Category Archives : Security

17

Jul

Intelligent Healthcare with Azure Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) technology

Sensitive health data processed by hospitals and insurers is under constant attack from malicious actors who try to gain access to health care systems with the goal to steal or extort personal health information. Change Healthcare has implemented a Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) solution based on Microsoft Azure Cloud services and introduces Intelligent Healthcare today.

Change Healthcare is enabling payers and providers to have immediate and granular control over their data by transferring the ownership of encryption keys used to encrypt data at rest. This allows Change Healthcare customers to make security changes without involvement by Change Healthcare personnel and have their cloud-based systems re-encrypted and operational without service interruptions. The BYOK management capabilities include revoking access to encryption keys and rotating or deleting encryption keys on demand and at the time of a potential compromise. 
 
For the Intelligent Healthcare solution, Change Healthcare implemented Azure SQL Database Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) with BYOK support. TDE with BYOK encrypts databases, log files and backups when written to disk, which protects data at rest from unauthorized access. TDE with BYOK support integrates with Azure Key Vault, which provides highly available and scalable secure storage for RSA cryptographic keys backed by

17

Jul

Blockchain as a tool for anti-fraud

Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. In 2016, healthcare costs in the US are estimated at nearly 18 percent of the GDP! Healthcare is becoming less affordable worldwide, and a serious chasm is widening between those that can afford healthcare and those that cannot. There are many factors driving the high cost of healthcare, one of them is fraud. In healthcare, there are several types of fraud including prescription fraud, medical identity fraud, financial fraud, and occupational fraud. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates conservatively that health care fraud costs the US about $68 billion annually, which is about three percent of the US total $2.26 trillion in overall healthcare spending. There are two root vulnerabilities in healthcare organizations: insufficient protection of data integrity, and a lack of transparency.

Insufficient protection of data integrity enables fraudulent modification of records

Cybersecurity involves safeguarding the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data. Often cybersecurity is mistakenly equated with protecting just the confidentiality of data to prevent unauthorized access. However, equally important is protecting the availability of data. That is, you must secure timely and reliable access to data, as well as the integrity of the data. You must ensure records are accurate, complete,

16

Jul

Azure Security Center is now integrated into the subscription experience

Securing your resources is important, which is why we’ve made it even simpler for you to do. Azure Security Center is available in public preview in the subscription experience. In just a few clicks, you can enable Security Center and quickly assess the security state of your resources, get actionable recommendations, and mitigate risks.

Azure Security Center gives you visibility into your security state across hybrid cloud workloads, gives you adaptive protections to reduce your exposure to attacks, and intelligent threat detection that helps you keep pace with rapidly evolving attacks.
The newly added Security tab provides a quick view into the security posture of your subscription, enabling you to discover and assess the security of your resources in that subscription and take action. The built-in dashboard provides instant insights into security alerts and vulnerabilities that require attention.

To make sure you can address the most important issues first, we provide a list of prioritized security recommendations and prioritized alerts. These recommendations and alerts are ranked from high severity to low severity to help you quickly respond and reduce the surface area in your environment susceptible to attack.

For further investigation or to respond to a detected issue, you

12

Jul

Announcing new options for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support

It’s incredible how much and how rapidly technology evolves. Microsoft’s server technology is no exception. We entered the 2008 release cycle with a shift from 32-bit to 64-bit computing, the early days of server virtualization and advanced analytics. Fast forward a decade, and we find ourselves in a full-blown era of hybrid cloud computing with exciting innovation in data, artificial intelligence, and more.

I want to thank our customers for choosing SQL Server and Windows Server to run their business and trusting Microsoft to be their technology partner. I would also like to make sure we support our customers in getting ready for the future and taking maximum advantage of today’s technologies. End of support is quickly approaching for these popular 2008 releases:

Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019. Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.

End of support means the end of regular security updates. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks. The 2008 family of products was great for its time, but we highly recommend upgrading to

02

Jul

Securing the connection between Power BI and Azure SQL Database

How can you connect to Azure SQL Database from the Power BI service in a secure fashion? The easiest way to limit access to the database is to select the “allow access to Azure Services” option (Figure1). This can be found in the database server options in the Azure portal. This allows Power BI to access your database. However, it also makes the database visible to any component deployed within Azure, such as a virtual machine. For many organizations this is not sufficient for their security and compliance requirements.


Figure 1: Setting the database access in the Azure Portal.

  The following is a list of suggestions that one may want to consider achieving the organizations security goals:

To start, use VNet service endpoints to further secure access. This feature was introduced at the start of 2018. This is easy to configure. In the Azure portal either create a new virtual network or edit an existing VNet and enable service endpoints for SQL in the VNet (Figure2).

Figure 2: Creating a service endpoint in the virtual network.

Once completed, the next task is to set up a virtual network rule on the database server. This allows us to restrict

27

Jun

Enterprises get deeper insights with Hadoop and Spark updates on Azure HDInsight

Azure HDInsight is one of the most popular services amongst enterprise for open source Hadoop & Spark analytics on Azure. With the plus 50 percent price cut on HDInsight, customers moving to the cloud are reaping more savings than ever.

