Category Archives : Security

19

Mar

Reducing security alert fatigue using machine learning in Azure Sentinel

Last week we launched Azure Sentinel, a cloud native SIEM tool. Machine learning (ML) in Azure Sentinel is built-in right from the beginning. We have thoughtfully designed the system with ML innovations aimed to make security analysts, security data scientists, and engineers productive. The focus is to reduce alert fatigue and offer ML toolkits tailored to the security community. The three ML pillars in Azure Sentinel include Fusion, built-in ML, build your own ML.

Fusion

Alert fatigue is real. Security analysts face a huge burden of triage as they not only have to sift through a sea of alerts, but also correlate alerts from different products manually or using a traditional correlation engine.

Our Fusion technology, currently in public preview, uses state of the art scalable learning algorithms to correlate millions of lower fidelity anomalous activities into tens of high fidelity cases. Azure Sentinel integrates with Microsoft 365 solution and correlates millions of signals from different products such as Azure Identity Protection, Microsoft Cloud App Security, and soon Azure Advanced Threat Protection, Windows Advanced Threat Protection, O365 Advanced Threat Protection, Intune, and Azure Information Protection. You can learn how to turn Fusion on by visiting our documentation, “Enable Fusion.”

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14

Mar

Microsoft Azure portal March 2019 update
Microsoft Azure portal March 2019 update

This month’s updates include an improved “All services” view, Virtual Network Gateway overview updates, an improved DNS Zone and Load Balancer creation experience, Management Group integration into Activity Log, redesigned overview screens for certain services within Azure DB, an improved creation experience for Azure SQL Database, multiple changes to the Security Center, and more updates to Intune.

Sign in to the Azure portal now and see for yourself everything that’s new. Download the Azure mobile app to stay connected to your Azure resources anytime, anywhere.

Here’s the list of March updates to the Azure portal: Shell Improved “All services” view IaaS Virtual network gateway overview updates New full-screen DNS zone and Load Balancer create blades Management experiences Management Group integration into Activity Log SQL Redesigned overview blade for Azure Database for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB services Improved creation experience for Azure SQL Database Azure Security Center Secure score added as a dashboard KPI New regulatory compliance dashboard Updated security policies Updated security recommendations Other Updates to Microsoft Intune Shell

Improved “All services” view

We have improved the “All services” view, the view that shows all available services and resources in Azure:

The entire screen’s real estate is now utilized to

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12

Mar

Create a transit VNet using VNet peering
Create a transit VNet using VNet peering

Azure Virtual Network (VNet) is the fundamental building block for any customer network. VNet lets you create your own private space in Azure, or as I call it your own network bubble. VNets are crucial to your cloud network as they offer isolation, segmentation, and other key benefits. Read more about VNet’s key benefits in our documentation, “What is Azure Virtual Network?

With VNets, you can connect your network in multiple ways. You can connect to on-premises using Point-to-Site (P2S), Site-to-Site (S2S) gateways or ExpressRoute gateways. You can also connect to other VNets directly using VNet peering.

Customer network can be expanded by peering Virtual Networks to one another. Traffic sent over VNet peering is completely private and stays on the Microsoft Backbone. No extra hops or public Internet involved. Customers typically leverage VNet peering in the hub-and-spoke topology. The hub consists of shared services and gateways, and the spokes comprise business units or applications.

Gateway transit

Today I’d like to do a refresh of a unique and powerful functionality we’ve supported from day one with VNet peering. Gateway transit enables you to use a peered VNet’s gateway for connecting to on-premises instead of creating a new gateway for connectivity.

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04

Mar

Announcing new Azure Security Center capabilities at RSA 2019

This is an exciting week for us at Microsoft. At RSA Conference 2019, we are announcing new and exciting capabilities in Azure and Microsoft 365. With this blog post, we wanted to share with you what we have been working on for Azure Security Center. Azure Security Center now leverages machine learning to reduce the attack surface of internet facing virtual machines. Its adaptive application controls have been extended to Linux and on-premises servers, and extends the network map support to peered virtual network (VNet) configurations.

Leveraging machine learning to reduce attack surface

One of the biggest attack surfaces for workloads running in the public cloud are connections to and from the public Internet. Our customers find it hard to know which Network Security Group (NSG) rules should be in place to make sure that Azure workloads are only available to required source ranges. Security Center can now learn the network traffic and connectivity patterns of your Azure workload and provide you with NSG rule recommendations for your internet facing virtual machines. This helps you better configure your network access policies and limit your exposure to attacks.

Azure Security Center uses machine learning to fully automate this process, including an

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04

Mar

Announcing new capabilities in Azure Firewall

Today we are excited to launch two new key capabilities to Azure Firewall.

Threat intelligence based filtering Service tags filtering

Azure Firewall is a cloud native firewall-as-a-service offering which enables customers to centrally govern all their traffic flows using a DevOps approach. The service supports both application (such as *.github.com), and network level filtering rules. It is highly available and auto scales as your traffic grows.

Threat intelligence based filtering (preview)

Microsoft has a rich signal of both internal threat intelligence data, as well as third party sourced data. Our vast team of data scientists and cybersecurity experts are constantly mining this data to create a high confidence list of known malicious IP addresses and domains. Azure firewall can now be configured to alert and deny traffic to and from known malicious IP addresses and domains in near real-time. The IP addresses and domains are sourced from the Microsoft Threat Intelligence feed. The Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph powers Microsoft Threat Intelligence and provides security in multiple Microsoft products and services, including Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel.

