The Microsoft cloud security benchmark

Every day, Azure and other cloud service providers release new services and capabilities. Developers quickly publish new cloud apps based on these services, and attackers are continuously looking for new methods to exploit resources that have been misconfigured. Cloud technology, developers, and attackers all move quickly. How can you stay current and guarantee the safety of your cloud deployments? What distinctions exist between cloud service providers’ security policies and those for on-premises systems when it comes to cloud systems? How do you check the constancy of your workload across several cloud platforms?

According to Microsoft, utilising security benchmarks might aid in hastening the security of cloud installations. You may choose precise security configuration settings in your cloud environment, across several service providers, using a complete security best practise framework from cloud service providers as a starting point, and you can monitor these setups using a single pane of glass.

You may utilise the high-impact security recommendations in the Microsoft cloud security benchmark (MCSB) to help protect your cloud services in a single or multi-cloud environment. MCSB suggestions focus on two essential areas:

  • These security policies are typically relevant to all of your cloud workloads. The stakeholders who normally participate in the planning, approval, or implementation of the benchmark are listed for each suggestion.
  • Service baselines: These apply the controls to individual cloud services and offer suggestions on how to configure the security of that particular service. Service baselines are only at this time offered for Azure.

Put Microsoft’s cloud security benchmark into practice.

  • Plan your MCSB implementation by looking over the enterprise controls documentation and service-specific baselines to determine how your control framework aligns with standards like the PCI-DSS framework.
  • For your multi-cloud environment use the Microsoft Defender for Cloud – Regulatory Compliance Dashboard to track your compliance with MCSB status (and other control sets).
  • Using tools like Azure Blueprints, Azure Policy, or comparable technologies from other cloud platforms, set up barriers to automate secure setups and enforce compliance with MCSB (and other regulations in your company).

Typical Use Cases

Microsoft’s cloud security benchmark is frequently used to solve typical issues for clients or service providers who are:

  • Looking for security best practices to guarantee a secure deployment of cloud services and your own application workload since you’re new to Azure (and other other cloud platforms, including AWS).
  • In order to identify the top risks and mitigations, current cloud installations need to strengthen their security posture.
  • Difficulty in synchronizing the security control monitoring and assessment utilising a single pane of glass while employing multi-cloud systems (like Azure and AWS).
  • Before adding or authorising a service(s) into the cloud service catalogue, Azure’s (and other major cloud platforms, such as AWS) security features and capabilities should be evaluated.
  • Being forced to adhere to compliance standards in highly regulated fields including government, banking, and healthcare These clients must make sure that the security requirements specified in frameworks like CIS, NIST, or PCI are met by the service settings they use for Azure and other clouds. With the controls already pre-mapped to these industry criteria, MCSB offers a practical method.

Terminology

In the Microsoft cloud security benchmark documentation, the words “control” and “baseline” are often used. It’s critical to comprehend how MCSB use these words.

Term

 

 

Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baseline

Description

 

 

A control, which is not particular to a technology or implementation, is a high-level description of a feature or activity that has to be addressed.

 

 

 

The implementation of the control on each Azure service is a baseline. Every firm sets its own benchmark requirements, and Azure must be configured accordingly. At this time, only Azure is available for service baselines.

Example

 

 

One of the security control families is data protection. To assist guarantee that data is safeguarded, a number of particular measures must be taken.

 

 

 

By adhering to the configuration suggested in the Azure SQL security baseline, the Contoso firm hopes to enable Azure SQL security features.

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