Microsoft Azure Cloud Security is an online platform where users can create and manage their assets through the cloud. It provides services on various platforms like networking, virtual machines, and storage to its users.
The first step for authenticating on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform is using a username and password, which are used for the validation process. Once authenticated, users can access the services and manage their assets. This means that anyone can gain access to the contents of the cloud if they are able to find out the password through any means.
A Microsoft Azure cloud security platform can enhance your cloud security greatly. Your cloud security platform will come with a lot of specialized security features that will help secure your assets on the cloud.
Following are some key considerations:
Activate Microsoft Azure Cloud Security Features
According to market statistics, Microsoft Azure’s market share is 1 percent, but its worth is about $168.1 billion in 2021.
Microsoft Azure provides several security features which the user can activate. The first step in securing your assets on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform is to activate these built-in security features. These features help protect your data and resources from unauthorized access and misuse.
- Azure Active Directory
Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a cloud-based identity and access management service that enables you to manage user identities and control access to your applications, resources, and data.
With Azure AD, you can create a single sign-on experience for your users across all of your applications hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
- Azure Multi-Factor Authentication
Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a Microsoft Azure cloud security feature that requires you to verify your identity by using a second factor, such as your mobile phone or a physical token, in addition to your username and password.
MFA helps protect your assets from unauthorized access, even if your username and password are compromised.
- Azure Security Center
Azure Security Center is a new security service that enables customers to visualize, troubleshoot and optimize the security of their workloads.
The security center helps you detect attacks and provides recommendations for applying countermeasures so you can securely run your applications in the cloud.
Secure Network Traffic
The Microsoft Azure cloud platform provides several features to help you secure your network traffic.
These features include:
- Azure Virtual Networks
Azure Virtual Networks (VNets) allows you to create a private network in the cloud and securely connect your on-premises networks with Azure. You can use VNets to isolate your applications and data from other Azure tenants and control access to your resources.
Firewalls allow you to protect your applications and data from unauthorized access by controlling the traffic allowed to flow in and out of your VNet. You can use firewalls to restrict traffic to specific ports and IP addresses or filter based on the message header or body.
- Network Security Groups
Network security groups are a new service that provides a stateful firewall capability for Virtual Networks (VNet). It enables you to create inbound and outbound rules based on IP address, TCP/UDP port number, and other Layer 3 protocol parameters. You can apply NSGs to individual virtual machines, subnets, or entire VNets.
Harden Your Virtual Machines
A cloud security platform with functional features can help harden your virtual machines and prevent unauthorized access to your resources.
Following are some cloud security best practices that you should consider implementing to harden your virtual machines:
Limit Network Access – Microsoft Azure Cloud Security
You can restrict communication between different components on your virtual machine by using the built-in network security groups (NSGs). With NSGs, you define the protocols, ports, and source IP addresses that can communicate with each other. This helps avoid unauthorized access to your resources.
- Disable Unnecessary Services
You should disable all unnecessary services on your virtual machine. These services can be exploited by attackers and used to access your resources.
- Restrict Administrator Access
You should restrict administrator access to your virtual machine by implementing Azure role-based access control (RBAC). It supports preventing unauthorized users from accessing your resources.
- Enable Network Security Group Flow logs
You can enable network security group flow logs on your virtual machine to monitor inbound and outbound traffic. It can help you identify suspicious activity and investigate any potential security incidents.
- Use Encryption to Protect Your Data
Encryption is transforming readable data into an unreadable format, called ciphertext. Only authorized users with the appropriate decryption key can transform the ciphertext into readable data.
A security platform provides several features that you can use to encrypt your data. These features include.
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
You can use SSL to encrypt traffic between clients and your cloud services.
- Encrypted Storage
You can use encryption to protect your data when you store it in Microsoft Azure Storage. Storage encryption is transparent to the user and does not require special software or hardware.
- Azure Key Vault
You can also use the Key Vault feature of Azure Security Center to manage, control, and audit all cryptographic keys used in your cloud environment.
A security platform also allows you to monitor your cloud infrastructure for any unauthorized activity and take necessary action.