The Power of Modern-Day Purple Teaming: A Consultant’s Perspective

The Power of Modern-Day Purple Teaming: A Consultant’s Perspective

The Power of Modern-Day Purple Teaming: A Consultant’s Perspective 2048 1148 Lee Kagan


As a purple team consultant, I've witnessed firsthand the transformation and impact of purple teaming on organizations' cybersecurity strategies. Traditional defense mechanisms don't cut it in today's rapidly evolving security ecosystems. Enter purple teaming: merging the best offensive and defensive tactics to create a more resilient security framework. In this blog, I’m sharing why I believe purple teaming is a game-changer, how it works, and what the future holds for this innovative approach.  

What Exactly is Purple Teaming?

Simply put, purple teaming is a collaborative cybersecurity approach that combines the attacking prowess of red teams with the defensive strategies of blue teams. Think of it as a way to get the best of both worlds. The red team simulates real-world attacks to assess the organization's readiness while the blue team defends against these attacks and protects the organization's assets. The magic of purple teaming lies in collaboration. That's really a keyword here. Instead of working in isolation, the red and blue teams join forces, sharing insights and strategies in real-time. This cooperative effort ensures that we’re not just identifying and addressing vulnerabilities but continuously learning and enhancing our offensive and defensive capabilities simultaneously. This approach allows for complete transparency in our methods with no hidden secrets. Unlike the typical red vs. blue scenarios where each side keeps its strategies hidden, we operate fully open.  

Why Purple Teaming Matters

Boosting Overall Security

Combining the offensive and defensive perspectives gives you a 360-degree view of your security landscape. This comprehensive approach helps identify and address weaknesses more effectively, making your defenses stronger and more resilient.

Faster Incident Response

One of the most significant benefits of purple teaming is improving incident response times. When the red team launches an attack, the blue team is right there, watching and learning. This real-time feedback helps them develop better response strategies, reducing the time it takes to detect and neutralize actual threats. Even when this may fall short, the collaborative nature of the exercise boosts the defensive needle in real-time—not next week, not next month, but now.

Cost-Effective Testing

Traditional red teaming exercises can be expensive and resource-intensive. Purple teaming is a more cost-effective alternative because it leverages existing resources and focuses on continuous improvement. Instead of one-off assessments, we're constantly testing and updating our defenses against the latest threats. Additionally, you gain access to a Purple Team specialist at Lares who is an expert in both domains. The knowledge transfer is invaluable. Prepare your defenders because we talk a lot. We want your team that spends time with us during the exercise to skill-up in real-time. No need to pay a small fortune at a conference for a course that may only benefit those who attend. Your entire team spends the duration of the exercise with our specialists, and everyone participating in the purple team exercise benefits.

Creating a Security Culture

One of the most underrated benefits is how purple teaming fosters an organization's security culture. By encouraging communication and collaboration between teams, focusing on the humans and not the products, instructing and teaching how to hunt and defend with the tools at your disposal and the knowledge we transfer to your entire defensive staff, we're not just improving technical defenses but also building a community of security-aware employees who are engaged and proactive about protecting the organization.  

How Purple Teaming Works

Realistic Attack Simulations

We start with scenario-based exercises in which the red team simulates real-world attacks and the blue team responds in real-time. This hands-on approach helps them understand attackers' tactics and develop effective countermeasures.

Continuous Learning and Feedback

After each exercise, both teams sit down to review what happened. We discuss what worked, what didn't, and how to improve. This continuous feedback loop is crucial for honing our skills and strategies.

Avoiding Automated Tools

Technology plays a significant role in modern purple teaming. Automated tools sold as purple team solutions provide little to no benefit, especially for organizations new to this type of engagement because those tools flood your defensive team with tickets and workloads that play little to no value short of just blasting your defensive stack to get a count of how many "stock" attacks you detect or prevent. While this has some merit, it does not accurately represent how your organization holds up against an adversary with decision-making capability.

Tracking Progress

We use various metrics to measure the effectiveness of our exercises, such as the time taken to detect and respond to attacks, the number of vulnerabilities found, and how our security posture improves over time. Regular reporting helps us stay on track and show the value of purple teaming to stakeholders.


Looking Ahead: The Future of Purple Teaming

AI Integration

As artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies advance, they'll play a more prominent role in purple teaming. AI can help augment, NOT automate, attack simulations, analyze vast amounts of data, and spot patterns that might indicate threats – making our exercises even more efficient and effective.

Beyond Cybersecurity

These purple teaming principles can be applied to other areas such as physical security and organizational resilience. By adopting a collaborative approach, an organization can tackle a wide range of risks and improve overall resilience.

Regulatory Compliance

With increasing regulations around cybersecurity, purple teaming can help organizations stay compliant with standards like GDPR and CMMC. Regular exercises demonstrate proactive risk management and due diligence, which are crucial for regulatory compliance. Additionally, a purple team exercise conducted by our experts is not limited to security programs that have reached a post-red team maturation. In fact, with limited resources, our specialists can help organizations complete a real-time boost to defensive posture that will make adversaries and red team assaults rethink their approach. It’s not just about prevention; it’s about empowering your staff to use their creativity and resilience to respond to hands-on-keyboard and malware-based threats even from a low-level analyst position. They don’t need to be your SOC/security monitoring team's most senior members. While sending them to train as blue teamers is beneficial, it also lets them spend time with our specialists who will teach them the technical details and strategic approaches needed to defend with minimal resources.

Building Skills and Expertise

There's a growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals, and purple teaming is a great way to train and develop these experts. By participating in these collaborative exercises, team members enhance their skills, gain practical experience, and stay up-to-date with the latest threats and defense strategies.  


In my experience, purple teaming is a vital evolution in cybersecurity. It's not just about finding and fixing vulnerabilities; it's about fostering collaboration, continuous learning, and proactive defense. By bringing together the offensive and defensive sides of security, we can build more resilient organizations better equipped to handle the ever-changing threat landscape. As technology and threats evolve, I'm confident that purple teaming will play an increasingly important role in keeping our digital world safe.

Empowering Organizations to Maximize Their Security Potential.

Lares is a security consulting firm that helps companies secure electronic, physical, intellectual, and financial assets through a unique blend of assessment, testing, and coaching since 2008.

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