Microsoft Azure Security Features

A closer look at the Security features from Microsoft Azure.

A comprehensive study by LG Networks, focusing on security features offered in Microsoft Azure to Secure Data and Applications.

Before we begin:

It is apparent that depending on the Cloud-based Service or Cloud-based Computing model that your organization has adopted or is planning to adopt, there will be a variable responsibility on who is responsible for managing the security of the application or service.

The Azure platform comes with extensive capabilities to assist your development team in meeting those responsibilities through smartly created built-in features.

Let’s look at some of these Security capabilities.

Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) is a cloud-based IT management solution that helps users manage and protect their on-premises and cloud infrastructure thus making it perfect for hybrid situations.

OMS combined with Audit solution provides a comprehensive view of your organization’s security posture. It comes with built-in Search queries that can be used to identify notable issues that may require supervisor attention.

Security and Audit dashboard act as an interactive home screen for everything related to security in OMS with an ability to monitor all events that happened in the past.

You can also program OMS to carry out an action with respect to a specific event.

Azure Resource Manager

Azure’s Resource Manager as the name suggests allows you to work with the resources that you have in your solution pack.

Using Azure Resource Manager, you can deploy, update or delete resources for your solution via a coordinated operation.

From a Security point-of-view, deployment of Azure’s Resource Manager using standard templates allow for improved security because standard security control settings can be integrated into multiple standardized template based deployments, thus reducing the risk from configuration errors that may occur with a manual deployment.

Application Insights

These are APM (Application Performance Management) services for web developers, they allow the capability to monitor live web applications and automatically detect anomalies.

Application insights come with inbuilt analytic tools to help programmers diagnose issues and to understand user behavior on your web apps. The analytic data can be accessed both during beta stages and after production.

Crashes, performance issues can be easily identified through the data, and you can configure this service to send you E-mails if there is a change in the performance of your application.

Helping with the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of your application makes Application insight a powerful security tool for web developers.

Azure Monitor

Azure Monitor can be used to alert you to security-related events that are generated in Azure logs. This tool offers visualization, query, routing and alerting features for each Azure resource.

Azure Advisor

This is a personalized cloud-based consultant which helps programmers optimize Azure deployment. The analysis done by this tool can be sued to check resource configuration and usage telemetry.

It makes recommendations on the basis of security and performance while looking for opportunities to reduce your overall spending on Azure. Extremely handy for situations when you’re on a tight budget.

Azure Security Center

“Provides Unified Security management and Advanced thread protection across hybrid cloud workloads” – Microsoft. Which means that not only does it provide you security for Azure workloads, it covers non-azure workloads as well in a hybrid environment.

Azure Security Center is the place where security for Azure is managed, applied and distributed across all workloads.

It offers:

  1. Centralized Policy management to ensure regulatory security requirements by centrally controlling all security policies and actions across hybrid workloads.
  2. Continuous Security Assessment monitors the security of machines, networks, and applications to find if there are any security-related issues.
  3. Actionable recommendations for remedying security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  4. Priority listing the most critical threats first to ensure you know what’s happening in your setup.

The Azure Security Center uses Role-based Access Control(RBAC) to assign roles to groups and users, therefore, limiting or granting access of various levels to the user.

Azure Security Center’s Security recommendations.

When (if) potential security vulnerabilities are identified, the system creates recommendations based on the type of resources that you’re using.

For Example:

  1. If Azure suspects malware in your software, it would suggest provisioning of an anti-malware software for clearing out the malware.
  2. If you don’t have a firewall active for your web-apps the system would recommend you to activate the “web application firewall” to fix this issue.
  3. Important security and system updates so that your build is safe from even the newest of threats.
  4. Suggesting OS-based security recommendations.

Resources that are monitored by the Azure Security Center

  1. Virtual Machines.
  2. Azure Virtual Networks.
  3. Azure Web Apps.
  4. Azure SQL Services.
  5. Azure Storage Account.

We cannot by far list the features and properties of all the security-related services that come with Azure, but this should give the reader an idea on the extensive coverage which the Azure security Center can provide, provided that it is setup properly and constantly monitored.

If at any point in time during your setup, you’re unsure of what needs to be done to ensure complete security, feel free to ask our team of Azure Experts for more information and guidance in setting up a highly secure and robust Microsoft Azure server for you.

LG Networks is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner with extensive experience in setting up secure and robust servers, we will be more than happy to assist you with any server related mentoring or setup assistance. Contact Us today to discuss Azure solutions for your business.

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