If you’re using Microsoft Azure for powering your cloud-based application, your data and codebase are in very safe hands. The cloud platform offers the best solutions when it comes to security.
But, security doesn’t only depend on the platform; it depends on the people running it too. To make your Azure environment fully secure, you need to follow the best practices. In this article, learn about the best practices you need to follow. For more information on Azure and how it can work with third-party tools, visit platforms like https://sonraisecurity.com/solutions/azure-and-sonrai-dig/.
Educate Your Team Members on Cloud Security Journey
As already mentioned, part of the security depends on the people using the platform. So it would help if you spent some time educating them on the cloud security journey. Each one of them should understand the journey they’re on.
Before adopting cloud, educate your IT team on the following:
- How security threat changes in the cloud
- Shared responsibility model and its impact on cloud security
- Cultural changes that come with cloud adoption
Since moving to a new infrastructure is much like moving to a new house, your team should know what to expect and how to operate in the new environment. This is important from a security point of view.
Accountability for Cloud Security Decisions
Within your cloud environment, someone should be held responsible for the security decisions made. If no one is accountable, then they won’t ever be made.
So you should designate the roles for cloud security. These people will be in charge of making the security decision and will be responsible for the changes. Clear ownership of decisions will accelerate your cloud adoption. You can designate a complete team as well instead of a single person.
Assign ownership for the following:
- Network security
- Network management
- Server endpoint security
- Incident monitoring and response
- Policy management
- Identity security and standards
Update Incident Response for Cloud
Incident response is in place to act when there’s a crisis. It’s inefficient to plan for a crisis in a crisis. Therefore, when you adopt Azure cloud, you should update the incident response. Prepare analysts to respond to critical security attacks appropriately.
The key focus area should be:
- Shared responsibility model
Azure is a software-defined datacenter with multiple services. This includes VMs and other services like Azure SQL and Azure Functions that are quite different from the on-premises environment. In the cloud, the best data is stored in the logs of underlying OS or VMs. In on-premises, the best data is found in the service logs or specialized threat detection services. Analysts should understand this difference.
- Endpoint data sources
You should use native cloud detection tools instead of direct disk assess to get insights and data for attacks and malware. Tools like Azure Security Center make it faster and more efficient. So focus on setting up the endpoint.
- Network and identity data sources
Identity directories and protocols on the cloud will be different from on-premises too. So it would help if you spent some time understanding cloud identity protocols for incident investigation and remediation. The identity protocols on the cloud are primarily based on SAML, OpenID Connect, OAuth, etc.
Establish Posture Management
You need to ensure that you’re religiously monitoring the security posture of the Azure cloud. Posture management can quickly identify and remediate security threats posed on the cloud. Thus, it reduces organizational risk.
You need to work on two interrelated parts, which are:
- Security posture management
- Security remediation
To achieve the best result, you may use Cloud Security Posture Management tools. These tools will integrate with the Azure cloud and automate posture management. Thus, you’ll save a lot of time actively checking the cloud infrastructure for gaps and holes in cloud security. This will also keep you compliant with the industry regulators.
Use Multiple Authentication
You shouldn’t rely on passwords alone to protect your cloud. Use the Azure Multi-factor Authentication to activate multiple authentications. This mitigates the risk of a person stealing credentials to access the systems.
You can use SMS-based, email-based, or phone-based authentication along with a password before granting access.
Restrict Administrator and User Access
Make arrangements to protect admin access that can make changes to your Azure subscription. Similarly, unauthorized users can cause irreplaceable damages to the cloud infrastructure intentionally or unintentionally. Therefore, you must restrict admin and user access from unauthorized sources.
You can use Azure’s Privileged Identity Management for both cases. Along with that, Azure Role-based Access Control is an excellent toolkit for managing access.
Inside of Azure Security Center, the possibilities to make your cloud secure are nearly endless. Leverage the tools and functionalities to safeguard your cloud and on-premise data infrastructure. If needed, use third-party tools for this purpose.