This week a new service – Fusion Detection for Ransomware has been announced. These Fusion detections correlate alerts that are potentially associated with ransomware activities that are observed at defense evasion and execution stages during a specific timeframe.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware attack is a type of attack that involves using specific types of malicious software or malware to make a network or system inaccessible for the purpose of extortion – ‘ransom’.
There is no doubt that ransomware attacks have taken a massive turn in being the top priority as a threat to many organizations. A recent report released by PurpleSec revealed that the estimated cost of ransomware attacks was $20 billion in 2020 and with downtime increasing by over 200% and the cost being 23x higher than 2019.
Preventing such attacks in the first place would be the ideal solution but with the new trend of ‘ransomware as a service’ and human operated ransomware, the scope and the sophistication of attacks are increasing – attackers are using slow and stealth techniques to compromise network, which makes it harder to detect them in the first place.
In order to help your analyst quickly understand the possible attack, Fusion provides you with a complete picture for the suspicious activities happened on the same device/host by correlating signals from Microsoft products as well as signals in network and cloud. Supported data connectors include:
”With Fusion detection for ransomware that captures malicious activities at the defense evasion and execution stages of an attack, it gives security analysts an opportunity to quickly understand the suspicious activities happened around the same timeframe on the common entities, connect the dots and take immediate actions to disrupt the attack.”
Microsoft is commited to release new multistage attack scenarios detected by Fusion in Azure Sentinel. You could keep an eye on there Azure Sentinel Fusion page and get latest updates there 🙂
Stay tuned for more Azure automation & Security related posts.
There might be some technical knowledge gaps when we start to learn a new cloud service or its features. One way to minimize it – is to study for a certification exam or read a book that has a more holistic approach into the technology.
Well, while not all of you might agree with this approach of reading the book, certain books can open a completely new perspective into your vision. Of course, there is a risk that over-time, the cloud services described in the book might be phased out, merged or re-named (like, Azure Data Warehouse service got evolution into Azure Synapse Analytics) into some other services.
In addition, hands-on learning is the recommended approach to master your knowledge and get technical depth into the subject matter area.
Anyway, no matter what approach works best for you, the “Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide 4th Edition” is an essential handbook to cloud transformation with Azure that you don’t want to miss out on.
As it is a common case in technology, there are many different scenarios for running your workloads on Azure to meet your company’s business needs. This book puts renewed emphasis on the importance of using design principles and how crucial planning is – when moving resources to Azure.
The authors of the book use the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, and recommend to adopting best practices to improve the quality of your workloads in the cloud.
That said, let’s have a look into the chapters:
✔️ Introduction to Azure ✔️ Automation and governance in Azure ✔️ Modernizing with hybrid cloud and multicloud ✔️ Cloud migration: Planning, implementation, and best practices ✔️ Enabling secure, remote work with Microsoft Azure AD and WVD ✔️ Security fundamentals to help protect against cybercrime ✔️ Offers, support, resources, and tips to optimize cost in Azure
I hope those listing sparkled your interest to read the book. Well, without any overdue check the download link and put it on your device.
Hopefully, you could get solid Azure cloud understanding from this book and lighten-up your cloud transformation journey.
How to get your Azure & Data Fundamentals (AZ-900 + DP-900) ⁉🤔
(Attention: you could get a free training + Azure exam voucher by the end of this article)
Microsoft Azure is one of the fastest growing cloud solution providers in the world. It has an “Azure Fundamentals” certification – an entry level cloud certification. Candidates for this exam (AZ-900) should have foundational knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure.
Azure Fundamentals exam is an opportunity to prove knowledge of cloud concepts, core Azure services, Azure pricing, SLA, and lifecycle, and the fundamentals of cloud security, privacy, compliance, and trust.
Are you excited to start your Azure study?
Check these absolutely free resources below and get ready for this exam then 🙂
Microsoft Virtual training events (check below 👇👇👇)
Well, next step will be the exam registration, that has a $99 cost in the USA. You could take this exam online, proctored through Pearson VUE or other exam providers.
