Intelligent Cloud Security Posture Management in Azure: A Comprehensive Guide

Azure from Microsoft is one of the leading cloud service providers. In Q3 of 2020, Azure accounted for about 19% of the cloud infrastructure market share. And one of the reasons is its state-of-the-art security features that keep your cloud safe. Microsoft Azure security is undeniably among the best.

You can use thousands of third-party apps along with Azure to improve security posture. And the tool to manage your security posture is Cloud Security Posture Management or CSPM. In this article, learn how to use intelligent CSPM in Azure.

What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

Cloud Security Posture Management or CSPM is a set of tools designed to help your business manage compliance. It automatically checks the cloud environment and compares it to that of best practices and security violation policy. When there’s malicious activity, the tool then proceeds to remediate it. Thus, you can conclude CSPM automates compliance and remediation management.

Besides that, it’s also helpful for DevOps integration, incident response, and risk management.

CSPM is used as an add-on to cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and AWS. The tools are agentless, which means they don’t rely on physical agents or deployable monitoring protocol.

In Microsoft Azure, you can install CSPM for your cloud environment. You can (and should) use it both for cloud and hybrid environments equally well.

Azure Security Center

When it comes to managing the security aspect of your cloud, you’ll find every resource you need in the Azure Security Center. And that’s what you’ll be working with to start using CSPM tools.

Azure Security Center is available for all subscribers, even those utilizing the free tier. Some of the features included in the standard offering are:

  • Security health monitoring
  • Security threat blocking
  • Threat detection
  • Adjustable security policies
  • Vulnerability discovery

So there’s no reason not to be using the Azure Security Center.

To start the CSPM installation process, launch Azure Security Center from the Azure portal. Once you’re inside it, you’re going to see a dashboard that lists various things. One of the most important metrics to track is the “Overall Security Score,” available under Policy & Compliance. Just beside it will be the “Regulatory Compliance” metric. You should explore and find all the metrics that are important to your security team.

To install the CSPM tool of your choice:

  1. Visit Azure Marketplace and search for the tool.
  2. Click on the relevant result and check if it’s the exact product you need.
  3. Click on “Get it Now” to install it on your cloud platform.

Once it’s installed, you’d have to provide the necessary key ID and credentials to integrate the two services (Azure and CSPM).

How Intelligent CSPM Works with Azure Security?

CSPM tools use Azure APIs to figure out how the resources within your cloud are configured. They also detect how various identities interact with those resources and whether they have the necessary privileges to do so. The reports thus produced allow your security team to understand the state of the cloud. You can use it as a baseline for your Azure cloud security.

The intelligent CSPM tool then checks the IAM model better to understand the unique identities in your Azure cloud. Then, it defines the admins, RBAC groups, and the overall management and determines how they’re using the subscription and the resources.

In this way, CSPM eliminates all identity-based risks that threaten the integrity of the Azure platform.

Intelligent CSPM tools not only provide human users. They also have police machines and applications. From API checks to privileges checks, CSPM tools carry out everything and determine whether they’re in compliance.

What are the CSPM Tools Capable of?

CSPM tools allow you to manage configurations and compliance with ease. They can automate the process. But their usefulness goes beyond that. You can do the following things with CSPM:

  1. Manage Least Privilege – You should adopt the Principle of Least Privileges for your cloud, and CSPM tools will help you do that.
  2. Manage Crown Jewel Data – The tools monitor your critical data located inside various object stores and database services.
  3. Shift Left by Integrating various teams – The tools analyze and create alerts to align your organization in a unified manner.
  4. Auto Remediate – CSPM tools help you save time by auto remediating the process. The programs automatically fix the policy violations as and when they’re discovered.

Microsoft Azure has one of the best securities among the cloud providers. And by using Cloud Security Posture Management, you can further strengthen the security of your Azure cloud platform. When investing in CSPM tools, learn thoroughly about Microsoft Azure security and figure out what more you need to keep the platform secure. Stay updated with the reports and monitor the cloud from time to time.

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