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red team-blue team

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Red team-blue team is a simulation and training exercise where members of an organization are divided into teams to compete in combative exercises. In information security (infosec), the exercise is designed to identify vulnerabilities and find security holes in a company's infrastructure. The war games are also used to test and train security staff.

Generally, members of the security team split into two groups: a red team and a blue team. The red team plays the role of a hostile force and the blue team plays defense as the organization. The red team's goal is to find and exploit weaknesses in the organization's security as the blue team works to defend the organization by finding and patching vulnerabilities and responding to successful breaches.

The terms red team and blue team are often used to refer to cyberwarfare in contrast to conventional warfare. War games function as a means of testing for the worst case scenarios of coordinated, focused attacks by skilled attackers. While testing infrastructure and personnel are common in branches of the military, they are increasingly popular in enterprise, government, finance, critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) and many other security and IT-focused institutions.

This was last updated in November 2017

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