I have a good news for you – for limited time, Microsoft generously provides complementary exam vouchers for its virtual event attendees. Thank you Microsoft for empowering people on their #cloudjourney!
I hope everyone getting a chance to enjoy the summer and spend some time with loved once.
That said – Azure Bicep team does not seem slowing down, and I love it! New features and capabilities have been added to Azure Bicep product v0.4 version, and we will review those innovations on this post.
What is Azure Bicep?
Azure Bicep is a domain-specific language (DSL) that significantly simplifies the Azure resource authoring. It makes representation of your Azure digital estate concise with clean syntax by adding reliable type safety and code-reuse.
A typical Azure Bicep language code for an Azure storage account declaration will look as simple as the following code below – which basically explains why Bicep is called a DSL.
Why would you need it?
There are number of benefits in using Infrastructure-as-Code approach. Azure Bicep might be the right tool for you to use for Azure deployments, especially if you are trying to modernize and simplify the Azure deployment process.
Let’s look into scenarious where Bicep is the right tool to use:
✔️ Want to use language native to Azure? ✔️ Looking for fully integrated templates withing Azure platform? ✔️ Looking for fully supported product with Microsoft? ✔️ Don’t want to keep or worry about your resource state information ✔️ Looking to modernize and easy transition from JSON
Well, if your response is YES for above statements/questions then Bicep will be right tool for your solution.
New additions to Azure Bicep in version 0.4
There are numbers of enhancement and features has been added from this release. Let’s look at main Highlights of these features below:
✅ Linter MVP – The Bicep linter will inspect your code and catch a customizable set of authoring best practices. ✅ Deprecated parameter modifiers removed – Strip out deprecated parameter modifier syntax ✅ New code snippets – Suggestion with new code snippets added ✅ Bug fixes – Number of bug fixes added, thanks to community support ✅ Bicep Playground fixes – Playground doesn’t load after breaking change. ✅ Documentation and examples update ✅ Support for List method call on Azure resource references ✅ Support for JSON literal string conversion ✅ Support for using local json templates as modules ✅ Support for object body completion snippets
What is next?
There are still number of milestones in-front of Bicep team, as the versioning # of Bicep project indicates. That said, starting from Bicep version 0.3 you can get an official Microsoft support.
Below is the sneak-pick preview on what is cooking for v0.5 – which is expected to be out sometimes around August month this year.
Hybrid-cloud security and protection of digital estate across cloud is very hot topic. But there are very few tools that can cover all different clouds, even though there are myriad of third party and cloud native tools to achieve this mission.
Thus, I have compiled my takeaways on perspective from the latest Microsoft Security blog post and wanted to share back set of tools on Microsoft Azure that could help you achieve management of security poster across clouds.
Microsoft’s Azure security and management tools extend protection to your multi-cloud estate (including other CSPs like AWS, GCP, IBM, etc.)
The followings are the key services that enable it:
✔️ Azure defender for Servers ✔️Azure Security Center ✔️Azure Defender for SQL
Let’s start with the Azure Defender for Servers. What is the Azure Defender for Servers ?
Well, this service leverages Azure Arc to simplify the on-boarding and security of virtual machines running in AWS, GCP, and hybrid clouds.
The Azure Arc projects non-Azure resources into Azure native objects that can be managed and secured with Azure capabilities (Secure Score, Compliance Reporting, Azure Policy, Azure Defender, asset management, etc.)
Next important service visualized on a diagram is Azure Security Center. Well, what is Azure Security Center?
This service provides a unified multi-cloud view of security posture by integrating AWS Security Hub and GCP Security Command Center detected misconfigurations and findings in Secure Score and Regulatory Compliance Experience.
And finally, let’s review the Azure Defender for SQL.
This managed service constantly monitors your SQL servers for threats, whether they are hosted on-premises, in multi-cloud deployments on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and in virtual machines on Azure.
The MCAS (Microsoft Cloud App Security) 🛡️🔐 – helps to identify and combat cyberthreats across all your cloud services. This is a cloud access security broker (CASB) that provides multifunction visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics.
Who would resist to learn Azure cloud and utilize free services that have been annnces this month?
