Security, responsibility and trust in Azure


Shared responsibility of cloud security


Regardless of the deployment type, you always retain responsibility for:

  • Data

  • Endpoints

  • Accounts

  • Access Management

Layered approach to security


It is the responsibility of those storing and controlling access to the data to ensure that it’s properly secured. There are often regulatory requirements for the CIA of this data


  • Ensure applications are secure and free of vulnerabilities

  • Store sensitive application secrets in a secure storage medium

  • Make security a design requirement for all application development


  • Secure access to virtual machines

  • Implement endpoint protection and keep systems patched and current


  • Limit communication between resources

  • Deny by default

  • Restrict inbound internet access and limit outbound, where appropriate

  • Implement secure connectivity to on-premises networks


  • Use DDoS protection

  • Use perimeter firewalls to identify and alert on malicious attacks against your network

Identity and access

  • Control access to infrastructure and change control

  • Use single sign-on and multi-factor authentication

  • Audit events and changes

Physical security

  • Physical building security and controlling access to computing hardware within the data center is the first line of defence

Azure Security Center

Security Center can:

  • Provide security recommendations based on your configurations, resources and networks

  • Monitor security settings and automatically apply required security to new services

  • Continuously monitor services to provide automatic security assessments

  • Use machine learning to detect and block malware from being installed

  • Analyse and identify inbound attacks

  • Provide just-in-time access control for ports

Pricing Tiers

  • Free - Just assessments and recommendations of resources

  • Standard - Including continuous monitoring, threat detection etc.

Usage scenarios

You can use Security Center to:

  • Detect - Review the first indication of an event investigation

  • Assess - Perform the initial assessment to obtain more information about the suspicious activity

  • Implement a recommended security policy

Identity and access

Establish the identity of a person or service looking to access a resource
Establish what level of access an authenticated person or service has

Azure Active Directory

Azure AD provides services such as:

  • Authentication

  • Single Sign-On - One ID and password for multiple services

  • Application management

  • Business-to-Business identity services

  • Business-to-Customer identity services

  • Device management

Providing identities to services

Service Principals

A thing that can be authenticated
An identity acting with certain roles or claims
Service Principal
An identity that is used by a service or application

Managed identities for Azure services

This makes creating service principles easier. A managed identity can be instantly created for any Azure service that supports it.

Role based access control

Roles are sets of permissions that users can be granted to access an Azure service instance.

Identities are mapped to roles directly or through group membership.

Roles can be granted at the individual service instance level, but they also flow down the Azure Resource Manager hierarchy.

Privileged Identity Management

This is an additional offering that provides oversight of role assignments to ensure people don’t have excess privileges.


Symmetric Encryption
Uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt the data
Asymmetric Encryption
Uses a public and private key pair
Encryption at Rest
Encrypting data that has been stored on a physical medium
Encryption in transit
Encrypting data that is actively moving from one location to another

Encryption on Azure

  • Azure Storage Service Encryption - For data at rest

  • Azure Disk Encryption - Encrypt virtual machine disks

  • Transparent data encryption - Protect Azure SQL database and Azure data warehouse

  • Azure key vault - encrypt secrets

Benefits of using key vault:

  • Centralized application secrets

  • Securely stored secrets and keys

  • Monitor access and use

  • Simplified administration of application secrets

  • Integrate with other Azure services

Azure Certificates

Certificates in Azure are x.509 v3 and can be signed by a CA or self signed

Service Certificates

These are attached to cloud services and enable secure communication to and from this service.

These are managed separately from the services.

Management certificates

These allow you to authenticate with the classic deployment model

Protect your network

A service that grants server access based on the originating IP address of each request

To provide inbound protection at the perimeter, you have several choices:

  • Azure Firewall - Managed cloud based network security service

  • Azure Application Gateway - Load balancer that includes a web application firewall

  • Network Virtual Appliances (NVAs) - Ideal for non-HTTP services or advanced configs

DDoS Protection


  • Automatically enabled

  • Always on traffic monitoring and real time mitigation of common network level attcks


  • Can mitigate:

    • Volumetric attacks - Flooding network layer with traffic

    • Protocol attacks - Exploit weakness in layer 3 and layer 4 protocol stack

    • Resource layer attacks - Target web application packets to disrupt the transmission of data between hosts

Virtual network security

For communication between virtual machines, Network Security Groups are a critical piece to restrict unnecessary communication.

This allows you to filter network traffic to and from Azure resources in an Azure virtual network

Network Integration

To provide a dedicated private network between your network and Azure, you can use Azure ExpressRoute.

Protecting shared documents

Azure information protection - A cloud-based solution to help organizations classify and optionally protect documents by applying labels

Azure Advanced Threat Protection

This is a cloud-based solution to identify, detect and help to investigate threats.

It has the following components:

  • ATP portal - Allows you to monitor and respond to suspicious activity

  • ATP sensor - Installed directly on domain controllers to monitor traffic

  • ATP cloud service - Runs on Azure infrastructure and is connected to Microsoft’s intelligent security graph

Security considerations for Application Lifecycle Management Solutions

  • Provide training to ensure everyone knows the threats

  • Define security requirements - Update continuously to address change in threat landscape.

  • Define metrics and compliance reporting - Have minimum levels of security quality

  • Perform threat modelling - Allows development teams to consider the security implications of designs

  • Establish design requirements - Specific security features must be implemented

  • Define and use cryptography standards

  • Manage security risks from using third-party components - Keep an accurate inventory and plan to respond when new vulnerabilities are discovered

  • Use approved tools - Define and publish a list of approved tools

  • Perform Static Analysis Security Testing - Analyse source code prior to compilation

  • Perform Dynamic Analysis Security Testing - Analyse fully-compiled code

  • Perform penetration testing

  • Establish a standard incident response process