April 19, 2023

Choose Your Cybersecurity Colors: Blue or Red? (updated)

It’s important to test a cybersecurity team’s skills and applications in a real-world environment. Having the best policies and procedures mapped out is a great first step toward building a strong cybersecurity unit, but from time to time these “soldiers” need to jump into action to stay sharp. One of the best ways an organization can accomplish this, in a controlled environment where they can collect valuable data about ways to further refine their cybersecurity, is through “Red Team vs Blue Team” exercises. 

A Red Team vs Blue Team cybersecurity exercise is a simulated battle where two sides work to zero in on the strengths and weaknesses of current security protocols. The Red Team simulates attacks to identify potential weaknesses. And the Blue Team defends against cyberattacks and threats. It is a faceoff between two cyber security teams which is modeled after training exercises in the military. This competition plays an important role in securing an organization from a variety of attacks from ‘bad guys’ all over the world.

Why simulate cyberattacks? 

Not only can Red Team vs Blue Team exercises help identify critical weaknesses and blind spots in an organization’s cybersecurity, it can also be a lot of fun! For teams who enjoy “gearing up for battle” and assuming the role of good guy vs. bad guy, such exercises go a long way to get employees engaged and invested in protecting an organization from cyberattacks by applying experience, best practices, and industry knowledge. Key benefits of having your cybersecurity team perform a Red Team vs Blue Team exercise include:

  • Identifying areas to improve in defense response
  • Pointing out specific points of vulnerabilities
  • Providing the team with “real world” experience about how to detect and contain threats
  • Improving response and remediation policies
  • And much more!

Let’s Meet the Players: Who are the Red Team and Blue Team


The red team is the attacking team and its members are ethical hackers who initiate attacks that are designed to better understand the current state of an organization’s security. These hackers use all available techniques to find weaknesses in people, processes, and/or technology in an attempt to gain unauthorized access. 

The red team spends most of its time preparing by studying systems and looking for vulnerabilities. Typically, the actual attack is the result of long-term planning. After executing an attack, the red team will prepare a report which outlines how they gathered information, which resources were used, and how an organization's security can be improved.


The blue team is the response team and its members are security professionals who have intimate knowledge of the organization's security protocols. Their job is to defend critical assets against all kinds of attacks and to constantly reinforce an organization’s digital barriers.

To do their job, the blue team reviews data to identify risks. They continually evaluate protocols to strengthen them and educate employees on how to follow them. By evaluating risks, the blue team creates an action plan to implement mitigation processes that will reduce the impact of attacks and lower the likelihood an attack will materialize.

We Train for The Blue Team

Blue Team Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand with a variety of entry-level career opportunities. NuPaths IT Security Analyst program prepares students with the skills and certifications needed to join the blue team. NuPaths offers three main courses that uniquely educate and train students on the most up-to-date cybersecurity technologies and best practices.

Students complete 3 courses during the 26-week program which will prepare them for a place on the Blue Team. The Foundations of Information Technology course focus on the basics of computer hardware, software, mobile computing, networking, troubleshooting, and emerging technologies. This also provides students with a working knowledge of all pieces of an organization’s networking systems.

The Windows Server Administration Fundamentals course combines networking and server administration concepts for broad knowledge and skills in network installation, maintenance, and security. And finally, the IT Security Operations course addresses the vital fundamentals of security to support the principles of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Students will learn the fundamental security skills needed to get their start on the blue team.

The Blue Team Needs You!

Do you love fighting to defend the “good” guy? Are you energized by the thought of having a career where you get to think quickly and critically to solve real-world problems for organizations through technology? If so, the Blue Team needs you! 

Best of all, this career option is affordable and accessible with no prior experience needed. Training courses, like those offered through NuPaths, are easy to enroll in and offer the flexibility of evening classes through both online and in-person learning environments. In just mere weeks, you will gain hands-on, real-world experience that can be immediately applied toward a fulfilling career in cybersecurity. 

And NuPaths is here to help you every step of the way! Reach out to one of our student success coordinators today to learn more about upcoming courses as well as how we support our students in their job search. Simply put, NuPaths is on the Blue Team and we want to support “the good guys” by growing your career!

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