Category Archives : Security

30

Jun

New Azure Firewall features in Q2 CY2020
New Azure Firewall features in Q2 CY2020

We are pleased to announce several new Azure Firewall features that allow your organization to improve security, have more customization, and manage rules more easily. These new capabilities were added based on your top feedback:

Custom DNS support now in preview. DNS Proxy support now in preview. FQDN filtering in network rules now in preview. IP Groups now generally available. AKS FQDN tag now generally available. Azure Firewall is now HIPPA compliant. 

In addition, in early June 2020, we announced Azure Firewall forced tunneling and SQL FQDN filtering are now generally available.

Azure Firewall is a cloud-native firewall as a service (FWaaS) offering that allows you to centrally govern and log all your traffic flows using a DevOps approach. The service supports both application and network-level filtering rules and is integrated with the Microsoft Threat Intelligence feed for filtering known malicious IP addresses and domains. Azure Firewall is highly available with built-in auto scaling.

Custom DNS support now in preview

Since its launch in September 2018, Azure Firewall has been hardcoded to use Azure DNS to ensure the service can reliably resolve its outbound dependencies. Custom DNS provides separation between customer and service name resolution. This allows you to configure Azure

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24

Jun

Stay ahead of attacks with Azure Security Center
Stay ahead of attacks with Azure Security Center

With massive workforces now remote, the stress of IT admins and security professionals is compounded by the increased pressure to keep everyone productive and connected while combatting evolving threats. Now more than ever, organizations need to reduce costs, keep up with compliance requirements, all while managing risks in this constantly evolving landscape.

Azure Security Center is a unified infrastructure security management system that strengthens the security posture of your data centers and provides advanced threat protection across your hybrid workloads in the cloud, whether they’re in Azure or not, as well as on-premises.

Last week Ann Johnson, Corporate Vice President, Cybersecurity Solutions Group, shared news of an upcoming Azure Security Center virtual event—Stay Ahead of Attacks with Azure Security Center on June 30, 2020, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific Time. It’s a great opportunity to learn threat protection strategies from the Microsoft security community and to hear how your peers are tackling tough and evolving security challenges.

At the event, you’ll learn how to strengthen your cloud security posture and achieve deep and broad threat protection across cloud workloads—in Azure, on-premises, and in hybrid cloud. We will also talk about how to combine Security Center with Azure Sentinel

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23

Jun

Azure Container Registry: Securing container workflows
Azure Container Registry: Securing container workflows

Securing any environment requires multiple lines of defense. Azure Container Registry recently announced the general availability of features like Azure Private Link, customer-managed keys, dedicated data-endpoints, and Azure Policy definitions. These features provide tools to secure Azure Container Registry as part of the container end-to-end workflow.

Customer-managed keys

By default, when you store images and other artifacts in an Azure Container Registry, content is automatically encrypted at rest with Microsoft-managed keys.

Choosing Microsoft-managed keys means that Microsoft oversees managing the key’s lifecycle. Many organizations have stricter compliance needs, requiring ownership and management of the key’s lifecycle and access policies. In such cases, customers can choose customer-managed keys that are created and maintained in a customer’s Azure Key Vault instance. Since the keys are stored in Key Vault, customers can also closely monitor the access of these keys using the built-in diagnostics and audit logging capabilities  in Key Vault. Customer-managed keys supplement the default encryption capability with an additional encryption layer using keys provided by customers. See details on how you can create a registry enabled for customer-managed keys.

Private links

Container Registry previously had the ability to restrict access using firewall rules. With the introduction of Private Link, the registry

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18

Jun

New Azure maps make identifying local compliance options easy

Countries around the world are placing more compliance requirements on organizations of all types, and customers want to more easily understand which compliance offerings are available in their locale before they deploy cloud resources. Today we’re releasing a new infographic, along with a 37-page e-book showing compliance details in over 30 key geographies.

Organizations around the world are taking advantage of digital transformation by moving data and services to the cloud. Yet for organizations to feel secure in taking advantage of the cloud, they must first trust in the security and privacy protections offered by cloud providers. Compliance plays a critical role in building that trust.

Azure is a cloud platform that is built for global compliance, being certified by independent auditors for a set of rigorous and widely-recognized compliance standards, including ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27018, FedRAMP, and SOC 1, 2, and 3 Reports. Azure compliance offerings are global, with over 90 compliance offerings, including offerings specific to separate geographies, regions, and industries.

Azure global compliance infographic

The Azure global compliance infographic provides a full-page, single view of all of Azure’s over 90 compliance offerings in a global context. The infographic displays global offerings, which apply to all Azure

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12

May

Monitor your Azure workload compliance with Azure Security Benchmark

The Azure Security Benchmark v1 was released in January 2020 and is being used by organizations to manage their security and compliance policies for their Azure workloads. We are pleased to share that you can now track and monitor your compliance with the benchmark across your Azure environment in Azure Security Center.

The Azure Security Benchmark is a collection of over 90 security best practice recommendations you can employ to increase the overall security and compliance of all your workloads in Azure. The Azure Security Benchmark is based on common compliance frameworks and standards but is tailored to cloud deployments and specifically to Azure workloads. The benchmark provides specific guidance on how these common controls apply to Azure, and what you specifically need to implement in Azure to meet those requirements.

Now, not only can you understand the fundamental compliance framework requirements in Azure terms, but you can also measure and track how your own deployed Azure workloads are meeting those requirements at any given time.

