When we think of cybersecurity, we generally think of it to be a high-technology practice. Colors are not the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when they think of cybersecurity. This practice, prevalent for years, represents different functions labeled using different colors. From the red and blue team to gray, white, and black ethical hackers, each team is mapped in a multi-colored circle representing various cybersecurity fields. They are presented using primary colors, secondary colors, and white.
In all there are seven colors in the cybersecurity color wheel, these represent different teams, their different functions, and career paths. This concept started with the need to define different strategies for the subsequent team. Like mixing different colors always leads to a new color, this primary color mix also leads to an interesting team mix. For instance, mixing yellow and blue creates a green team who are responsible for the coding, programming, and developer skills (Yellow) and applying the defender strategies (blue). On the other hand, the purple team (A combination of red and blue) is responsible for cybersecurity operations.
All these colors are essential and make for a fully functional cybersecurity infrastructure.
The largest team in Cybersecurity: Red, Blue, and Yellow Teams
Just as red, blue, and yellow are used very often, in cybersecurity, red blue, and yellow represent the biggest in numbers and a significant team in the security department.
Red Team: Breakers.
The red team is the offensive team in cybersecurity. Popularly referred to as the breakers, as the name suggests, this team is responsible for breaking into a system or network in order to uncover potential vulnerabilities and risks.
They use various methods like social engineering, reverse engineering, active directory exploits & regular vulnerability scan to ensure there’s no threat. This team carries out the mock attacks and computes risk before any real harm comes from the outside and sends the detected risk to the defense team for further action.
Blue Team: The Defenders
The blue team and the red team are opposites. As the red team breaks into the system, the blue team does the very opposite: it defends the system. They are protectors, their responsibility is to defend and protect the organization’s assets from unauthorized access and attacks.
Once a blue team gets the vulnerability scan report from the read team, they work on patches for the discovered vulnerabilities in order to make sure the assets are safe. In case there is an attack from outside they are responsible for responding and mitigating it.
The team constantly works on safeguarding the organization’s assets. It secures systems, configures networks, and also performs risk assessment.
Yellow Team: The Builders
The yellow team, also known as builders is an integral part of the cybersecurity color wheel. These are the people that build and design software, systems, and integration that make business more efficient.
They build and make sure the system, networks, websites, and apps are secure before the red and blue team hack or defend or carry out their function. Their prime focus is on responsiveness, UX, and back-end performance. It is made up of security testers, systems admins, and architects who build the security systems and work on rectifications identified by other teams.
To sum it up, these four teams are the infrastructure of cybersecurity. To put it rightly
“Yellow builds it. Red Breaks it. Blue Defends it. Yellow fixes it”
This is how the cycle works.
Cybersecurity secondary colors: Purple, Green, Orange & White
Just as two primary colors are mixed to create a secondary color. Two or three of the largest teams in cybersecurity come together to function as a unit and form the secondary colors.
Just as the purple color is formed by mixing red and blue, the purple team is coming together from the offensive and the defensive side of cybersecurity teams.
As a vast amount of data is being stored on the cloud, the chances of cyberattacks and data breaches grow more sophisticated. This requires a more efficient and time-effective approach to cybersecurity. It carries out both processes together, increasing the efficiency of the task.
In a general setting, there is a huge time gap between builders and defenders leading to an increase in response time. For this sole reason, the green team lies between the yellow and the blue team.
They ensure applications are deployed and integrated securely. It ensures the longevity and security of the Software Development Life Cycle.
Now imagine having a fully functioning cybersecurity team where your organization has no threat from outside. Just as with any self-sufficient team, there needs to be a team to properly train these teams so they are up to date with the current updates in cybersecurity. The Orange team does just that. They bridge the gap between the red team and the professionals building the application of the system.
The primary responsibility of the team is to educate and facilitate interaction between the red and yellow teams i.e. the breakers and builders of the system. The orange team educates the builders on the findings of the breakers discovered. It responsibly trains the members of the organization on best security practices and defending against cyberattacks.
The white team, just as the name signifies, is a neutral team. They are responsible for management, compliance, and policymaking. They are like the judge of the entire system.
Every organization needs an effective management and administration team. It manages security departments, monitors their progress, and organizes teams. The white team comprises Security Managers, Chief Information Security Officers, Security Auditors, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) analysts, and more.
With the increase in threat in cyber security, it is impossible for a single team to achieve a well-rounded secure network and prevent cyber attacks. A lot of teams fail to understand that and only recruit the blue team thinking only prevention is mandatory to prevent cyber attacks. In a large organization, it becomes essential to have ever color to achieve a well-rounded secure system.
Deployment of cybersecurity teams as per the color wheel improves the security posture of an organization.