The Top 5 Security And Governance Actions For Azure Workloads

The Top 5 Security and Governance Actions for Azure Workloads 

Kyle Jones | March 27, 2023

Microsoft Azure offers top in-class services in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS products. These services enable businesses to optimize and modernize their business assets and workloads with almost limitless scaling, both vertically and horizontally.  

Two administrative domains can impact the growth potential of cloud workloads: Security and Governance. 

  • Security represents how a business will ensure that their cloud hosted assets are safe from internal and external threats.  
  • Governance represents how a business will ensure resource design, deployment, and modification fit into the business and technical requirements, and effectively mitigate the need for remediation in the future. 

Businesses must keep these in mind throughout the entire cloud adoption planning process. 

So, to move to the cloud or optimize your existing cloud footprint, here are the top 5 security and governance actions to keep in mind: 

  1. Plan Resources Consistently and Accurately 

    Poor planning is one of the biggest causes of cloud inefficiencies. Without a clear and concise plan, the potential for ad-hoc changes will increase, leading to resource misconfigurations. Having a concise and accurate plan means understanding the technologies offered in the cloud. Partner provided workshops can advise on which technologies will best fit your needs. 
    Ex. Deploying a domain controller in Azure without properly planning aspects such as authorization, authentication, and network security rules. 
  1. Follow the Principle of Least Privilege 
    You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again. It’s critical that you know who has access to what within the cloud. This ensures that rogue actors can’t bring down your business-critical workloads. Azure offers an extensive list of built-in roles for all services. Further, businesses can create custom roles so individuals within Azure work within limited permissions.  
    Ex. Providing your finance officer with “Virtual Machine User Login” on a single VM if they must access finance related files. 
  1. Maintain a Defined Security Strategy 
    Working with a CISO can help maintain a cloud readiness checklist to ensure all deployed resources fit your business’s security framework. This can be an internal CISO or a delegated CISO.  

    Azure provides a native Security Benchmark built on CIS Controls v7.1 along with the NIST SP800-53 guidelines. These guidelines encourage the use of specific configurations, so your baseline covers as much ground as possible. 

    Ex. Utilize Azure Policy or Blueprints to enforce resource creation compliance with the defined strategy. 
  1. Avoid Using Custom Security and Compliance Frameworks 
    Custom security and compliance frameworks that aren’t based on industry standards are not recommended. These can delay adoption or make it difficult to modify existing deployments to fit into the framework.  

    Most companies need to comply with similar industry frameworks to be secure and compliant. Azure provides admins with the ability to implement proven policy definitions and remediation tactics from the top-down. 

    Ex. Implement Azure Policy with pre-crafted definitions to enforce resource creation, modification, and maintenance to adhere to industry standards.  
  1. Manage a Defined Budgeting Strategy 
    Ultimately, cost management will be an ongoing and somewhat tedious task. However, it’s best to know how much you are willing to spend from the beginning. This will identify what kind of resources to deploy and what discount services to implement.  

    Azure provides admins with the ability to set budgets and cost alerts if resource usage creeps higher. Azure Reservations and Savings Plans can help ensure resources are running at discounted rates and cover static and dynamic workloads.  

Next Steps: Implement Security and Governance Frameworks 

If you’re a new or existing Azure user, figuring out how to implement security and governance best practices can be daunting.  

As Arraya Solutions is a trusted Microsoft Partner, we can assist you in communication with your CISOs, CTOs, CEOs, and other stakeholders to come up with a clear and concise plan of action.  

Reach out to one of Arraya’s account executives today to schedule a call. 

Visit arrayasolutions.com to connect with our team now.  

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