Azure Security Center provides built-in automation for monitoring your compliance with the benchmark controls across different Azure resource types and workloads. Azure Security Center not only measures your compliance with the controls but also provides actionable

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12

May

Announcing Azure Front Door Rules Engine in preview

Starting today, customers of Azure Front Door (AFD) can take advantage of new rules to further customize their AFD behavior to best meet the needs of their customers. These rules bring the specific routing needs of your customers to the forefront of application delivery on Azure Front Door, giving you more control in how you define and enforce what content gets served from where.

Azure Front Door provides Azure customers the ability to deliver content fast and securely using Azure’s best-in-class network. We’ve heard from customers how important it is to have the ability to customize the behavior of your web application service, and we’re excited to announce Rules Engine, a new functionality on Azure Front Door, in preview today. Rules Engine is for all current and new Azure Front Door customers but is particularly important for customers looking to streamline security and content delivery at the edge.

New scenarios in Azure Front Door

Rules Engine allows you to specify how HTTP requests are handled at the edge.

The malleable nature of Rules Engine makes it the ideal solution to address legacy application migrations, where you don’t want to worry about users accessing old applications or not knowing how to

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11

May

Use Azure Firewall for secure and cost-effective Windows Virtual Desktop protection

This post was co-authored by Pavithra Thiruvengadam, Program Manager, Windows Virtual Desktop

Work from home policies require many IT organizations to address fundamental changes in capacity, network, security, and governance. Many employees aren’t protected by the layered security policies associated with on-premises services while working from home. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments on Azure can help organizations rapidly respond to this changing environment.  However, you need a way to protect inbound or outbound internet access to and from these VDI deployments.

Windows Virtual Desktop is a comprehensive desktop and application virtualization service running in Azure. It’s the only VDI that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, and optimizations for Office 365. You can deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes and get built-in security and compliance features. In this post, we explore how to use Azure Firewall for secure and cost-effective Windows Virtual Desktop protection.

Windows Virtual Desktop components

The Windows Virtual Desktop service is delivered in a shared responsibility model:

Customer-managed RD clients connect to Windows desktops and applications from their favorite client device from anywhere on the internet. Microsoft-managed Azure service handles connections between RD clients and Windows Virtual Machines in Azure

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11

May

Automating cybersecurity guardrails with new Zero Trust blueprint and Azure integrations

In our day-to-day work, we focus on helping customers advance the security of their digital estate using the native capabilities of Azure. In the process, we frequently find that using Azure to improve an organization’s cybersecurity posture can also help these customers achieve compliance more rapidly.

Today, many of our customers in regulated industries are adopting a Zero Trust architecture, moving to a security model that more effectively adapts to the complexity of the modern environment, embraces the mobile workforce, and protects people, devices, applications, and data wherever they’re located.

Regardless of where the request originates or what resource it accesses, Zero Trust teaches us to “never trust, always verify.” In a Zero Trust model, every access request is strongly authenticated, authorized within policy constraints, and inspected for anomalies before granting access. This approach can aid the process of achieving compliance for industries that use NIST-based controls including financial services, defense industrial base, and government.

A Zero Trust approach should extend throughout the entire digital estate and serve as an integrated security philosophy and end-to-end strategy, across three primary principles: (1) verify explicitly, (2) enforce least privilege access, and (3) assume breach.

Use the Azure blueprint for faster configuration of

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28

Apr

Accelerating Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance on Azure

As we deliver on our ongoing commitment to serving as the most secure and compliant cloud, we’re constantly adapting to the evolving landscape of cybersecurity to help our customers achieve compliance more rapidly. Our aim is to continue to provide our customers and partners with world-class cybersecurity technology, controls, and best practices, making compliance faster and easier with native capabilities in Azure and Azure Government, as well as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365.

In architecting solutions with customers, a foundational component of increasing importance is building more secure and reliable supply chains. For many customers, this is an area where new tools, automation, and process maturity can improve an organization’s security posture while reducing manual compliance work.

In preparing for the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) from the Department of Defense (DoD), many of our customers and partners have asked for more information on how to prepare for audits slated to start as early as the summer of 2020. 

Designed to improve the security posture of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), CMMC requires an evaluation of the contractor’s technical security controls, process maturity, documentation, policies, and the processes that are in place and continuously monitored. Importantly, CMMC also requires

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28

Apr

Announcing the general availability of Windows Server containers and private clusters for Azure Kubernetes Service

Today’s application environments are often heterogeneous, composed of both Windows and Linux applications. Using Kubernetes to host containers on both Windows Server and Linux not only saves costs but also reduces operational complexity. Many Azure customers have demonstrated this with their usage of Windows server containers. Their success in our preview makes me thrilled to announce the general availability of Windows Server container support on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

AKS simplifies the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters and provides a highly reliable and available environment for your applications. It integrates seamlessly with world-class development tools such as GitHub and Visual Studio Code and is built on years of Microsoft security expertise focusing on data protection and compliance. With the general availability of Windows Server containers, you can now lift and shift your Windows applications to run on managed Kubernetes service with Azure and get the full benefits of AKS for your production workloads using consistent tools and processes. For example, you can create, upgrade, and scale Windows node pools in AKS through the standard tools (portal/CLI) and Azure will help manage the health of the cluster automatically. Running both Windows and Linux applications side by side in a single

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