In recent times, remote working has become the new normal. The cloud environment offers the flexibility to organizations to make their operations and services available irrespective of their employees or customers. The flexibility brings along its own set of security challenges. Microsoft Azure offers built-in security controls to manage and protect your business assets.
To further strengthen Azure cloud security, you should explore the option of third-party security solutions like https://sonraisecurity.com/solutions/azure-and-sonrai-dig/.
These solutions could help you gain visibility over the system, identify threats or vulnerabilities beforehand, remediate, and put preventive policies in place to avoid risk creation.
Here is a look at some of the best practices you need to implement for Azure cloud security.
Utilize Azure AD for Identity and Access Management
With Azure AD, you move away from the traditional security approach of guarding the fences around the system. You turn your attention and focus on the identities available inside the cloud environment.
Using Azure AD, you can assign identities in the system, control what these identities are accessing, and detect any deviations from the assigned level or privileges. In a hybrid cloud infrastructure, it is recommended that a centralized Azure AD instance be used for on-premise and cloud to reduce potential security risks and human errors.
Some of the best practices for Azure AD as listed by Microsoft are:
- Use the right variant of Azure AD to authenticate employees, guests, and external partners.
- Use password hash synchronization to avoid unauthorized access from leaked usernames and passwords.
- Security controls should be focused around user and service identities.
Ensure a Password Management Policy is in Place
According to the Microsoft Digital Defense Report, credential harvesting was one of the most used attack techniques by cybercriminals. For this reason alone, you need to have a strong password management policy in place.
Set up a self-service password reset mechanism. You offer employees the flexibility to manage their credentials. Using Azure AD, you can monitor how your employees are using the SSPR mechanism. You could also enforce multi-factor authentication to strengthen credentials and access to the system further.
Enforcing the Principle of Least Privilege
Not every user that logs into your cloud environment needs a high level of access. A guest user logging into the system has no business with the same access level as your employees. The principle of least privilege ensures resources are assigned only those necessary privileges to perform their task/work.
Leverage Cloud Security Platforms
As cyber threats are becoming sophisticated by the day, it is your responsibility to ensure your cloud environment gets the best security possible. This objective can be achieved by leveraging the various cloud security platforms available in the marketplace today.
Pick a security solution that integrates well with Azure and offers you a user-friendly way to interact with the system. You can gain a cohesive view of your system even with applications and data distributed across multiple clouds. You can track identities in the system, study their relationships, create security standards and automate scans to ensure compliance with business policies.
Continuous Security Improvements
Security is a task that you keep on investing on a regular basis. Run automated security scans, run audit checks, actively monitor suspicious activities, analyze the data available on alerts, and corrective actions taken. If necessary, security baselines should be revised. For repetitive alerts, find a preventative solution to handle the risk at the source itself.
Azure cloud security should be one of your chief concerns when it comes to your business objectives. Microsoft provides a host of tools with its infrastructure to protect your assets against threats and vulnerabilities. Leverage the full potential of these built-in controls by using an integrated third-party cloud security solution.