As a result of more people working from home, many businesses are now migrating their On-Premises IT/Network Infrastructures into the Cloud, namely Microsoft Azure.  While this does offer very significant advantages to a company, there can still be inherent security risks.

To mitigate them, Microsoft has created a new platform known as the “Azure Security Center” that is designed to give the CISO and their IT Security team a holistic view of what is going on in their environment and provide them with a central point of control.  We take a closer look at this in this article.

The Major Components

Whenever a company moves entirely to the Cloud, there are greater chances that they will be using and consuming many more resources than they have had before, for the primary reasons of scalability and affordability.

For example, they could be running dozens of Virtual Servers and hundreds of Virtual Desktops, along with different kinds of databases, SaaS applications, etc.  Also, the company may even be locating all of these assets into geographically separate Data Centers.

Although the tools are provided to beef up the defenses, you still need that extra muscle to make sure that you have the most robust Cloud Security posture possible.  With the Azure Security Center, you can do all of this and much more such as:

  • Launch a complete assessment of the level of security that is present across the entire breadth of your Cloud platform and show you where you stand with a composite “Azure Secure Score.”
  • Ensure that all of the digital assets you have in Azure are in compliance (or on its way to becoming compliant) with the regulatory frameworks such as HIPAA, GDPR, and the CCPA. And, as a previous article mentioned, you can even use the Azure Security Center to see where your organization stands with respect to achieving CMMC compliance as well.
  • For those compute workloads that are made up of a hybridized approach, you can deploy yet another security tool known as the “Azure Defender” to offer more generous layers of protection. This is available directly from within the Azure Security Center.
  • You can quickly create and deploy customized Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) from the Azure Security Center to achieve the following tasks:

* Filter out for false positives so that only the real and legitimate warnings/alerts are presented to the IT Security Team;

* Quickly identify the different threat variants that are looming on the horizon;

* Help to make investigations go more quickly and efficiently by automating the workflow processes.

As mentioned, all of the above and more can be seen through a central dashboard, which is illustrated below:

(SOURCE: 1).

Other Features

Some other great features come with the Azure Security Center, such as:

1. Network Maps:

With this tool, you can get an in-depth visual and closely examine how all of your digital assets in your Azure platform are interconnected.  With this functionality, you can see the overall topology of all of the workloads currently running, make sure that they are no bottlenecks, and that each network node is running at its optimal levels.  From here, you can also get a close look at any unauthorized connections and terminate those connections immediately.  The view provided is not for just one data center. If other digital assets are located in other data centers and connected, your Network Map will also appear.  An example of this illustrated below:

(SOURCE:  2).

2. The formulation of specific recommendations:

Through the usage of both AI and ML, the Azure Security Center can come up with a set of recommendations for mitigating any type of weaknesses that are impacting your Cloud-based workloads.  Not only is this provided, but a step-by-step list is also given to you as to how you can quickly act on these recommendations.  This applies to all of your digital assets, not just the ones that are using Microsoft based resources.  For example, if you are running an SAP system or even an Oracle database server,  it will identify any concerning gaps and provide a roadmap to follow to remediate them.  This powerful functionality can be seen in the diagram below:

 

(SOURCE:  2).

3. Endpoint protection:

Whenever you configure and deploy a new Virtual Machine in Azure, whether it is Microsoft or Linux based, Endpoint Security is always a huge concern.  For example, with an On-Premises solution, your IT Security team would have to manually deploy and configure the needed tools to facilitate this.  But with the Azure Security Center, not only are the network connections between Virtual Machines made secure, but the Endpoint tools on them are automatically set up and implemented, thus closing off one backdoor for the Cyberattacker to potentially enter through.

Conclusions

Overall, this article has examined some of the Azure Security Center’s core functionalities and their benefits.  If you need help in configuring it or how to use the whole package for your own Cybersecurity needs, contact us today at KAMINDIT.  We are to help you!

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