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Blue/red teaming and penetration test

Blue/purple/red teaming and having penetration tests performed is a way to analyse weaknesses in the (cyber)security of organisations. A blue team is a group of individuals who perform an analysis of information systems to ensure security, identify security flaws, verify the effectiveness of each security measure, and to make certain all security measures will continue to be effective after implementation. In cybersecurity, a penetration test involves ethical hackers trying to break into a computer system, with no element of surprise. The blue team (defending team) is aware of the penetration test and is ready to mount a defence.

A red team goes a step further, and adds physical penetration, social engineering, and an element of surprise. The blue team is given no advance warning of a red team and will treat it as a real intrusion. A red-team assessment is similar to a penetration test but is more targeted. The goal is to test the organisation's detection and response capabilities. The red team will try to get in and access sensitive information in any way possible, as quietly as possible. A purple teaming mission combines the elements of blue and red teaming.

A penetration test, also known as a pen test, or ethical hacking, is an authorised simulated cyberattack on a computer system, performed to evaluate the security of the system. The test is performed to identify weaknesses (also referred to as vulnerabilities), including the potential for unauthorised parties to gain access to the system's features and data, as well as strengths, enabling a full risk assessment to be completed. There are also purely physical penetration test: is it possible to gain access to a compound, building or room? Using social engineering methods and physical means, hired professionals try to enter a specific place without being noticed or captured. A penetration test can be part of a vulnerability assessment.

Related Keywords: cybersecurity, security cyber defense, cyber assessment, penetration testing, resilience, cyber resilience, vulnerability testing, white hat hacking