Threat intelligence-based filtering is default-enabled in alert mode for all Azure Firewall deployments, providing logging of all matching indicators. Customers can adjust behavior

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04

Mar

Presenting the new IIC Security Maturity Model for IoT

Organizations deploying IoT solutions often ask similar questions as they address security—What is the risk my organization takes on as we adopt IoT? How much security do we need for our scenario? Where should we invest for the biggest impact? To answer those questions, Microsoft co-authored and edited the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) IoT Security Maturity Model (SMM) Practitioner’s Guide. The SMM leads organizations as they assess the security maturity state of their current organization or system, and as they set the target level of security maturity required for their IoT deployment. Once organizations set their target maturity, the SMM gives them an actionable roadmap that guides them from lower levels of security maturity to the state required for their deployment.

Because not all IoT scenarios require the same level of security maturity, the goal of the SMM is to allow organizations to meet their scenario needs without over-investing in security mechanisms. For example, a manufacturing or an oil and gas solution involving safety needs an especially high maturity state.

The SMM complements Microsoft’s body of existing research and standards for IoT security, such as the “Seven Properties of Highly Secure Devices.” While the research in the Seven Properties paper

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27

Feb

Introducing Microsoft Azure Sentinel, intelligent security analytics for your entire enterprise

Security can be a never-ending saga—a chronicle of increasingly sophisticated attacks, volumes of alerts, and long resolution timeframes where today’s Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products can’t keep pace.

SecOps teams are inundated with a very high volume of alerts and spend far too much time in tasks like infrastructure set up and maintenance. As a result, many legitimate threats go unnoticed. An expected shortfall of 3.5M security professionals by 2021 will further increase the challenges for security operations teams. You need a solution that empowers your existing SecOps team to see the threats clearer and eliminate the distractions.

That’s why we reimagined the SIEM tool as a new cloud-native solution called Microsoft Azure Sentinel. Azure Sentinel provides intelligent security analytics at cloud scale for your entire enterprise. Azure Sentinel makes it easy to collect security data across your entire hybrid organization from devices, to users, to apps, to servers on any cloud.  It uses the power of artificial intelligence to ensure you are identifying real threats quickly and unleashes you from the burden of traditional SIEMs by eliminating the need to spend time on setting up, maintaining, and scaling infrastructure. Since it is built on Azure, it offers

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14

Feb

How Azure Security Center helps you protect your environment from new vulnerabilities

Recently the disclosure of a vulnerability (CVE-2019-5736) was announced in the open-source software (OSS) container runtime, runc. This vulnerability can allow an attacker to gain root-level code execution on a “host. runc” which is the underlying container runtime underneath many popular containers.

Azure Security Center can help you detect vulnerable resources in your environment within Microsoft Azure, on-premises, or other clouds. Azure Security Center can also detect that an exploitation has occurred and alert you.

Azure Security Center offers several methods that can be applied to mitigate or detect malicious behavior:

Strengthen security posture – Azure Security Center periodically analyzes the security state of your resources. When it identifies potential security vulnerabilities it creates recommendations. The recommendations guide you through the process of configuring the necessary controls. We have plans to add recommendations when unpatched resources are detected. You can find more information about strengthening security posture by visiting our documentation, “Managing security recommendations in Azure Security Center.” File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) – This method examines files and registry keys of operating systems, application software, and more, for changes that might indicate an attack. By enabling FIM, Azure Security Center will be able detect changes in the directory which can

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05

Feb

Best practices to consider before deploying a network virtual appliance

A network virtual appliance (NVA) is a virtual appliance primarily focused on network functions virtualization. A typical network virtual appliance involves various layers four to seven functions like firewall, WAN optimizer, application delivery controllers, routers, load balancers, IDS/IPS, proxies, SD-WAN edge, and more. While the public cloud may provide some of these functionalities natively, it is quite common to see customers deploying network virtual appliances from independent software vendors (ISV). These capabilities in the public cloud enable hybrid solutions and are generally available through the Azure Marketplace.

What exactly is the network virtual appliance in the cloud?

A network virtual appliance is often a full Linux virtual machine (VM) image consisting of a Linux kernel and includes user level applications and services. When a VM is created, it first boots the Linux kernel to initialize the system and then starts up any application or management services needed to make the network virtual appliance functional. The cloud provider is responsible for the compute resources, while the ISV provides the image that represents the software stack of the virtual appliance.

Similar to a standard Linux distribution, the Linux kernel is integral to the NVA’s image and is provided by the ISV often

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29

Jan

Azure Security Center can detect emerging vulnerabilities in Linux

Recently a new flaw was discovered in PolKit – a component which controls system-wide privileges in Unix OS. This vulnerability potentially allows unprivileged account to have root permission. In this blog post, we will focus on the recent vulnerability, demonstrate how attacker can easily abuse and weaponize it. In addition, we will preset how Azure Security Center can help you detect threats, and provide recommendations for mitigation steps.

The PolKit vulnerability

PolKit (previously known as PolicyKit) is a component that provides centralized way to define and handle policies and controls system-wide privileges in Unix OS. The vulnerability CVE-2018-19788 was caused due to improper validation of permission requests. It allows a non-privileged user with user id greater than the maximum integer to successfully execute arbitrary code under root context.

The vulnerability exists within PolKit’s versions earlier than 0.115, which comes pre-installed by some of the most popular Linux distributions. A patch was released, but it required a manual install by the relevant package manager issuer.
You can check if your machine is vulnerable by running the command “pkttyagent -version” and verify that your PolKit’s version is not vulnerable.

How an attacker can exploit this vulnerability to gain access to your environment

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