There are many reasons why Azure is one of the most popular and widely used Microsoft technologies. Software development companies that rely on cloud mostly prefer Azure for its many benefits. But for all of its benefits, Azure demands diligent security implementations, especially when it comes to resources. There are a number ways you can improve the security posture to protect critical Azure resources. Here are a few quick ones.
Using security policies
An Azure subscriber can define security policies for the subscription, and orient them for resource groups based on the requirements at hand or data sensitivity. This is particularly handy as security requirements are different for different resources. For instance, applications with Personally Identified Information require more security unlike a regular application that is supposed to execute a task.
Security policies can be inherited by each resource group from the subscription level itself. However, they can also be unique.
You should take two important factors into account before defining security policies.
- Data collection: Enabling ‘data collection’ for a security policy means there will be regular daily scans of all virtual machines for security monitoring. The feature also gives recommendations to augment security. Data collection also collects data associated with security events for analysis and threat detection.
- Show recommendations: This option is useful when you want to monitor security controls. It lets you choose the controls that need to be monitored. You will also get recommendations based on the security needs of the resources.
Using security recommendations
Security implementation can get quite tricky often. But recommendations in the Security Center can help you get started easily. The tool can also be used to analyze your resources’ state of security. This helps in identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities. It will also be easier for you to configure controls. Some recommendations may even provision tools, including anti-malware that can be of great use. Check the ‘Recommendations’ tile to go through the recommendations. Each recommendation can be viewed individually for more information.
Checking resource health
To assess the security aspect of various resource types including virtual machines and web applications, you can use the ‘Resource Security Health’ tile. Selecting a resource type will display more information giving the user a list of identified potential vulnerabilities. All that’s left to do is to take action.
Backup & recovery measures
Accidental deletion of Azure resources is more common than you think. Administrators often encounter such situations in their career. On-premises infrastructures will generally have backup measures in place. But just in case, it’s a good idea to create a Recovery Services Vault in Azure Primary Portal. This can help if you accidentally delete a VM. However, you will have to define backup policy first and then apply that to the VMs to secure a recovery if things ever go wrong.
Keep an eye on security alerts
The Security Center immediately collects the data and analyzes them before integrating the log data from Azure resources and partner solutions (firewalls, anti-malware etc.). So each time a threat is detected, a security alert is generated. The security alerts will have a prioritized list of things that the user should check out. Selecting an alert will display more useful information on the kind of security breach it was while recommending measures to remediate or avoid it in the future.
Though Azure certainly is a that’s worth keeping, it needs you to contribute in securing it properly. These quick tips do make a difference. However, Microsoft technology solution there’s so much more you can do for every aspect of Azure to protect its resources. But that would depend much on the infrastructure as well. It’d be wise to have an expert take a look at the whole security posture so you can augment the security from all angles.