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Microsoft Azure Security Best Practices | Keep Azure Secure

January 25, 20246 min read

Cybersecurity

Image by Freepik

In an era where data is the lifeblood of businesses, securing your information on the cloud is non-negotiable. Even with the impeccable reputation of Microsoft Azure, understanding and implementing Azure security best practices is crucial. This guide aims to empower you with immediate steps to enhance your security while utilizing Microsoft Azure.

  1. Key Takeaway: Azure offers a versatile set of services, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
  2. Key Takeaway: Empower Your Security with RBAC, and use Azure's MFA features to get your team one step close to authentication best practices: something you know, something you have, and something you are.
  3. Key Takeaway: Strengthen Passwords, provide a password manager so the burden isn't on your employees, and Leverage Azure Security Center. 

[Table of contents]

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure, launched in 2010, has evolved into a robust cloud computing platform that offers a comprehensive suite of services. Its inception was a strategic move by Microsoft to compete in the growing cloud services market. Over the years, Azure has become a cornerstone for businesses seeking scalable and flexible cloud solutions.

Azure's journey began as a platform primarily focused on providing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It allowed organizations to virtualize their computing infrastructure, providing a cost-effective and flexible alternative to traditional on-premises solutions. As cloud computing gained momentum, Microsoft expanded Azure into a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) provider.

With continuous innovation and updates, Azure has positioned itself as a leading player in the cloud industry. Its global data centers, spanning multiple continents, ensure low-latency access and high availability for users across the globe. Microsoft's commitment to security, compliance, and interoperability has contributed to Azure's reputation as a reliable cloud service.

Azure's Data Storage Base is a key component, offering a variety of storage services to meet different business requirements.

  • Azure Blob Storage: Designed for storing massive amounts of unstructured data, Azure Blob Storage provides scalable and cost-effective object storage. It is ideal for scenarios such as backup, archiving, and serving large-scale static content.

  • Azure SQL Databases: For organizations requiring relational database management, Azure SQL Databases offer a fully managed and scalable solution. This service ensures high-performance, security, and reliability for applications relying on structured data.

  • Azure Cosmos DB: Geared towards globally distributed applications, Azure Cosmos DB is a multi-model, multi-API database service. It provides low-latency access to data on a global scale, making it suitable for scenarios where responsiveness and reliability are paramount.

Best Security Practices for Microsoft Azure

In the expansive realm of Azure services, prioritizing security is not just a choice; it's a necessity. Let's delve into key practices that act as a fortress, strengthening the security of your Azure environment.

Utilize Role-Based Access Controls (RBAC)

In the dynamic landscape of cloud computing, granting access is a nuanced task. Utilizing Role-Based Access Controls (RBAC) is akin to handing out keys selectively in a secure facility. By assigning roles to users, organizations achieve precise control over who can access specific data and features. This separation of duties enhances security and streamlines workflows by limiting access to job-specific tasks.

As your organization evolves, RBAC allows adjustments to access levels as needed. Embrace the power of RBAC to ensure your Azure environment is safeguarded against unauthorized intrusions.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Relying solely on passwords is like leaving your front door unlocked. There's a door, and it's closed, but someone only has to go up and try the handle.

Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), preferably of the "something you have" variety (software token, hardware key), gets you one step closer to the recommended trio of authentication steps: something you know, something you have, and something you are.

Emphasize the significance of MFA, especially on mobile devices where vulnerabilities can be exploited. This security measure requires users to provide multiple forms of identification, such as a password and a verification code, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access. Elevate your security posture by making MFA a non-negotiable aspect of your Azure environment.

Read more: 2FA vs MFA: Are they the same?

Use Strong Passwords

Azure handles SSO for many services, but passwords are still broadly used and needed, and they need to be strong. 

The problem is that imposing requirements but leaving it up to the user to store/memorize the password, results in bad practices. Change it every 3 months? 'password1' becomes 'password2'. Special character and uppercase? Fine, I'll go with 'Password1!'. Has to be 12 characters? How about 'password1111'? 

Password length and variety are cornerstones of secure passwords, but you need to provide a password manager so your employees aren't tempted to create weak, reused passwords.

Use a password generator for quick, secure passwords. 

Most password managers have browser extensions that can easily autofill those complex passwords for you. Removing friction is key for your employees - especially those less tech-savvy - to use the software you provide for everyone's security. 

For an in-depth guide, read our Ultimate Guide to Password Security

Leverage Azure Security Center

Azure Security Center stands as a comprehensive solution, acting as a sentinel for your security management. Its unified platform allows you to manage both Azure and non-Azure clouds efficiently, bringing simplicity to the complex realm of cloud security.

Capitalize on its robust threat detection capabilities, ensuring you are promptly notified of potential threats to your services and networks. Additionally, benefit from actionable insights provided by security recommendations, allowing you to stay one step ahead of potential security risks.

By adopting and integrating these best security practices into your Azure environment, you fortify your defenses against potential cyber threats and ensure a resilient security posture in the digital age.

How TeamPassword Can Elevate Your Security

Passwords aren't disappearing anytime soon. SSO solutions and passkeys continue to improve, but companies are slow to change, and passwords are easily implemented and familiar. 

If you want your employees to use secure passwords, you need to provide them with the tools to do so. TeamPassword is a secure, straightforward, and cost-effective password manager for businesses. 

Try it for free for 14 days - no credit card required! 

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