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Securing systems, data and end-users is vital in today’s cloud-first mobile world. With information essentially becoming the currency of the digital age, enterprises need to put proactive measures in place to protect access to their data. If you’re hosting your business solutions on Azure, Microsoft has several security services that give you the visibility and functionality you need.

Azure Security Center provides an integrated security management offering that helps you secure your cloud workloads. Log Analytics and Azure Key Vault help protect your data, and Azure Active Directory with multi-factor authentication offers an integrated identity management solution that secures access to your environment.
Azure Insights Series

Protecting your workloads with Azure Security Center

Azure Security Center ↗ (ASC) provides a unified security management service across all of your hybrid cloud workloads. With advanced threat protection analytics and intelligence, ASC allows you to proactively apply data access controls and intercept, mitigate, and remedy any security incidents that arise.

Additionally, ASC gives you the ability to configure security settings to enforce your organization’s policies and standards. ASC also gives you access to its vulnerability assessment service, which you can leverage to identify and patch any potential risks before an attacker can exploit them.

Recently, ASC received several new features that enhance its security service. Improved virtual machine (VM) integration provides a rapid assessment of a VM’s security state, and just-in-time access prevents brute-force login attacks. With user identity becoming a central theme in cloud security, ASC now also offers a complete view of every access setting for all your Azure services. The recent addition of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection has also enhanced the risk detection capabilities of ASC.

Bottom line? With Azure Security Center and its extensive set of security services, your hybrid cloud workloads are in good hands.

Securing your data on Azure with log analytics and key vault

Data forms the backbone of nearly all modern organizations. Azure offers several services and configuration settings that help you protect your critical information.

Enhance your visibility with log analytics

Azure Log Analytics ↗ is a data management solution that analyzes log data. By consolidating real-time metrics across your entire Azure environment, it provides you with a single view of all your security incidents and alerts so you can manage and secure your Azure environment proactively.

Log Analytics was previously treated as a separate service on Azure but now forms part of Azure Monitor ↗. Analytical data provided by this service gives you a 360-degree view of your entire Azure stack. It helps you identify issues such as network anomalies, CPU spikes, and even memory leaks in your code.

This Azure monitoring service also offers AI solutions that help you resolve issues and make better decisions faster. With these insights, you can visualize, analyze, and respond to any security threats rapidly and efficiently.

Keep your secrets safe with Azure Key Vault

Azure Key Vault ↗ enhances your data protection and ensures that critical information such as certificates and system passwords remain secure. It also gives you the ability to create and import encryption keys that you can utilize to secure your services. As applications have no direct access to the information stored in Azure Key Vault, you can enhance your security by leveraging any authentication solution, whether it be a token, password, certificate, API key, or shared secret.

Beyond its secure cryptographic storage services, Azure Key Vault also simplifies and automates the creation and configuration of public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates. With this service, you can streamline and automate your SSL and TLS tasks quickly and efficiently.

Managing and securing your end-users with Active Directory and multi-factor authentication

In a cloud-first, mobile world, people are the new perimeter. Verifying the identity of individuals and services that access your environment is a vital security component of any platform. Azure Active Directory with multi-factor authentication ensures that you protect your systems from unauthorized access and potential compromise.

Cloud-based identity and access management with Azure Active Directory

Azure Active Directory ↗ (AD) is a comprehensive cloud-based identity protection service for your on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environments. And with features like single sign-on (SSO), you can enhance the user login experience while ensuring seamless and secure access.

AD also offers administrators advanced user management capabilities. With this service, you can assign users to different security groups and manage a variety of functions by configuring and applying custom security policies. AD also gives you the ability to federate your identity solution and provide your partners and customers with secure access to your internal systems.

Ensuring secure access with multi-factor authentication

A username and password combination is the primary authentication mechanism that verifies the identity of a user. However, single-password authentication solutions are not secure and do not provide an adequate defense against today’s sophisticated attacks. Users often recycle the same password across multiple systems or choose passwords that are easy to guess. Hackers take advantage of these poor password hygiene practices and use automated tools that can compromise systems in minutes.

By requiring a user to submit an additional verification factor during the login process, multi-factor authentication ↗ (MFA) mitigates the risk of password attacks and protects the identity of your users. You can even leverage this service to provide your users with a password-free login experience ↗ using the Microsoft Authenticator app.

As you have seen, Azure Security Center is effective at protecting workloads, data, and end-users. Learn more ↗ about how you could be building your Azure offering to take advantage of this fast-growing market.

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb