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Different Azure Security Strategies Your Organization Can Adopt

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Different Azure Security Strategies

Application security has become increasingly important as more organizations adopt cloud-computing platforms. You must adequately apply the application development and operational practices used for on-premises systems to those in Azure.

The article will discuss several strategies that organizations can adopt to improve their security posture when using Microsoft Azure security technologies.

Each organization needs to evaluate what security strategies are appropriate for their environment.

Secure the Platform and Protect Data at Rest

The first step in securing Azure is to ensure that you’re deploying your applications on a platform that’s secure by design, including preventing administrator access to data stored within it.

Azure provides extensive physical security options through its data centers, and you can further enhance security by encrypting your data at rest.

Use Azure Active Directory and Multi-Factor Authentication

Azure Active Directory (AAD) is a cloud-based identity and access management service that provides organizations with a single sign-on for cloud and on-premises applications.

AAD also includes Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), which can help protect against stolen or compromised credentials.

Different Azure Security Strategies

AAD is included with all Azure subscriptions and can manage access to both Azure resources and applications running on Azure. You can also use AAD to federate identities with your on-premises Active Directory, providing a single sign-on experience for users accessing cloud and on-premises applications.

Implement Security Monitoring

In addition to the security measures that Microsoft Azure security technologies provide, it’s essential to have a comprehensive security monitoring solution in place that can detect malicious activity and protect your organization against data breaches. It provides several options for security monitoring, including Security Center and Log Analytics.

The Security Center gives you a unified view of your security state across cloud and on-premises workloads, enabling you to detect and mitigate threats more efficiently. It enables security administrators to leverage the built-in intelligence with Security Center to understand what’s happening in their environment.

Log Analytics is the operational data store of Azure Monitor, which can provide you with the ability to obtain insights into your security and availability. It provides a single location in which you can store, search, monitor, analyze, and report on log data from various sources.

Secure Your Network Traffic

Azure has several options for securing network traffic between Azure resources and your on-premises IT infrastructure.

The most secure option is to use an SSL/TLS certificate to encrypt traffic between Azure resources in the same virtual network.

Using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates is more secure than HTTP because they encrypt all traffic between resources, including metadata such as headers. They’re available with all paid Azure subscriptions and can be easily configured using AAD or PowerShell cmdlets.

Another option is to use Azure ExpressRoute, which directly connects to Microsoft’s datacenters.

It provides even more security than the SSL/TLS certificate method because it uses enterprise-grade hardware appliances at each end of the connection to ensure that traffic isn’t being modified between your organization and Azure.

Implement a Threat Defense Solution

Azure Security Center (ASC) allows you to view overall security health, monitor key infrastructure components, provide application insights for Azure resources, and help you detect and investigate attacks.

ASC includes built-in intelligence that helps prevent vulnerabilities from being introduced into your environment by automatically applying critical software updates.

Use Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence can help you proactively identify threats to your organization and protect against data breaches.

Azure provides several options for incorporating threat intelligence into your security strategy, including the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph and the Azure Security Center Threat Intelligence service.

The Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph is a global repository of security-related data that helps you understand the relationships between entities in your environment. It can help you find the potential threats and vulnerabilities that may not have been previously discovered.

The Azure Security Center Threat Intelligence service provides you with actionable insights into the latest threats targeting Azure customers. It includes information on attack trends, Indicators of Compromise (IoCs), and malicious IP addresses.

Utilize Microsoft’s Adversary Simulations

A recent news article reported that a cyberattack against Yahoo! in 2013 resulted in data loss from more than three billion accounts.

Azure Security Center provides you with the ability to simulate attacks to identify weaknesses in your security posture.

These adversary simulations are designed to mirror actual cyberattacks, including social engineering and ransomware attacks that have been known to target cloud-based organizations.

Enforce Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Azure provides built-in Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) to enable you to delegate administrative privileges securely.

RBAC enables you to specify what rights and permissions administrators have in your Azure environment by creating custom roles that match the individual responsibilities of your administrators. It is designed to help reduce potential insider threats through malicious or accidental actions.

Each organization needs to evaluate what security strategies are appropriate for their environment. Azure provides extensive physical security options through its data centers, and you can further enhance security by encrypting your data at rest and in transit.