Best Practices for Securing your Azure Deployment

By Danial Ahmed on August, 25 2021
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Danial Ahmed

Risk Advisory Staff Consultant | Freed Maxick

Azure Deployment

Are Basic Azure Deployment Security Configurations Sufficient?

An ever-growing number of companies across the globe are making the transition from traditional on-premise datacenters to cloud deployments. As the number of cloud services and solutions explode, so too will the number of enterprises that utilize various cloud computing solutions.

Per statista.com (source: statista.com/statistics/273818/global-revenue-generated-with-cloud-computing-since-2009/), the expected market value of Cloud services in 2022 will be worth $397 Billion USD. Given the data, it is quite apparent that cloud services are here to stay and will only grow in popularity given the cost-effective nature of the services when compared to maintaining on-premise datacenters.

Moving Beyond Basic Azure Deployment Security Configurations

Cloud technologies are complex in nature and a great deal of experience, knowledge and effort is required to securely configure and deploy cloud resources. Azure, like many other competing cloud technologies, comes pre-configured with basic features and minimal hardening to ensure a simple and straight forward ‘out of the box’ experience when deploying resources.

With the rapid increase in cloud computing, it is no surprise that security will continue to be a challenge for companies when deploying resources to a cloud environment. Below are some base-line considerations and configurations to ponder when deploying an Azure Resource to maintain and strengthen your enterprises security posture and mitigate vulnerabilities.

5 Critical Configurations for Creating a Secure Azure Environment

Our recommendations for a secure Azure environment include:

1.) Set resource locks for business-critical Azure resources

Protect important resource that users should not be allowed to change or delete. Even with role-based access, users can accidentally or unintentionally disrupt critical business operations.

2.) Enable system update recommendations for VMs

This will allow for a daily list of available security updates and critical updates from Windows Update or Windows Server Update Services. Thus, System administrators can proactively ensure that VM’s are up to date.

3.) Enable OS vulnerability recommendations to monitor VM’s

Allows a user to analyze operating system configurations daily. This will allow system admins to identify issues proactively that could make a virtual machine vulnerable to known security threats.

4.) Enable multi-factor authentication for all users with privileged roles

Mitigate the risk of unauthorized access if a malicious user were to collect the credentials of an administrative account and strengthen the overall authentication process for privileged accounts.

5.) Create activity log alerts for Create, Update, and Delete events for Network Security Groups, Network Security Group Rules

This will allow the organization to respond much more effectively and proactively if a malicious user were to modify the cloud deployments network security configurations.

Guidance, Insight and Next Steps

If your company or organization wishes to move beyond basic Azure configurations or is interested in a discussion about your current situation, the Risk Advisory Team is prepared to offer guidance and assistance. For a confidential, complimentary discussion, please contact me via email at danial.ahmed@freedmaxick.com, or by phone (716) 332-2729.

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