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What are rainbow teams?

Public sector suppliers should consider the structure of their own organisation and diversity when working with others. Here we’ve looked at the ideology of rainbow teams.

Diversity is essential for many reasons, but especially in the public sector where the full spectrum of needs, perspectives, preferences and interests has to be reflected. However, we often see evidence of poor diversity among governmental departments. Suppliers working with public sector bodies have the chance to exert some level of influence on their current working styles, thus improving the work they produce. But suppliers need to ensure they’re leading the way, too! Here’s what rainbow teams are when it comes to working with public sector organisations.


Want to know more about public sector bidding? Here’s our ultimate guide. 


What are rainbow teams?

A rainbow team is a term used to describe diverse teams with varied outlooks on life. Thus, each person is able to bring a differing perspective to the table and contribute to more effective problem-solving. The more diverse a team is, the more solutions and insights it can achieve.

The idea of a rainbow team stems from the coloured team ideology developed by InfoSec. We’ll explain the role each of these colour teams plays and how they come together to create the rainbow team.


What makes rainbow teams?

Red and Blue Teams

The different types of team member are reflected by a colour. You may well be aware of the existence of Red and Blue teams, but beyond this the understanding of colour teams is often hazy. The Red Team / Blue Team approach on its own is a great start but has problems in its practical implementation.

The Blue Team’s objective is to set up the defense, detection and response. The Red Team does almost exactly the opposite; their objective is to find vulnerabilities, breach these and progress. Communication among both teams tends to be tricky since Red Teams usually don’t like to give away their tools or techniques to the Blue Team for improving their ability to detect them. The Blue Team, of course, will try to hide their “weak spots” from the Red Team. The effectiveness of the whole exercise is often limited by the intrinsic need to compete.


So, after recognising the faults in this simplified approach, what other colours exist?

The list below gives a quick breakdown of the other coloured teams to aid in more harmonised working.


Yellow Team – Builders

The yellow team is responsible for the transformation projects performed in the company, and will likely make mistakes since they have other priorities, like time to market and functionality, rather than cybersecurity. Their goal, however, in adding to the Red and Blue teams, is to fix the vulnerabilities pointed out by the red team, while helping the blue team to get the required information that allows them to properly detect and mitigate threats. 


Secondary colours

Combining the primary colour teams means we can create mediators who are interested in the success of both parties.

Purple team members will add value with insight from attackers (Red) but with added incident response and defensive practices (Blue) to effectively upskill both sides and improve security overall.

Green team members effectively act as builders (Yellow) who change their design and implementation based on defense (Blue) knowledge.

Orange team members aim to build (Yellow) based on input from attacker knowledge (Red).


When we combine all colours, we get white…

The White Team effectively exists to orchestrate a rainbow team’s entire process. Since the white team is more focused towards compliance and tends to be a non-technical team, interactions with the secondary colours (Purple, Green, Orange) will be easier because these teams are more inclined towards the organisational goals rather than technical.

The purpose of the White team is to provide neutrality, organise teams, set strategy, perform risk assessments, and monitor defect remediation.  They will facilitate groups to help communicate and work together for the benefit of the business.


So, a rainbow team?

The aim of a rainbow team is to diversify the mindsets involved in a project and ensure the best possible outcome after considering all perspectives. Every member of the team tackles a dedicated challenge with their expertise.

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