Here is the 101 on the Purple Team

Purple team

Why a Purple Team?

To understand what a purple team is first you need to understand the Red Team and Blue Team.


Red Blue Purple Umbrella

Think of the Red Team as Offense and the Blue team as Defense

A red team conducts pen tests and vulnerability assessments, and a blue team responds to incidents while building and maintaining the organization’s defenses. Blue and red teams are often not well-aligned, which leads to organizations not leveraging the full value of their team expertise. There is no point in “winning” red team tests if you are not sharing the information with the blue team. The main purpose of the red and blue team is to strengthen the overall security of the organization from offense and defense.


Red Team

Some common red team tasks:

Penetration Testing

Vulnerability Assessment

Social Engineering

Blue Team

Some common blue team tasks:

Risk intelligence data analysis

Incident response

Security monitoring

Reverse engineering


Purple Lock

So this is where the Purple team comes in…

A Purple team is not necessarily a stand alone team, but it could be. The goal of a purple team is to bring both red and blue teams together while encouraging them to work as a team to share insights and create a strong feedback loop. The purple team creates a more effective vulnerability detection with a healthier cybersecurity culture. The key to success for the Purple team is regular communication between offense and defense, a constant flow of information and symbiotic work.

A purple team can function as an exercise between two existing teams. Without purple teams’ constant communication, regular security audits, new defense techniques, threat hunting, vulnerability management and development of improved security infrastructure and policies, organizations wouldn’t stand a chance against malicious actors.


Purple bug

Purple Team Best Practices

Now that we have the groundwork covered on the Red, Blue, and Purple team it is time to talk about best practices. The most important word for this success is TEAM! Remember you are all on the same team and you have the same goal of defending your company from any cyber attacks.

Be sure to follow these best practices:

  • Make sure everyone is in the right role – Establishing clear roles and expectations for each team, while keeping communication open goes far in ensuring successful purple team methodology.
  • Never skip planning – Be sure to plan ahead before you start your purple team testing. Start with defining goals and remember your plan does not have to be fixed. Always allow for flexibility as teams might detect weakness in an area you never considered, or devise a threat-hunting model that wasn’t at all planned.
  • Track and revise the process – Track each and every step of the way and assess every task before moving to the next. Going over every mitigation and fix repeatedly will allow each side to learn more from each other, help close any gaps, and allow for prioritized remediation guidelines.

With attackers getting sneakier every day, developing new techniques and presenting more serious security challenges to all organizations, it’s important that all parties work together to ensure an organization’s security.


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