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Best Practices to Secure Your Networks on Microsoft Azure

DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service on businesses like LinkedIn and eBay have caused service outages and private files hostage by devastating ransomware like WannaCry in recent times.

These attacks have highlighted the requirement for more robust protection on the internet, and here comes the need for Microsoft Azure Security.

Securing Azure can trigger several complex challenges. The resource security of the data that Azure hosts is of utmost significance, and it is often overlooked by businesses new to this platform.

During the early stages of the cloud adoption journey of a business, it is considered that Microsoft defends the resources that it hosts. While Azure supports securing the business assets, a massive portion of responsibility is also bestowed on the customers to do their part in securing the Azure cloud.

Best Practices to Secure Your Networks on Microsoft Azure

Here are the top best practices to secure your network on Microsoft Azure. Take a look.

  • Put into Use Strong Network Controls

You should be able to connect Azure VMs or Virtual Machines and appliances to other network devices by locating them on the Azure virtual network. You can connect a virtual network interface card to a virtual network for allowing IP/TCP essential communication between network-enabled devices. The virtual machines linked to the virtual network assist you to connect to devices on the same network, on the internet, on a different network, or on-premises network.

In this case, it is recommended that you centralize –

  1. a) The governance of the security elements of the network like network virtual appliance functions such as virtual network and subnet provisioning, ExpressRoute, and IP addressing.
  2. b) The management of core network functions like virtual network and subnet provisioning, ExpressRoute, and IP address.

If you use the usual management tools set for monitoring your network and the network security, clear visibility into both can be derived. The simple unified strategy of security decreases errors as it enhances human understanding and automation reliability.

  • Read the Azure Security Centers Suggested Alerts and Changes 

Azure Security Centre is the perfect place for you to get started. Almost all the recommendations that will get you going in the Azure setup are already there in the Azure Security Centre. It offers alerts and changes for protecting your resources.

Make the most of this by checking the portal regularly for new alerts and completed actions to correct or remediate as many of them as possible. So, use Microsoft Azure security standard for every subscription with production resources especially.

You will get limited information through the basic level of Azure Security Centre that is already provided with Microsoft Azure. Azure Security Centre Standard helps in identifying security vulnerabilities and offers the recommended solutions. Microsoft offers a trial of Security Centre Standards for 60 days at no cost.

  • Use Multiple Authentication 

For securing a Microsoft Azure account, you should activate multiple authentications. Multiple authentication is a method that is complementary to password protection. It permits the mitigation of the access risk of a foreign person after password theft.

The Multi-factor authentication of Azure helps secure application access and data while meeting user demand with the simple authentication process. It offers strong authentication through several simple checks like SMS, phone call, mobile application notification. According to their preference, users can choose the method they like.

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  • Monitor with Activity Log Alerts 

The activity log empowers you to monitor a variety of security-relevant events. These alerts will empower you to ensure that the appropriate parties are notified of any suspicious behavior if it has not been approved, like changing security settings.

That activity log alerts can be created in the following events-

  1. a) Create or update the network security group
  2. b) Create policy assignment
  3. c) Create or update the group rule of network security
  4. d) Delete next network security group
  5. e) Create or update the firewall rule of the SQL server
  6. f) Delete network security group rule
  7. g) Create or update security solution
  8. h) Delete firewall rule of SQL server
  9. i) Delete security solution
  10. j) Update security policy
  • Limit the Subscription Owners 

Azure security best practice is very simple. There must be more than one subscription owner for Azure. However, make sure that there are no more than 3 users who have the owner permissions. You do not want more than 2 trusted Azure product owners or administrators to act as the subscription owners in an ideal case scenario. For an emergency, you can keep a break glass account.

Securing Azure can pose a variety of challenges. But when done in the right way, it can act as any other top-notch data center. The Microsoft Azure security best practices can help you to get started. Slowly as you enhance your technical knowledge and build up your hands-on training, you will be able to master the art further.

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