What are the best practices for Azure Security in 2022?

Azure Security

Since Microsoft Azure was first released in 2010, it has rapidly grown in popularity, and continues to have robust growth even today. Azure is currently number 2 in the Cloud market, just behind Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s global Cloud operation follows its strategy led by Satya Nadella.

Microsoft Azure is strengthening itself in the Cloud and is becoming the most complete service on the market. So when it comes to cloud computing, a major issue mentioned is its relative lack of security. In this article, we will be taking a look on the best practices that you need to be aware of when using Azure’s Security features to ensure maximum security when adopting cloud technology.

Shared responsibility Model

Cloud Computing providers share the responsibility and this includes the people who are using its services.
The security responsibility varies according to the type of cloud service. Microsoft and its partners will share the responsibility of data security.
The shared responsibility model means Microsoft is responsible for security of the cloud as well as you’re also responsible for security in the cloud.  According to the product type, the demarcation point varies.  For example, with a SaaS app, Microsoft is responsible for operating system security. However, with an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) product, you’re responsible for operating system security. Understanding where that dividing line lies for your Azure infrastructure is a must.
Azure Securitysource: MSDN blog

Now as we have understood the shared responsibility model of Azure cloud security, let’s proceed further.

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Best security practices for Azure Security

Encryption and security of Data

Data breaches are one of the biggest threats to your security posture. Therefore, getting your encryption and data security right is a must. This points will help you make sure you’re on the right path, and applies to any area of Azure that consumes, transmits, or stores sensitive data.

  • Data Encryption at Rest : Ensure that all data at rest is encrypted and securely stored.
  • Data Encryption at Transit : The same applies to encrypting data in transit as it does to encrypting data at rest. Encrypt the data even if it isn’t traveling over the Internet.
  • Azure Key Vault: Using Azure Key Vault, you can manage your secrets, keys, and certificates securely.
  • Azure Information Protection: It’s easier than ever to gain full visibility over your sensitive data, implement controls, and securely collaborate with Azure Information Protection. Azure Information Protection makes overall data security easier and more effective.
  • Identify the sensitive data: It is imperative that you identify the sensitive data you transmit or store on your infrastructure from an operations and compliance perspective. In this way, you can determine what level of security and compliance is appropriate.

Protection of Virtual Machine

  • Protect resources using Azure MFA: Credential compromise can be minimized with Azure MFA. Making passwords complex reduces the effectiveness of brute force attacks.
  • Just-in-time Access: By using JIT access, you can control access to virtual machines based on Role-based Access Control (RBAC) and time constraints.
  • NSG and Firewall: To restrict workload access, use NSGs and the Azure firewall in accordance with the principle of least privilege.
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Secure Database and Storage

An important aspect of your overall security posture is securing your databases. In many cases, it is also a requirement from a compliance standpoint. Start with Azure database security here.

  • Restrict access for database and storage: Utilize firewalls and access controls to limit which devices, services, and users have access to your databases and storage blobs. 
  • Enable threat detection in Azure SQL: Activating threat detection in Azure SQL allows you to identify security issues faster and limit dwell time.
  • Enable Azure Defender: Azure Defender protects your Azure storage accounts from cyberthreats.
  • Use Soft Deletion: Soft delete files help ensure that if someone deletes the file, you have the option to recover it. This will last for 14 days.
  • Use SAS: SAS enables you to implement granular access controls and time limits on client access to data.

Network Security

It’s important to keep your Azure workloads secure, and here are some of the best practices for making your cloud networks secure:

  • Zero Trust implementation: By default, network policies should deny access unless there is an explicit allow rule.
  • Limit the number of Open Ports: Don’t allow port(s) to be open or applications to be Internet-facing unless it’s required for the job.
  • Use Azure Monitor: You can proactively detect threats to your workloads and devices by monitoring your accounts and their activity (for example, by using a SIEM or Azure Monitor).

Final Thoughts:

Now that you’ve reviewed all of these important Azure security tips for the Azure Security, it’s time to take the necessary measures to put them into practice. The fear you might feel about learning all of your administrator accounts and changing passwords is justified but shouldn’t keep you from addressing these issues in an intelligent manner, monitoring them and reassessing them regularly. Feel free to comment or provide feedback on this certainly Thinkcloudly will help you to solve all your doubts.

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