, Veil, and Hashcat. When the attack is complete a detailed report is made with an analysis of the organization’s security. The blue team can use this report to address any issues or holes in their security measures and policies.
Generally, the blue team consists of the organizations in house cybersecurity team. This team is responsible for ensuring systems are secure and developing a plan of action for breaches. They try to prevent breaches by finding vulnerabilities or exploits and patching them before they can be exploited.
Blue team has many different exercises they can perform to check the health of the network. These include: DNS audits to prevent phishing attacks, footprint analysis to tack users’ activity and flag unusual activity, installing endpoint security, IDS and IPS software deployment, network segmentation, and vulnerability scanning.
When risks are found, the organization can choose to accept the risk or implement mitigating controls. They may also implement security measures to secure the networks/building physically. This could look like employee ID badges, CCTV cameras, and restricted access.
Cybersecurity teams help keep organizations safe from attack, and plan incident response strategies for when a breach does happen. It’s important that both red and blue teams communicate with each other. The results from red team exercises can help the teams to work together to plan and implement stronger security controls.