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Purple team

(also purple teaming)

Purple team definition

A purple team is an assembly in the field of cybersecurity that performs synergistic penetration testing and vulnerability evaluations. This team merges the functions of the offensive red team with the defensive blue team. By integrating the strengths of both sides, the objective of a purple team is to develop a thorough insight into an organization's security framework.

See also: vulnerability assessment, anti-phishing service

Purple team examples

  • Penetration testing: Purple teams run combined attacks and defense exercises to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in an organization's security system.
  • Security audits: The cooperative nature of purple teams is often used during security audits to simulate realistic cyberattack scenarios and assess the preparedness of the organization's defense mechanisms.

Comparisons to red and blue teams

A red team mimics potential attackers trying to breach a company's security, while a blue team is responsible for the defensive mechanisms against such attacks. As a cooperative entity, the purple team bridges the gap between offense and defense, creating a more holistic approach to cybersecurity.

Advantages and disadvantages of purple teams


  • Efficient: By integrating attack and defense strategies, purple teams can provide a complete overview of a company's security landscape.
  • Cooperative: Purple teams promote communication and understanding between red and blue teams, leading to better preparation for actual cyber threats.


  • Resource-intensive: Establishing a purple team can require significant resources because it necessitates integrating red and blue teams.

Using purple teams

  • Ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the red and blue teams are clearly understood within the purple team.
  • Promote continuous communication and cooperation among the team members to effectively identify and mitigate potential security threats.