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Beyond Penetration Testing: Purple Teaming’s Evolution in Financial Institutions
22 August 2023

Author: Serkan ORHON / Business Unit Manager, Financial Solutions


The need to safeguard digital systems and networks cannot be overemphasized in today’s connected society. Cybercriminals and hackers are continually developing new ways to exploit weaknesses, putting organizations at risk. Traditional cybersecurity strategies have evolved as a result to include more proactive and collaborative approaches. Purple teamwork is one of these techniques that has gained favor in recent years. In this blog article, we will look into purple teaming and how it has changed the way businesses examine and enhance their security posture.

Discovering Penetration Testing

Before digging into purple teaming, it’s critical to understand the basis upon which it’s built: penetration testing. Authorized security professionals seek to attack vulnerabilities in networks or systems in order to discover vulnerabilities during the process of penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking. These tests are critical for identifying potential entry points and addressing vulnerabilities before bad actors may use them.

The Ascension of the Red and Blue Teams

Traditionally, penetration testing has been done in two ways: red teaming and blue teaming. The red team is made up of ethical hackers who replicate real-world attacks in order to identify vulnerabilities and evaluate an organization’s defensive capabilities. They take the attacker’s perspective and use their knowledge to exploit holes.

The blue team, on the other side, is in charge of defending the system or network. They put security measures in place, monitor and detect attacks, and deal with problems. The blue team strives to improve the organization’s defenses and its ability to recognize and respond to threats.

A New Era of Purple Teaming

While red and blue teams are critical to reviewing and improving security, they frequently operate in isolation. This isolation has the potential to reduce the overall effectiveness of the security effort. Purple teaming is a technique that bridges the gap between red and blue teams, allowing them to collaborate on a common goal: enhancing the financial institution’s security posture.

Purple teaming focuses on red and blue team communication, collaboration, and information sharing. It incorporates both sides’ offensive and defensive methods, providing a collaborative environment to identify weaknesses, test defensive mechanisms, and improve the overall security strategy.

Purple Teaming’s Key Elements:

  1. Planning and preparation are essential components of a purple team’s engagement. The teams specify the objectives, the rules of engagement, and the scope of the exercise. This phase ensures that both teams understand the goals they want to attain.
  2. Execution: The red team simulates real-world attacks during the execution phase, seeking to breach the financial institution’s defenses. The blue team actively observes and responds to attacks, making use of their defensive strengths. The two teams work closely together, sharing knowledge and insights in real time.
  3. Debriefing and Analysis: Following the engagement, there is a full debriefing and analysis. The teams review the revealed vulnerabilities, assess the effectiveness of defensive measures, and identify areas for improvement. This feedback loop is critical for continual learning and improving security posture.

Benefits of Purple Teaming

  1. Improved Detection and Response: Purple teaming improves an organization’s ability to detect and respond to threats by integrating offensive and defensive techniques. Purple teaming’s collaborative nature means that the blue team obtains vital insights into the most recent attack approaches, while the red team benefits from studying defense strategies.
  1. Improved Communication and Collaboration: Purple teaming promotes improved communication and collaboration across teams. This assists in breaking down the walls that frequently exist between the red and blue teams, resulting in a more coherent and unified cybersecurity strategy.
  1. Improved Holistic Security: By collaborating, the red and blue teams obtain a better awareness of the financial institution’s security posture. They are capable of identifying systemic weaknesses, proactively addressing them, and implementing effective security procedures that encompass all parts of the financial institution’s infrastructure.


Financial institutions must take a proactive and collaborative approach to cybersecurity as the threat environment evolves. Purple teaming, which combines the offensive and defensive parts of testing for security, provides a powerful foundation for accomplishing this. Financial institutions can improve their ability to detect, prevent, and respond to cyberattacks by utilizing the knowledge of both red and blue teams. Embracing purple teaming as part of a holistic security plan will allow banks to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

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