How to Strengthen Your Azure Cloud Security with Automation

Microsoft Azure is a leading cloud computing platform with a market share of 15.5%. Like any web platform, cloud platforms are attractive targets for hackers. According to a New York Times report, there has been an increase in ransomware attacks on cloud platforms. 2019 saw a 41% increase in ransomware attacks that are a cause of concern.

If you are an Azure customer, you need to explore different ways to strengthen your Azure cloud security automation.

Using Azure Security Center Effectively

The Azure cloud platforms come with a unified security management system that gives you several opportunities to strengthen your azure cloud security. The Azure security center provides you with tools to manage security challenges like rapidly changing workloads, sophisticated attacks, and security skills shortage.

Automation tools provided by Azure Security Center

The Azure Security Center offers cloud administrators a variety of automation controls like Auto Provisioning and the capability to create security automation controls through APIs. You can name resource groups for which you want to create security automation.

Administrators can specify a collection of actions triggered if all or one configured rules evaluation is true. You can define the scopes on which security automation can be applied, the places where it is enabled.

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Many organizations also use 3rd party security solutions and the Azure Security Center to implement security automation effectively. Microsoft Azure allows you to integrate 3rd party security solutions. You need to choose the best identity and data security platform to strengthen your Azure cloud security with automation.

Here are the features you need to look for.

Governance Automation

Azure cloud infrastructure is complex, and it can be challenging to track the permission of every identity operating on the Azure platform. 3rd party security solutions integrated with Azure Security Center allow cloud admins to map every trust relationship between objects. It also provides insights into inherited permissions that cannot be found with in-built security tools.

The governance automation feature provides admins with security tools to detect different identity risks like privilege escalation, toxic combinations, and separation of duty violations.

The 3rd part security solution integrated with the Azure platform gives admins the capability of customized monitoring and clears views of production workloads.

Intelligent Cloud Security Posture Management

The cloud security risk and operating model spans all resources, identities, and data. The integrated security solutions allow admins to discover everything that is deployed on your Azure account.

The security interface gives you a complete view of all networks in your subscriptions, the way identities are configured, and all types of data stores used in the Azure environment.

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Identity Security

The integrated security solution enhances identity security in different ways. For example, it strengthens the concept of Azure role-based-access controls (RBAC). The security tools map RBAC assignments with every identity. The mapping gives the administrators a clear idea of the permission each identity has, including any inherited permissions that might not be related to the current job role.

The security solution also analyzes access keys granted to different storage accounts and checks whether any person out of the IAM protocol has access to a storage account on the Azure cloud.

The tools give full visibility and complete control over the security of the cloud infrastructure by monitoring and graphing data access and identity and detecting cloud drift.

Now that you know the tools to implement security automation let’s look at the five stages of cloud security automation that you need to focus on your cloud platform.

Monitoring

The cloud infrastructure goes through rapid changes to meet the operational needs. The flexibility offered by cloud platforms is the primary reason for organizations migrating their business systems and processes to the cloud.

Evaluation

The cloud platform has thousands of security components that work together to secure the Azure platform. Evaluate what should be automated. According to cloud security experts, you can closely monitor to get insights into crucial workflows that can be automated like deployments, repetitive tasks, resource provisioning, creating security rules, and many more.

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In-Depth Analysis

Based on the information you collect, you can differentiate risks on a severity basis like low, medium, and high-risk. You can follow the policy of automating the low-risk processes initially, see how it affects the operation, and then move towards automating medium-risk processes.

Reporting

After implementing security automation, you need to focus on getting the resulting analysis. The security systems should generate a detailed overview report that shows you what things have changed before and after implementing security automation.

Remediation

Security automation does not stop at automating complex and simple workflows. The security tool should give you a window to enforce remediation to improve the overall Azure security structure.

To sum up, these are some ways to implement security automation on the Azure cloud platform.

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