With the continued growth of cloud computing and the adoption of cloud services like Microsoft Azure, ensuring the security of your data and applications is now essential. Azure security is a critical part of any business’s operations and understanding what it is, how it works, and what you need to do to keep your data secure is essential.
Microsoft Azure’s security tools, features, and capabilities are designed to provide a secure environment for your applications, data, and services that are hosted in the cloud. They provides tools and technologies to protect your data, applications, and services from unauthorized access and malicious attacks.
What is Azure?
Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure service created by Microsoft that enables companies to build, deploy, and manage applications and services through a global network of Microsoft data centers.
Azure provides a wide variety of services, including computing, networking, storage, databases, software, AI, security, and hybrid/cross-cloud scenarios. It also provides tools and services to integrate applications and data between on-premises resources and Azure services.
Access to a network of cybersecurity experts
Microsoft has a team of cybersecurity professionals that work to keep Azure secure. These experts are part of a global network of Microsoft Security Operations Centers (MSOCs). An operations center is a facility that monitors networks and systems for indications of risk.
If a cybersecurity expert sees a threat to your data, the operation center will work to stop it and provide remediation steps to restore your data. These experts are a critical part of securing data and providing a secure environment for your applications, data, and services that are hosted in the cloud.
More security certifications than other cloud providers
Microsoft Azure has an extensive list of security certifications to help with regional, national, and industry-specific regulations for data collection and use. These certifications are critical, as they provide the assurance that your data is being handled and managed securely.
Network reliability and availability
Network reliability and availability is one of the primary concerns for any organization that is moving their applications to the cloud. However, Azure has a Network Operations Center (NOC) that monitors the reliability and availability of the network and infrastructure 24/7.
This monitoring capability allows Microsoft to identify and address any issues before they impact their customers and their applications, assuring their customers that the network is reliable and available for their applications.
Azure Active Directory
Azure AD is the identity management and authentication service for Azure and Microsoft 365. It’s the most critical component of all Azure security offerings because, without it, you can’t use any of the other services.
It provides the authentication service and token-based authorization service for your applications, enabling single sign-on for your users, as well as the directory for your organization, and manages user identity and access control.
Azure AD is a critical part of Azure security and should be managed carefully to ensure that only valid accounts are added and that all users are verified before they are granted access to critical information and applications.
Azure Security Center
Azure Security Center provides a single view of the security status of your Azure environment and your on-premises environments. It analyzes your environment and provides recommendations for security settings and alerts you when there is a potential threat.
Azure SC uses a variety of Azure services, including Azure AD, Azure Resource Manager, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Cloud Service, Azure Application Gateway, and Azure Threat Protection. It offers a single control panel that gives you a centralized view of your security status and alerts you to any potential threats or issues.
Azure Security Benchmark
The Azure Security Benchmark is a free tool that you can use to evaluate the security of your applications that are hosted in Azure. It provides a detailed report on the security settings of your applications and recommends security settings that can be adjusted.
Benchmark is designed to help you improve the security of your applications and help you achieve the highest level of certification. This is a critical tool that every company should use to ensure they are securing their applications and data in the cloud.
Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-based network that detects, identifies, and responds to threats to your data. It provides an integrated, adaptable, and automated suite of services to protect your data, applications, and infrastructure from cyber threats.
Sentinel is intended to provide comprehensive protection against malware, advanced attacks, and data breaches on an integrated platform. It has multiple services that can help you achieve your security goals and protect your Azure or on-premises environment against a wide variety of threats. These include Endpoint Detection and Response, Advanced Threat Protection, and Azure Security Center.
This service provides real-time visibility into the health and security of your Azure resources by collecting data about the resources and their environment. Azure Monitor integrates with many Azure services and third-party applications, enabling you to receive notifications about events and enable you to take action based on your policies.
It also provides built-in dashboards, graphs, and charts to help you analyze and visualize your data.
Azure Resource Manager
This service manages your Azure resources, such as virtual machines, networks, and storage. It automates the process of creating and modifying these resources and helps you with governance, security, and compliance. It also enables you to apply governance and security policies to your resources, enabling you to meet compliance requirements, defining who has access to which resources, and what they can do with them.
Resource Manager enables you to use the Azure portal to visually create, select, and deploy the resources needed for your applications. It also provides features such as predefined templates that enable you to quickly deploy common application types, and the ability to manage your resources through a central resource group.
Identity Control and Access Management
This service provides identity and access management capabilities for your Azure environment. It enables you to integrate your on-premises Active Directory with Azure to provide single sign-on and enable conditional access.
Identity and Access Management enables you to manage user access to your Azure resources and control who has access to them based on a set of policies. You can also use it to manage identity access through integrations with your other identity systems.
Educate your team about Azure security best practices
One of the most important things you can do to ensure the security of your data is to ensure that your teams understand what Azure security is, how it works, and the steps they need to take to ensure the security of their applications. By educating your teams about cybersecurity and the capabilities that are provided for protecting their applications, you can help reduce the risk of malicious attacks.
Some basic cybersecurity policies are:
Strong passwords: To protect against brute force attacks and other malicious threats, enforce a strong password policy. Passwords should be at least 12 characters, and changed regularly.
Multi-factor authentication: MFA is the first line of defense against malicious attacks. It adds an extra layer of security by verifying a user’s identity, making it much harder for a hacker to access your data.
Encryption: This scrambles data and makes it unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have a decryption key. Data can be encrypted both in transit and at rest.
Access control: Role-based access control limits who has access to sensitive data, and how to set up virtual networks to control network access.
Data back-ups: Backing up data regularly will help protect your critical data in the event of a disaster or unexpected issue, and ensure business continuity.
Regular training: From phishing and brute-force attacks, to data breaches and incident response plans, your entire team should be aware of the threats that can strike at any moment, and know how to respond quickly to ensure the damage is minimized. Regular cybersecurity training, meetings, and data breach response simulations are strongly recommended to keep the information fresh.
Deploy Microsoft Azure and enhance your cybersecurity posture with expert assistance
Microsoft Azure has a wide array of security tools and features designed to keep your data and cloud environment safe and secure – and they are best managed by a Microsoft partner.
Technology Solutions is a certified Microsoft Partner, and its team of cybersecurity specialists can advise you on the best practices, policies, and management to keep your Azure platform fully secure with its high-quality capabilities.