What is blue team?
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Published: 18 December 2023
Contributors: Teaganne Finn, Amanda Downie 

What is blue team?

A blue team is an internal IT security team that is there to defend against cyberattackers, including red teams, which can threaten your organization and strengthen its security posture.

The task of the blue team is to protect an organization’s assets by understanding its business objectives and constantly improving its security measures.

Blue team objectives include:

1. Identify and mitigate vulnerabilities and potential security incidents through digital footprint analysis and risk intelligence analysis.

2. Conduct regular security audits such as DNS (domain name server), incident response and recovery.

3. Educate all employees about potential cyberthreats.

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How does a blue team work?

The best way to describe how the blue team works is with a soccer team analogy. The blue team, comprised of your organization’s cybersecurity professionals, is the line of defense for your organization against all potential threats, such as phishing attacks and suspicious activity.

One of the first steps in the blue team’s work, or defensive line, is to understand the organization’s security strategy. This step is crucial for gathering the necessary data to put together a defense plan against real-world attacks.

Prior to the defense plan, blue teams collect all information regarding what areas need protection and perform a risk assessment. During this testing period, the blue team identifies the critical assets and notes the importance of each one, along with DNS audits and capturing network traffic samples. Once the team identifies those assets, they can conduct a risk assessment to identify threats against each asset and uncover any visible weaknesses or configuration issues. This assessment is like on a soccer team when coaches and players discuss past plays, what went well and what went wrong.

Once the assessment is complete, the blue team puts safety measures in place, such as further educating employees on the safety procedures and strengthening password rules. Implementing safety measures is like creating new plays to test out to see how well they work in soccer. After establishing the defense plan, the blue team’s role is to instill monitoring tools that can detect for signs of intrusion, investigate alerts and respond to unusual activity.

Blue teaming skills and tools

The blue teams use a range of different countermeasures and threat intelligence to understand how to protect a network from cyberattacks and strengthen the overall security posture. 

A blue team member needs to constantly seek out potential vulnerabilities and test existing security measures against new and emerging threats. Check out some of the skills and tools blue team members should maintain:

Understand cybersecurity 

A blue team member should have a basic understanding of some of the concepts of cybersecurity, such as firewalls, phishing, secure network architectures, vulnerability assessments and threat modeling.

Acquire operating system knowledge

A blue team member should have an in-depth understanding of operating systems, such as Linux, Windows and macOS.

Craft incident response plans

It’s important to be prepared for when and if an incident occurs. A blue team member should have skills in developing and executing an incident response plan.

Expertise in security tools

A proficiency in using security tools, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), along with antivirus software and SIEM systems. SIEM systems perform real-time data searches to ingest network activity. In addition, to be able to install and configure endpoint security software.

Cultivate attention to detail

A blue team's role is to focus on high-level threats and be thorough in detection and response techniques.

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