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Azure security best practices for your cloud infrastructure
Blog //28-06-2023

Azure security best practices for your cloud infrastructure

by OneAdvanced PR, Author

Security is an essential consideration for any business nowadays. Even when shifting to a cloud-based provider like Microsoft Azure, ensuring that the security controls that you have in place are effective and helpful for your business is vital.

With several ways for data to be breached and for organisations to become victims of vicious attacks, investment in security becomes an investment in the long-term resilience of your organisation.Therefore, staying informed about the best practices for safeguarding your company is essential.

In this article, we’re going to go over the best security practices for your organisation, to ensure that your Azure infrastructure has the best security precautions in place.

Use multifactor authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that utilises various authentication factors to allow access to a system. Instead of relying on a single factor — a password, for example — an MFA system will ensure that your identity is verified using multiple methods. MFA is used regularly throughout the world nowadays, with email or SMS-based authentication methods to ensure that a new device is legitimate being a security feature on every single site.

However, using a more advanced identity authentication system like Azure Active Directory gives you access to more advanced methods of authentication such as:

• Biometrics
• Authenticator apps
• Hardware tokens

Use the principle of least privilege

Granting access to your organisation's most crucial data and systems without necessity serves no purpose. Moreover, it poses a significant vulnerability, as an open system without proper security considerations can pose serious risks.

The most effective approach to prevent this scenario is to implement the 'Principle of Least Privilege' across your organisation. This guarantees that individuals have access only to the minimal level of security clearance necessary for their specific tasks, reserving higher clearance levels strictly for those who require access to them.

This ensures that higher-level data isn’t going to be breached within your organisation, while also not being too restrictive and stopping employees from being able to complete the work that they need to do.

Encrypt critical data

Securing data is crucial, and encryption serves as a vital method. Given that data is among the most valuable resources globally, encryption essentially acts as a lock safeguarding that data.

This technology is omnipresent — encryption is utilised across all modern browsers and is a standard feature in most contemporary messaging services. However, organisations managing highly valuable data must implement additional measures to safeguard their comprehensive organisational data, extending beyond merely securing data during transmission.

An encryption tool like Azure Data Encryption will be able to do this — it will turn the data into indecipherable data, that can only be unencrypted using a passkey. This passkey will only be given to trusted people within your organisation, nulling any chance of a data breach from outside or within.

Create a backup and disaster recovery plan

In the unfortunate event of a catastrophe, the presence of both a comprehensive backup and a well-thought-out disaster recovery plan becomes vital, playing a pivotal role in ensuring that your infrastructure can swiftly recover with minimal downtime.

A backup serves as a crucial element, providing your system with a restoration point that allows you to revert to a previous state. While some data loss may occur, the ability to easily restore everything is a significant advantage. On the other hand, a disaster recovery plan comprises a strategic collection of actions and procedures specifically crafted for deployment in worst-case scenarios.

The importance of having both a backup and a disaster recovery plan cannot be overstated, as they form the cornerstone of your organisation's preparedness in facing unforeseen disasters. These measures are indispensable for safeguarding your operations and ensuring a prompt and effective recovery in times of crisis

Manage access

Implementing a robust access management system is essential to safeguard your organisation from intruders or malicious actors. The ability to remotely control access to specific teams, projects, and areas ensures that individuals have access only to the necessary parts of the organisation. Leveraging Azure's identity and access management features further aids in completely restricting unauthorised access.

Implement security controls

Diverse security controls play a crucial role in safeguarding your organization against external threats over time. Azure provides an array of tools designed to facilitate this, offering comprehensive solutions such as:

• Azure Firewall: Azure Firewall is an intelligent network firewall that keeps threats away from your Azure databases and system. It denies traffic to and alerts the administrator of any malicious IP addresses and domains trying to gain access to your network — all in real time.
• Azure Monitor Alerts: Azure Monitor Alerts will send real-time alerts based on specific rules that you set, meaning that you’ll always be alert about potential threats to your organisation.
• Azure Defender: Azure Defender will be able to ensure that your Azure workloads are protected against threats.

Keep workload patches up to date

Sometimes, exploits will inevitably arise within any piece of digital infrastructure or software. Developers are constantly patching out exploits and vulnerabilities, to ensure that no organisations are crippled by these inevitable faults. This is why installing patches as soon as they become available and keeping them up to date regularly is so important — it’s your first line of defence against these kinds of exploits and is vital.

How Advanced can help

It is crucial to maintain security as a top priority across your organisation. Equally important is educating yourself and your team about potential threats and effective solutions. These practices provide a solid foundation to ensure the fundamental aspects of your security are adequately addressed.

Advanced are offering a Strategy and Governance workshop run by subject experts in line with the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF), which will help ensure a successful transition to the cloud, providing personalised recommendations and guidance.

If you’re looking for a helping hand, reach out to us today. Our expert team is here to help and will be able to ensure that the correct practices are in place for your organisation’s benefit.

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