Yes, you have read this correct, there are 4 more servics added to exisiting 25+ always free and 12 months set of free products, up to the monthly limits.
Those services are listed on the infographic:
✔️ Azure Key Vault ✔️ Azure Database for PostreSQL ✔️ Azure Media Services ✔️ Azure Database for MySQL
Have you used these new services in your labs or projects yet? If not, that is okay. Here is the brief description what you can do with these services listed above:
Azure Key Vault – helps teams to securely store and manage sensitive information such as keys, passwords, certificates, etc., in a centralized storage which are safeguarded by industry-standard algorithms, key lengths, and even hardware security modules.
Azure Database for PostreSQL – with Azure you can run your PostgreSQL Server workloads in a hosted virtual machine infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or as a hosted platform as a service (PaaS). The PaaS option has multiple deployment choices, each with multiple service tiers that you can use with Azure Database for PostreSQL.
Azure Database for MySQL – take the model tha we described above and apply it to MySQL. That how simple it is..
Azure Media Services – lets you deliver any media, on virtually any device, to anywhere in the world using the cloud. The collection of services provide encoding, live or on-demand streaming, content protection and indexing for video and audio content.
Which products are free for 12 months?
These products are free for 12 months, up to the monthly limits. Availability is based on resource and region.
Check out the details about each of these services on Microsoft Azure’s website.
Two weeks ago, I was able to clear the Azure specialty exam – “Azure IoT Developer” and get certified. More importantly, this was a good opportunity to learn about IoT technologies and services in Azure platform.
What is IoT?
An “Internet of Things” (IoT) device is typically made up of a circuit board with sensors attached that use WiFi to connect to the internet. Here are some examples of IoT devices and use cases:
A pressure sensor on a remote oil pump.
Temperature and humidity sensors in an air-conditioning unit.
An accelerometer in an elevator.
Presence sensors in a room.
The Azure Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of Microsoft-managed cloud services that connect, monitor, and control billions of IoT assets. In simpler terms, an IoT solution is made up of one or more IoT devices that communicate with one or more back-end services hosted in the cloud.
Check out the following short video, if you never hear about applications of Internet of Things (aka, IoT).
Is there a comprehesive study guide to follow?
The short answer is YES!
As always start with simple and straight forward Microsoft Learn modules on IoT learning path. But that is not the only resource that i have used.
I personally found it very useful to check the Microsoft Tech community blog posts. The IoT sub-section has many tricks and trips and recommendations. Thus, check the following post that has very good information on exam resources:
It is designed for Solution Architects, Business Decision Makers, and Development teams that are interested in building IoT Solutions with Azure Services. The content is comprised of 5 video based modules that approach topics ranging from IoT device connectivity, IoT data communication strategies, use of artificial intelligence at the edge, data processing considerations for IoT data, and IoT solutioning based on the Azure IoT reference architecture.
Thank you for reading this post till this point.
Please, feel free to share your experience, as i am planning to keep this post up to date with your valuable contributions going forward. #keeplearning
After updating to the latest Azure CLI (2.22.0) for Windows 10, I am now seeing the same error as others have reported:
Any command such as “az bicep version” is producing the following error:
The command failed with an unexpected error. Here is the traceback and detailed error: type object 'datetime.datetime' has no attribute 'fromisoformat' Traceback (most recent call last): File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\knack/cli.py", line 231, in invoke File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 657, in execute File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 720, in _run_jobs_serially File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 691, in _run_job File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 328, in call File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/init.py", line 807, in default_command_handler File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/command_modules/resource/custom.py", line 3294, in build_bicep_file File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/command_modules/resource/_bicep.py", line 63, in run_bicep_command File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/command_modules/resource/_bicep.py", line 152, in _load_bicep_version_check_result_from_cache AttributeError: type object 'datetime.datetime' has no attribute 'fromisoformat'
Is there a temp workaround?
One of the workarounds is to uninstalled Azure CLI 2.22.0 , and then install the prior version 2.21.0. You could confirm 2.21.0 version is working for you by running the same command.
Hope this will be helpful for you, as i faced with this issue hours before my demo to #GlobalAzure 2021 😐