In the arena of IT and software testing many companies have their own teams, known as the “blue team” and the “red team”. The concept of the “blue team” is fairly simple: the testers work on creating software bugs, while the testers on the “red team” go over the software and try to find and report security flaws. The teams are based around a customer requirement, or a set of customer requirements. When these requirements change or are updated the “red team” must find and report any problems that may arise. At the end of the day, both teams must be performing well, but only one team is actually visible to the end-user. This is where penetration testing comes into play.
Penetration testing is a form of risk management used in the software testing arena. It is important to understand that the tester doesn’t see the program, but instead can only look at a small snippet of the program code. This small snippet may include but is not limited to code, heap allocation, symbols, and class files. As the tester works through the program, he/she identifies areas of concern and begins to try and reproduce the problem in a controlled environment, such as a virtual machine or a dedicated server.
This form of testing is usually performed by the black hat group, which is a group of testers who perform black hat techniques and typically are not required to disclose their findings. A penetration tester should know how to determine if a problem is real or a false alarm, however most modern testing software provides flags for when to enter either safe or unsafe mode. It is important to understand that most modern operating systems will allow you to switch between the two modes, but some programs do not. Depending on your goals and methodology, you may choose to not use VMM to test for vulnerabilities. However, there are many reasons why you may want to, including the ability to automate some of the testing work.
Blue Team Red Team
The difference between these two groups of testers can be subtle; however they both are very effective. The red team primarily focuses on exploitation, which means looking for ways to gain access to the inner workings of the program. While this method does not typically find flaws in the actual application, it can pinpoint issues with the security of the application, which is vital to the security of the company. Most penetration testers spend much of their time looking for ways to bypass security measures in order to get to the source code. In the long run, vulnerabilities found in a single software program can greatly impact its revenue.
The blue team operates in a completely different way. They mainly perform quality assurance tests on software testing tools. If a tool produces false results or produces invalid data, the green team will flag the software. Once the flaw is discovered, the testers go back to the black hat team and attempt to reproduce the defect using the software testing tool they used to identify the issue. Again, both teams try to find the same flaws and once again, each team tries to find a weakness in the other team’s software.
Depending upon the complexity of the software, you may find one team doing most of the work or you may have teams working concurrently. As you begin to develop your software, consider hiring teams that specialize in different areas. While each team may not be very specialized, you can ensure that the job gets done correctly since only one team will be responsible for defect detection, bug fixing, or verification. This ensures your software is developed correctly and releases are released without delay.