Cloud security tips for Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud platforms. Cloud computing provides convenient, cheap, and easily scalable IT infrastructure, which has led to over 90% of companies using cloud computing in their business model. It’s extremely popular and most likely will continue to be for years to come. To help businesses deal with some of the issues of cloud computing we have put together a list of tools that you can use to secure your Azure cloud infrastructure.

1. Network Security Group

These are groups that consist of a set of access control rules that allow you to control network traffic flowing in and out of a group of machines. You can assign different instances to a security group and all of the rules that you define for that group will apply to those machines. Here you want to ensure that you only allow traffic that is needed for business purposes and blocks all other traffic to your resources.

2. Load Balancers

Load Balancers are a great way to prevent your internet-facing resources from being overloaded and provide optimum speeds for your users. Load balancers will redirect traffic based on the amount of load each backend resource has as well as what would provide the user with the best experience.

3. Conditional Access Policies

This is a tool in Azure Active Directory that allows you to have very detailed control over who can access a resource. You can allow users’ access based on conditions such as IP address, geographic location, are they using two-factor authentications etc.

4. Azure Firewall

The Azure Firewall is a cloud-based instance of a traditional firewall that can be used to segment sections of your network from the internet or other virtual networks. You can configure this to filter traffic based on many different network rules such as source address, protocol, destination port, destination address. In addition to this, because it’s a next-generation firewall you can filter based on application-level data such as fully qualified domain names (FQDNs).

5. Azure Monitor

As the name suggests this tool is designed to help you monitor everything that goes on in your cloud environment. It collects all of the information in your environment and

aggregates it in a central place for analytics, easy visualization, and safe storage.

6. Azure Key Vault

This is a cloud service that protects encryption keys and secrets like certificates, connection strings, or passwords. It’s designed to store all of your sensitive or business-critical information in a place where only authorized applications and users will be able to access it. It is controlled through two interfaces: the management and the data planes. The management plane is where you manage the vault itself such as creating and deleting key vaults, updating access policies, etc. While the data plane is where you use data in the vault such as add, delete and modify keys, secrets, or certificates.

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