PROS is a pioneer in using machine learning to give companies an accurate and profitable pricing. PROS Guidance product runs enormously complex pricing calculations based on variables that comprise multiple terabytes of data. In Azure HDInsight, a process that formerly took several days now takes just a few minutes.”– Ed Gonzalez, Product Manager, PROS

Today we are announcing updates to Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, ML Services, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 and enhancements to Enterprise Security Package. These new capabilities will continue to drive savings for many of our customers. In addition to this, Microsoft is continuing to deepen its commitment to the Apache Hadoop ecosystem and has extended its partnership with Hortonworks to bring the best of Apache Hadoop and the open source big data analytics to the Cloud.

Continued investment in Open Source for new capabilities and reliability Reliable Open Source

Microsoft’s is contributing to Apache Hadoop ecosystem and also ensuring Azure is the most reliable place

27

Jun

Enterprises get deeper insights with Hadoop and Spark updates on Azure HDInsight

Azure HDInsight is one of the most popular services amongst enterprise for open source Hadoop & Spark analytics on Azure. With the plus 50 percent price cut on HDInsight, customers moving to the cloud are reaping more savings than ever.

PROS is a pioneer in using machine learning to give companies an accurate and profitable pricing. PROS Guidance product runs enormously complex pricing calculations based on variables that comprise multiple terabytes of data. In Azure HDInsight, a process that formerly took several days now takes just a few minutes.”– Ed Gonzalez, Product Manager, PROS

Today we are announcing updates to Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, ML Services, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 and enhancements to Enterprise Security Package. These new capabilities will continue to drive savings for many of our customers. In addition to this, Microsoft is continuing to deepen its commitment to the Apache Hadoop ecosystem and has extended its partnership with Hortonworks to bring the best of Apache Hadoop and the open source big data analytics to the Cloud.

Continued investment in Open Source for new capabilities and reliability Reliable Open Source

Microsoft’s is contributing to Apache Hadoop ecosystem and also ensuring Azure is the most reliable place

31

May

3 reasons why Azure’s infrastructure is secure
3 reasons why Azure’s infrastructure is secure

This is the third blog in a 4-part blog post series on how Microsoft Azure provides a secure foundation.

Customers tell me that securing their datacenter infrastructure requires an enormous amount of resources and investments. With the challenges of recruiting security experts to maintain secure infrastructure, there is not a clear return on investment. To keep pace in this ever-changing security landscape, it’s important that they can protect their infrastructure while also lowering their costs and reducing complexity. Azure in uniquely positioned to help with these challenges.

Microsoft Azure provides a secure foundation across physical, infrastructure, and operational security. Customers like Smithfield and Merrill Corporation choose Azure to be their trusted cloud due to its platform security. Microsoft invests over a billion dollars every year into security, including the security of the Azure platform, so that your data and business assets can be protected.

A few months ago, we started an Azure security blog series with a blog on our layered approach to physical security. We shared the 3 ways that Azure improves your security at the RSA conference. Today, we will discuss the network infrastructure, firmware and hardware, and continuous testing and monitoring that make up Azure’s secure infrastructure.

31

May

Azure Security Center can identify attacks targeting Azure App Service applications

One of Azure’s most popular service is App Service which enables customers to build and host web applications in the programming language of their choice without managing infrastructure. App Service offers auto-scaling and high availability, supports both Windows and Linux. It also supports automated deployments from GitHub, Visual Studio Team Services or any Git repository. At RSA, we announced that Azure Security Center leverages the scale of the cloud to identify attacks targeting App Service applications.

Vulnerabilities in web applications are frequently exploited by attackers, as they are a common and dynamic interface for almost every organization on the internet. Requests to applications running on top of App Service go through several gateways deployed in Azure datacenters around the world, responsible for routing each request to its corresponding application. Recently, Security Center and App Service embarked on a journey aimed at building a security offering to support App Service customers.

By leveraging the visibility that Azure has as cloud provider, Security Center analyzes App Service internal logs to identify attack methodology on multiple targets. For example, attempts to access the same Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) on various web sites. This type of attacker typically exhibits a pattern of crawling to

17

May

New Azure Network Watcher integrations and Network Security Group Flow Logging updates

Azure Network Watcher provides you the ability to monitor, diagnose, and gain insights into your network in Azure.

Among its suite of capabilities, Network Watcher offers the ability to log network traffic through Network Security Group (NSG) Flow Logging. When NSG Flow Logging is enabled, you gain access to Network flow-level data that has endless applications in security, compliance, and traffic monitoring use cases. Deeper analysis of this NSG flow data is available in Network Watcher using Traffic Analytics, which is currently in preview.

Since Azure Network Watcher’s inception, we have continuously partnered with leaders in the SIEM and Log Management industry to provide a rich ecosystem of tools that seamlessly integrate and understand your network in Azure. I would like to highlight two of the most recent partners, offering customers additional choice and value through integration with Azure. On top of our growing ecosystem, we have now enabled the option to send NSG Flow Log data across subscriptions which greatly enhances log management in larger environments.

McAfee Cloud Workload Security integration

Recently, McAfee announced the general availability of the Cloud Workload Security (CWS) Platform in Azure including integration with Network Watcher. CWS automates the discovery and defense of elastic workloads