Written by Max Chamberlain, Lead Azure Consultant at intY
Security should be at the forefront of most IT considerations in the modern age. With the migration of so many businesses from the traditional on-premises set-up to a hybrid or cloud-only environment, there is a need to become fully secure in more ways than ever before.
Fortunately, as the technical capabilities of cloud resources accelerate, so does the investment in, and capability of cloud native security products. Microsoft alone has committed $20B of investment into their cybersecurity abilities between 2020 and 2025.
Microsoft Defender for Cloud is an Azure-native Cloud Security tool, able to manage the security of resources across Azure, on-premises and competitor public clouds (e.g., AWS, GCP). Microsoft Defender for Cloud works by integrating seamlessly with an organisation’s cloud infrastructure, allowing it to monitor and protect cloud workloads and services across multiple platforms.
The Microsoft Defender for Cloud Platform covers two broad pillars of cloud security: Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and Cloud Workload Protection (CWP).
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
The Microsoft Defender for Cloud posture management feature offers visibility of your current security status and ‘hardening guidance’ to help you effectively improve your security through several effective tools. These areas are continually assessed and updated within the Microsoft Defender for Cloud dashboard, so you can be assured that your current security posture is being effectively evaluated and you have the current best practice and advice to hand.
As soon as you open Microsoft Defender for Cloud, you are given the below to help you maximise your security posture across all covered resources:
- Secure Score – This is a clear numerical score to rate your current security posture against Microsoft cloud security benchmarks and is related to how secure your environment and resources currently are. The higher your secure score, the lower your current risk level.
- Hardening Recommendations – You will be given a list of recommendations based on current security misconfigurations and weaknesses. These recommendations will be directly linked to your secure score and actioning any recommendations will increase your secure score and result in a lower risk level for you covered resources.
- Attack Path Analysis – This tool scans for exploitable attack paths which could be used to breach your environment and potentially give access to your high-value assets and resources. As well as identifying these paths, you will also be supplied recommendations on how best to remediate these weaknesses ranked from highest to lowest risk.
Cloud Workload Protection (CWP)
Microsoft Defender for Cloud relies on several layers of protection to safeguard an organisation’s cloud resources.
- Firstly, it uses machine learning algorithms to analyse data and detect anomalies in behaviour. This helps to identify and prevent sophisticated threats.
- Secondly, the platform employs behavioural analysis to monitor for malicious activities that may have bypassed traditional security defences.
- Thirdly, it uses threat intelligence to provide real-time updates on emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
The Microsoft Defender for Cloud platform has the capabilities to identify and stop threats across a wide range of cloud-based services, including virtual machines, Azure native PaaS services and Azure data services. The platform can also detect threats within the network, endpoints and email, and continuously monitors for vulnerabilities across infrastructure and applications.
Microsoft Defender for Cloud has been designed to provide extensive visibility and control over an organisation’s cloud infrastructure. The platform provides real-time monitoring of cloud resources and generates alerts when suspicious activities are detected.
Another key advantage of Microsoft Defender for Cloud is its ease of deployment and management. The platform can be deployed in a matter of minutes and can be managed through a central dashboard. The platform also integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft security products, such as Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Microsoft Cloud App Security, enabling organisations to benefit from a unified security approach.
Microsoft security solutions form a unified defence suite that natively integrates across endpoint, identity, email, and applications to detect, prevent, investigate, and automatically respond to sophisticated attacks. Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a comprehensive cloud security solution that provides advanced protection against such threats, but also provides proactive high-level analysis and recommendations to ensure your workloads are as secure as possible.
Find out more about other security solutions from Microsoft on our Microsoft cloud offering page.