Security in Microsoft Cloud

Publication date: Jan 28, 2020

Last Published: Apr 15, 2020

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Read Time : 6 minutes
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Microsoft Cloud, whose foundation is represented by Azure and Office 365, is a popular choice for businesses that have decided to venture into the cloud to reap its numerous benefits, which include reduced IT costs, scalability, improved business continuity, and greater ability to collaborate, among others. 

However, with every cloud adoption effort come numerous security challenges that must be addressed in order to securely move or extend a physical data center into the cloud. Let’s take a closer look at how Microsoft Cloud addresses these challenges to find out if the company is doing enough to protect its customers. 

Microsoft Cloud Security Products

Capitalizing on its wealth of experience and industry-leading cybersecurity expertise, Microsoft is providing multiple cloud security products to minimize the chance of a successful cyberattack on its customers, and understanding them is key to knowing how they fit into a multi-layered cybersecurity approach.  

Azure Security Center 

Any overview of Microsoft Cloud security products has to start with Azure Security Center, also known as ASC. This unified infrastructure security management system provides the tools needed to ensure advanced threat protection across hybrid workloads in the cloud. 

It helps businesses deal with rapidly changing workloads, increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, and the ongoing security talent shortage, which is making it very difficult for administrators to keep up with security alerts and stay up-to-date with the latest attacks

Azure Security Center continuously performs security assessments to understand the status of resources and workloads, raising threat prevention recommendations and threat detection alerts to strengthen the security posture of Microsoft Cloud users. 

Azure DDoS Protection

Azure resources are protected from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks with Azure DDoS Protection, which is provided in two service tiers: Basic (always-on traffic monitoring, and real-time mitigation of common network-level attacks) and Standard (includes additional mitigation capabilities over the Basic service tier).

Both Azure DDoS protection service tiers include Adaptive tuning based on platform insights in Azure, integration with Azure Monitor for analytics and insights, alerting mechanisms that provide real-time notifications when applications are under attack, and other useful features. 

Microsoft Cloud App Security

Businesses that choose Microsoft Cloud gain better visibility into their shadow IT thanks to Microsoft Cloud App Security, a multimode Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that natively integrates with leading Microsoft solutions, providing centralized monitoring and control for all apps. 

Microsoft Cloud App Security helps businesses discover and control shadow IT in and beyond the corporate network, understand, classify, and remediate cloud-native attacks, protect the information in real-time with powerful inline controls, and assess the compliance of individual apps against regulatory requirements such as GDPR

Key Vault

Recognizing that secure key management is an essential enabler of cloud data protection, Microsoft created a solution, called Key Vault, which makes it possible to safeguard cryptographic keys and other secrets used by cloud apps and services. 

Key Vault can store cryptographic keys in FIPS 140-2 Level 2 validated hardware security modules (HSMs) and provision them in minutes thanks to its centralized key management capabilities. All activities related to key management can be piped into Azure HDInsight or any compatible security information and event management (SIEM) solution to generate more insights. 

Azure Firewall

Protecting Azure Virtual Network resources is Azure Firewall, a fully stateful firewall as a service with built-in high availability (no additional load balancers are required) and unrestricted cloud scalability since it automatically scales during peak load and with changing business needs.

In addition to availability and scalability, Azure Firewall can also offer advanced threat intelligence-based filtering, integration with Azure Monitor, and compliance with SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, SOC 3, PCI DSS, and ISO 27001, 27018, 20000-1, 22301, 9001, 27017.

Additional Reading: Next-Generation Firewalls

Office 365 Security

Office 365 is Microsoft’s most popular cloud service, enabling customers to use online versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote from anywhere and any device. 

To safeguard sensitive business data and meet international, regional, and industry-specific standards, Office 365 relies on multiple layers of security, starting with facility and network security, continuing with strict privilege control, and ending with built-in encryption and sophisticated breach prevention and response features. 

Office 365 users can easily evaluate their security and compliance posture in the Microsoft 365 security center and the Microsoft 365 compliance center respectively. These two specialized workspaces are integrated across the entire Microsoft Cloud, providing actionable insights to help reduce cloud risks and safeguard sensitive business information.  

Additional Reading: Microsoft 365: An Essential Subscription Service

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Microsoft Cloud Security Challenges  

Because of its deep enterprise roots, security has always been a top priority for Microsoft and its customers. Today, Microsoft Cloud is decisively one of the most flexible enterprise-grade cloud computing platforms, but there is still some room for improvement when it comes to security. 

Microsoft has always been subject to lots of malware and identity-based attacks, and the situation is no different in the cloud era. Businesses shouldn’t rely solely on Microsoft’s security tools. Instead, they should take advantage of third-party security solutions to further strengthen their cybersecurity posture. 

The same advice is also applicable when it comes to Azure Firewall, which lacks the maturity of firewalls offered by traditional firewall vendors. The good news is that Microsoft’s developer-centric approach ensures that third-party solutions are always readily available and easy to implement. 

Implementing Microsoft Cloud Security

Microsoft Cloud successfully addresses many serious cloud security challenges and provides a robust foundation from which businesses can launch their initiatives. 

Just like storing money in a bank that has invested millions of dollars to protect its customers’ funds from robbers is superior to hiding money in a dresser drawer, so does Microsoft Cloud offer more protection against modern cyberattacks. 

That said, it doesn’t replace a true multi-layered approach to cybersecurity, one that includes everything from physical security to employee education to disaster recovery and more.   

Work With a Microsoft Cloud Partner

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OSIbeyond is a managed IT service provider and Microsoft Silver Cloud Partner. To speak to Microsoft Cloud professional implementing Microsoft Cloud security at your organization, submit a contact form or call (301) 312 -8908

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