Cybersecurity has several colors associated with different aspects, mainly aiming to represent the diverse teams and terminologies associated with them. It is critical to work in teams for optimal strength for the sake of an organization’s security, which is why when it comes to cybersecurity, most organizations have already set up the red team vs. blue team perspectives.
The InfoSec color wheel is a concept that represents both primary and secondary color teams, the jobs they perform, and the benefits that come from combining different perspectives. In this article, we will talk about the infosec color wheel and the various exercises each team performs. Let’s begin by understanding what the InfoSec color wheel is all about.
What is the InfoSec color wheel?
Basically a multicolored circle, the InfoSec color wheel is an expansion of the cybersecurity color wheel that represents the different fields in cybersecurity. The InfoSec color wheel calls for information security teams and software development teams to collaborate and bridge the gap between development and security.
Through the InfoSec color wheel exercises, developed products come with superior built-in protective features that protect against unauthorized intrusions.
The primary colors in the wheel are red, blue, and yellow. The secondary colors in the wheel are purple, orange, and green. Additionally, there is also a white team. Each color represents a different team that performs exercises to facilitate the operations of another team. In simpler terms, it enhances collaborations for better outcomes.
What are the roles and responsibilities of different colors in the InfoSec wheel?
The idea behind different colors in the InfoSec wheel is to enhance collaborations and involve security throughout the development process. Here are the roles and responsibilities of different colors in the InfoSec wheel:
- The Red Team
The red team consists of security specialists who perform offensive security as ethical hackers. They resort to various techniques in order to find flaws and loopholes in a product or process from which unauthorized access to the network can be achieved. Its primary purpose is to evaluate security in order to strengthen it. Its responsibilities are:
- Determining targets and exploring them.
- Exploiting weaknesses.
- Extracting information by breaking in and invading systems.
- Performing penetration testing.
- Avoiding getting caught by the blue team.
- Developing reports and making recommendations for security improvements.
Activities performed by red teams are:
- Card cloning
- Employee communication interception
- Social engineering through phishing
- Penetration testing
Red team specialists can be called as ethical hackers or vulnerability specialists.
- The Blue Team
The blue team consists of security professionals responsible for developing and executing preventive mechanisms against all insecure and unauthorized intrusions. It includes professionals who defend and prevent attacks by threat actors. Its responsibilities and activities are:
- Defending against real threats.
- Defending against the red team.
- Performing incident response in case a red team attack is successful.
- Carrying out DNS assessments.
- Continuously strengthening the organizational digital security infrastructure and identifying possible attacks with programs like Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS).
- Managing firewall controls and end-point software for workstation protection.
- Conducting footprint analysis for breach identification.
Consisting of defenders, the blue team defends the organization from threats and red team activities.
- The Yellow Team
The yellow team consists of “builders” or developers. They build systems, networks, apps, and websites, test them, and then deploy them for the red team and blue team to continue with their activities. Some responsibilities of the yellow team are:
- Security testing.
- Carrying out of operations by system admins and security architects.
- Building secure systems.
- Making changes identified by other teams.
- Developing, testing, and deploying software.
The yellow team is responsible for creating the system where the red and blue teams will perform their roles and responsibilities.
- The Purple Team
The purple team consists of both offensive and defensive cybersecurity professionals who perform the responsibilities of both red and blue teams as a combination. The purple team carries out both processes together, i.e., carrying out an attack and then patching it. In the process, it integrates knowledge gained from the red and blue team activities. As a result, it tends to be a time-effective and efficient approach to cybersecurity.
- The Green Team
The green team is responsible for bridging the gap between the yellow team and the blue team. It brings together the builders and the defenders, thus majorly consisting of DevSecOps engineers. They ensure the deployment and secure integration of applications along with the security of the Software Development Life Cycle. Based on learnings from the blue team, the green team improves the code originally developed by the yellow team.
- The Orange Team
The orange team bridges the gap between the red team and the yellow team, thus bringing the attackers and the developers together. By facilitating interactions between the red team and the yellow team, the orange team educates the developers about the system vulnerabilities discovered during penetration tests. Additionally, the orange team is also responsible for training the organization’s workforce about best security practices and protection against cyberattacks.
- The White Team
As a neutral team, the white team consists mainly of managers and compliance analysts. It is responsible for policy-making, compliance adherence, and management of the security departments. It majorly consists of Chief Information Security Officers, Security Auditors & Managers, and GRC (Governance, Risk, Compliance) Analysts.
If you look at the fundamental groundwork, effective cybersecurity is nothing but an intricate web of devoted teams at multiple levels working toward the ultimate objective of protecting an organization’s assets from malicious activities and cyberattacks.
The InfoSec color wheel, as we discussed earlier, is an expansion of the traditional cybersecurity color wheel that helps an organization perform cybersecurity activities efficiently through extensive collaborations.
Setting up exercises for red teams and blue teams can be done effectively through steps like brainstorming followed by setting up general goals and limits, and collecting data. It leads to healthy competition among teams and strong security received through cooperation and collaboration.