5 Ways Azure’s Security Leads the Cloud Computing Industry

Liz Alton

In today’s business landscape, companies face greater security threats that ever before. Ransomware, hackers, data breaches, scams, insider threats, and compromised third-party connections are all on the radar. Moving to the cloud offers businesses tremendous benefits: cost savings, access to new tools, and the ability to innovate their offerings and future-proof their IT infrastructure.

Yet these benefits don’t have to come at the risk of security. Microsoft spends $1 billion dollars per year on security and has a team of 3,500 experts working around the clock to keep your data, applications and assets secure. Here’s a closer look at five specific security features that Microsoft Azure employs to offer industry-leading security, privacy, and compliance.

Multi-layered Cloud Security

If the complexity and sophistication of threats are constantly evolving, so too are the solutions demanded to keep data and applications secure. Azure has built a foundation of multi-layered security tools that can be accessed via the Security Center. Protect your workloads quickly with built-in controls and services in Azure across identity, data, networking, and apps.

Azure’s plan involves physical security for its global data center infrastructure, and following a mandatory Security Development Lifecycle for all product updates. Customer data is protected using a four-pronged approach: segregation, encryption, redundancy, and destruction. Everything from files to applications are encrypted both at transit and at rest. With automated monitoring, security scoring, and a wide array of both security and compliance tools, you are protected at every touch point and have the tools needed for security visibility into your data, applications, and activity.

Implementing Network and Data Security

As data moves across your network, it risks being exposed. Microsoft Azure provides the tools to fight back and secure your network and data. Standout features include:

  • Data encryption for information that’s in transit or at rest
  • DDoS protection, to protect against Distributed Denial of Service attacks
  • A key vault to protect the keys, certificates, and secrets that critical applications and systems rely on for secure access
  • Rigorous anti-virus and malware screening capabilities
  • Web app firewalls, private connections, and network segmentations

Real-time Threat Monitoring and Advanced Tools

Microsoft has implemented tools that provide constant, ongoing monitoring of its cloud infrastructure for threats. Monitoring, logging, and analysis provide real-time visibility and alerts to their centralized threat response team, so issues are identified and addressed before they impact your system. In fact, the company recently reported that they analyze 6.5 trillion security signals every day to protect data and formulate stronger security plans.

In addition, Azure provides tools to your company to help reinforce their 24/7/365 monitoring. Azure Monitor tracks application performance and proactively reports issues, including security threats. The Security Center provides visibility into your data and underlying infrastructure configuration to identify risks and provide strategies for improving security—for both cloud resources and hybrid instances. Azure Sentinel is an AI-based threat detections and response solution for faster resolution. These tools, combined with robust controls and reporting, deliver the comprehensive data security your business requires.

Centralized Identity and User Access Management

Your digital world is an ecosystem of data, applications, and destinations where user identity and access management are critical. Microsoft Azure is designed to treat identity as a critical security perimeter and provides the guidance and tools to help your business implement best practices. That eliminates the risk of unauthorized users gaining access to restricted information, such as HR records or sensitive information in an industry such as healthcare or financial services that’s restricted. Microsoft Azure Active Directory centralizes identity management and then consistently rolls it out to data, applications, and more.

It’s easy to implement multi-factor authentication and single sign-on, use rules-based logic to require strong passwords, leverage automated tools that can identify accounts that may be compromised, set device requirements before user access to sensitive information is granted, and check for compliance with regulatory guidance. Tools such as Identity Secure Store provide an automatic checkup on this critical aspect of security management and provide actionable recommendations to help you reduce risk. Whether you need a simplified way to manage user access or want a robust set of a features for a customized plan, Azure delivers.

Industry-leading Compliance Tools and Certifications

Compliance demands are constantly changing and becoming more rigorous. If your business needs to comply with industry regulations such as HIPAA or meet the evolving demands for privacy in regions around the world, Microsoft Azure currently has more than 90 compliance certifications—more than any other cloud provider. Some of the most common questions businesses ask include whether they’re certified for FINRA, HITRUST, SOX, and PCI DSS. Azure is certified in these areas and many more.

There is a suite of tools to simplify compliance, from maintaining audit trails and access logs to built-in compliance controls, configuration management tools, implementation and guidance resources, and third-party audit reporting capabilities. Azure has even created compliance blueprints that make it easy to implement carefully designed, repeatable compliance roadmaps for deployment and ongoing management. Moving to the cloud should keep your data and applications more secure than ever. Microsoft Azure has layers of protective steps, best practices, and automated tools to keep your workloads, data, and applications secure—and extend that IT infrastructure. If you’re ready to learn more about Microsoft Azure’s security offerings, contact Connection today.

Liz Alton is a B2B technology and digital marketing writer and content strategist. She has worked with a variety of brands including Google, Twitter, Adobe, Oracle, and HP, and written for publications including Forbes. She is a regular contributor to Connected, Connection’s official blog.