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Purple Teaming

Definition: Purple Teaming involves the collaboration between an organisation's offensive (red team) and defensive (blue team) security teams. The objective is to combine the knowledge and insights from both teams to enhance overall security, through shared learning and feedback mechanisms.

The concept of Purple Teaming arises from the need to maximise the benefits of red teaming exercises, where offensive security professionals expose vulnerabilities, and blue teaming, where defensive security professionals seek to protect the organisation against attacks. By bringing these two groups together, organisations can ensure that defensive strategies are informed by the latest attack techniques and that offensive activities lead to direct improvements in defense capabilities.

Purple Teaming is considered a best-practice approach in cyber security, as it fosters an environment of continuous feedback and improvement, breaking down communication barriers, and expanding the effectiveness of security measures through cooperative engagement.

Key Characteristics:

  • Collaborative Approach: Red and blue teams work in tandem, sharing knowledge and strategies.
  • Holistic Security Improvement: Focused on enhancing an organisation’s cyber security capabilities as a whole.
  • Continuous Feedback Loop: Aims to create a consistent exchange of information, where detection and response can be continually assessed and fortified.
  • Leveraging Offensive Tactics: Defensive measures are improved through a deeper understanding of offensive methodologies and potential threat vectors.


  • Real-World Example: After a red team successfully breaches a corporate network, the purple team analyses the attack pathways used, leading to a strengthening of network defenses and user training programs.
  • Hypothetical Scenario: In a simulated attack scenario, a purple team identifies an overlooked email filtering vulnerability that was exploited by the red team, prompting immediate updates to the email system’s security configurations.

Related Terms:

  • Red Team: A group of security professionals who emulate the tactics, techniques, and procedures of real-life attackers to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Blue Team: The defensive counterpart to a red team, tasked with protecting an organisation’s use of information systems by maintaining security preparedness and responding to incidents.
  • Cybersecurity Exercise: Training exercises in which red, blue, and purple teams practice and refine their skills in realistic attack and defense scenarios.

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