White team definition
In cybersecurity, a white team is a group of IT specialists tasked with overseeing red vs blue exercises. The white team makes sure both teams stick to the confines of the exercise, resolves any disputes, and provides its own observations once the exercise is done.
Red vs blue exercises are simulated scenarios where the attacking team of cybersecurity experts (red) tries to penetrate a system protected by the defenders (blue). These exercises are typically carried out to identify vulnerabilities and evaluate the robustness of an organization’s cybersecurity response.
White team functions
- Designing a realistic attack scenario, including defining the rules of engagement and objectives of the exercise.
- Monitoring the actions of the red and blue teams throughout the exercise, tracking their progress, and documenting any relevant information.
- Resolving conflicts between the red and blue teams, clarifying the rules, and making sure the playing field remains level.
- Checking if the red team’s attack was performed within the confines of the scenario (for example, if the red team targeted the designated system or used the assigned tools) at the end of the exercise.
- Providing feedback to both teams, highlighting areas of improvement, and sharing best practices. As a neutral observer, the white team is able to see the progress of both teams simultaneously and give insights based on both perspectives.