Microsoft Azure is a multi-layered cloud computing service that offers solutions through its global data center. With the shift to cloud infrastructure, the risk factors related to identity and data have also increased manifold. Azure cloud security has become paramount to safeguarding business assets.
Why is Azure Cloud Security Important?
The Microsoft Digital Defense Report, September 2020, states that the sophistication of the attacks mounted by cybercriminals has improved. The current news events and even pandemic conditions are exploited for phishing attacks. The report states that by the end of June 2020, 79 threat variants working under the disguise of COVID-19 were identified at a global level.
The malware was one of the most used strategies by attackers a few years ago. It has now been replaced with phishing attacks with 70% attacks aimed at credential harvesting. Attackers have shifted focus to cloud services and are on the lookout for vulnerabilities in the infrastructure. Along with adaptive techniques like morphing included in the mix, detection becomes a challenging avenue.
Azure Cloud Security Solutions
- Leverage Azure AD for Access Control
This is one of the proactive measures you can implement to avoid unauthorized access to privileges and resources. There is no need for every role in the system to have access to all resources. Azure AD is the tool through which you can control accounts and control access at the granular level.
Utilize Azure AD Conditional Access to control how devices connect to the cloud network and interact with applications. You can configure policies based on a group, location, and app sensitivity for cloud-connected apps.
Some of the best practices for Azure cloud security listed out by Microsoft include:
- Azure AD should not be synchronized to accounts having high privileges in the existing AD instance.
- Password hash synchronization protects the system from compromised credentials from any previous attacks.
- Use distinctive Azure accounts, for example, Azure AD B2B for any external guest and Azure AD B2C specifically for customers.
- Azure Security Center
This tool has increased visibility over cloud resources and provides a centralized portal for monitoring and early detection of threats. You can define security policies for your Azure subscriptions keeping in line with business requirements.
Azure Security Center is a service that is enabled along with the Azure subscription. Cloud services, VMs, VM scale sets, and partner solutions can all be monitored through this tool. It uses Log Analytics to procure data from all Azure resources, fuses and analyzes the data.
Depending on the state of the resources, potential vulnerabilities are identified, and security recommendations are made. You can leverage this information to configure and strengthen Azure cloud security for your business.
- Collaborate with Cloud Security Platforms
A third-party cloud security platform helps protect business assets with capabilities such as threat monitoring and detection, data governance, and management. Microsoft ensures Azure cloud security by providing a host of built-in tools.
For example, Microsoft provides Azure AD, which, as discussed above, is a powerful security tool. It is the responsibility of the business to configure and maintain Azure AD and not Microsoft’s.
The underlying cloud infrastructure of Azure is highly secure. A hybrid approach involving the use of cloud-native tools and a cloud security platform can secure your business assets and facilitate easy governance.
Azure cloud security should be a priority for businesses to protect their assets from risks and threats. Azure cloud infrastructure is inherently secure, and Microsoft provides a host of tools like Azure AD and Security Centre for enhanced protection. The responsibility lies with businesses to configure and manage these tools.
In this scenario, an integrated approach of using Azure-specific tools with third-party cloud security platforms can help businesses improve security, meet compliance standards and optimize operations.