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Cybersecurity Avengers Assemble: The Unique Superpowers of Every Security Faction


Hello fellow learners!

For this post, we want to help newcomers by explaining the different colors and roles within the Cybersecurity color wheel.

When I first got into Cybersecurity, the only technical teams I knew of were the Red Team and Blue Team. These are most popular teams out of the entire spectrum, and they both have their own technical specialization when it comes to cybersecurity.

But what if I told you there were more focused teams than just Red and Blue? In fact, the teams come from the color wheel of cybersecurity, and each of them have their own specific roles and job titles! Stay tuned, I'll explain!

Primary Colors - Red, Blue, Yellow

When you first start off in cybersecurity, it is important to understand that the teams come from the color wheel of cybersecurity. Just like any color wheel, it comes with its fair share of Primary and Secondary colors.

The Primary colors are:

  • Red: Offense

  • Blue: Defense

  • Yellow: Software Building

Each of these teams are crucial in creating a good, secure, and robust organization. We'll explain them further!

Red Team

The Red Team is responsible for creating real-world cyber attacks.

Think of them as the offense team of the Cybersecurity Avengers.

Their main mission is to conduct attacks against an organization's systems, networks, and applications in order to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses that actual malicious actors might exploit.

With the help of the Red Team's attacks, a company can get a better understanding of what vulnerabilities are present. Thus, helps with improving incident response strategies and understanding security gaps.

Position Title Examples:

  1. Ethical Hacker: Conducts simulated attacks on an organization's systems to identify vulnerabilities.

  2. Penetration Tester: Explores weaknesses in digital defenses through controlled, real-world attack scenarios.

  3. Adversarial Simulation Specialist: Mimics advanced threat actors to evaluate an organization's response capabilities.

Blue Team

The Blue Team is responsible for protecting an organization from cyber attacks.

Think of them as the defense team of the Cybersecurity Avengers.

Their main mission is monitor and defend against simulated attacks by the Red Team or other cyber adversaries. Blue Teams help with managing security operations, analyze logs and network traffic, and ensure that security measures are effectively in place.

Position Title Examples:

  1. Security Analyst: Monitors networks, detects threats, and responds to security incidents.

  2. Incident Responder: Investigates and mitigates security breaches, ensuring rapid and effective incident response.

  3. Security Operations Center (SOC) Engineer: Manages and oversees security infrastructure, including real-time threat monitoring.

Yellow Team

Building and creating software is an essential part of Cybersecurity. That's where the Yellow Team specializes in. Think of them as the Builders of the Cybersecurity Avengers.

Their mission is to create applications via code to improve the security efforts of an organization. The Yellow Team's prowess lies not only in the lines of code they write but also in their ability to harmonize technical innovation with security imperatives.

By skillfully weaving together programming languages, frameworks, and cutting-edge technologies, they create software that not only meets functional requirements but also withstands the relentless barrage of cyber threats.

Position Title Examples:

  1. Software Developer: Creates secure and resilient software applications using best coding practices.

  2. Application Security Engineer: Conducts code reviews and assessments to ensure software is free from vulnerabilities.

  3. Software Security Architect: Designs secure software architectures and provides guidance to development teams.

Secondary Colors - Purple, Green, Orange

After the primary colors, we have to take note of the secondary colors within the Cybersecurity color wheel.

Teams within the secondary color field use a combination of skills from the primary color teams. The Secondary Colors are:

  • Purple Team: Red/Blue Team

  • Green Team: Blue/Yellow Team

  • Orange Team: Red/Yellow Team

With their help, they can enhance the communications, improve software applications, and make the overall team more efficient.

Purple Team

The Purple Team is a hybrid between the Red and Blue cybersecurity teams. Both attacks (Red Team) and defense (Blue Team) exercises are analyzed by the Purple team and are shared within the organization.

Think of them as the mediator between Red and Blue team. Their main mission is to is to enhance the overall security posture by fostering communication between Red and Blue Teams, leading to better protection and response strategies.

Position Title Examples:

  1. Security Collaboration Coordinator: Facilitates communication between Red and Blue Teams, ensuring effective knowledge sharing.

  2. Cybersecurity Mediator: Acts as a liaison to bridge the gap between offensive and defensive teams.

  3. Threat Response Analyst: Analyzes both Red and Blue Team exercises to enhance overall security strategies.

Green Team

The Green team acts as a liaison between the Blue and Yellow team. The Blue team does the defense exercises while the Yellow team creates the software. Without a good Green Team, the code that's made from Blue and Yellow teams will be unrefined and will be left with a lot of errors.

The mission of the Green Team is to help organizations build secure software and prevent potential exploits. This is done by having interactions between Blue/Yellow teams to see what gaps lie in their code, improving data, and enhance the quality of software applications.

They perform application security testing, code reviews, and vulnerability assessments to identify and mitigate risks associated with software vulnerabilities. Making them a great asset towards any cybersecurity organization.

Position Title Examples:

  1. Secure Code Analyst: Reviews code for security vulnerabilities and provides recommendations for improvement.

  2. Secure Development Facilitator: Coordinates discussions between Blue and Yellow Teams to enhance code quality.

  3. Application Security Consultant: Advises on secure development practices, focusing on collaboration between Blue and Yellow Teams.

Orange Team

The Orange Team is a liaison between Red and Yellow teams. What is the difference between the Green Team and Orange Team? The Orange Team works by collaborating with the Red Team and Yellow Team. The Green Team works by collaborating with the Blue Team and Yellow Team. The Orange team helps the Builders become stronger by helping them think like the attackers.

Without a good Orange Team, the Yellow Team has limited idea on how the Red Team operates. This can result into them creating applications that don't have any "offense capabilities" involved. Thus, making the app weaker and more vulnerable to attacks in the long run.

Position Title Examples:

  1. Offensive Cybersecurity Strategist: Collaborates with Red and Yellow Teams to strengthen attack and defense capabilities.

  2. Incident Simulation Specialist: Orchestrates joint exercises between Red and Yellow Teams, enhancing offensive skills.

  3. Adversarial Collaboration Manager: Fosters interaction between Red and Yellow Teams, ensuring a balanced security approach.

White Team

At the end of the Cybersecurity color wheel is the White Team. Think of the White Team as the Managers of the Cybersecurity Avengers.

The mission of the white team is to manage and oversee all of the activities within all of the teams. They create scenarios, define rules, and monitor the progress of the exercise. White Teams ensure that the training environment is fair, controlled, and conducive to learning.

Position Title Examples:

  1. Cybersecurity Exercise Manager: Plans and manages comprehensive cybersecurity exercises involving all color teams.

  2. Scenario Architect: Designs intricate training scenarios that challenge and educate cybersecurity professionals.

  3. Security Training Director: Oversees the development and execution of training programs across all teams.

Closing Thoughts

The entire Cybersecurity Avengers is a series of teams that work towards the same goal: To provide more safety to an organization. Each of them have their own skills that make them unique and valuable. No matter what team you plan on joining, having knowledge about the Cybersecurity fundamentals and having skills in communication will help you go far. So always take time to study as it will help you become more efficient and successful in your career.

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