Azure introduced new Fusion Detection for Ransomware!

Hi Cloud Marathoners,

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.

AI in action with Azure Sentinel for help!

Good new is that #azuresentinel 🔥 is constantly getting more efficient by introducing #AI in action – Sentinel #fusion!

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.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner â›…🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

#microsoftsecurity
#security
#infosec
#cybersecurity

 1,175 Reads

Essential Azure cloud transformation handbook – for everyone

Hi Cloud Marathoners,

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.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner â›…🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

#microsoftazure
#cloudskills
#multicloud
#cloudtransformation
#bestpractices
#wellarchitected #framework
#continuouslearning

 941 Reads

What is entitlement management and how it can help?

Hello Cloud Marathoner’s,

We are continuing our cloud learning journey with Azure services today. Last year Azure Active Directory has introduced many useful features and we will talk about one of them that simplifies the identity governance.

“An Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) entitlement management is an identity governance feature that enables organizations to manage identity and access lifecycle at scale, by automating access request workflows, access assignments, reviews, and expiration. ” – Microsoft Azure AD Identity Governance

Entitlement management example with one catalog and two access packages

How can entitlement management help?

There are several ways how you could leverage these features for your Azure resource management activities. The easiest one to get started with is the delegation options:

✔️ Delegate management of resources from high privileged account to managers
✔️ Govern access for users in your organization
✔️ Govern access for users outside your organization
✔️ Automate and simplify day-2-day management
✔️ View and report on resource assignments and access packages

Let’s consider following two common scenarios:

First Scenario: As administrator you want to delegate access governance from IT administrators to users who aren’t administrators.
Check out the Video clip for step-by-step guidance.

Second Scenario: You would like to create an automated request process for your users to enable them request for an access package (set of Azure resources and accesses rights) to do their job.

The request process of access packages can be simply understood by a help of a following sample infographic.

A user request for access package (set of resources) to start doing work assignments

When I should use access packages?

It is not a silver bullet, so access packages do not replace other mechanisms for access assignment. However, following use-cases are most appropriate in situations where you would consider them:

  • Employees need time-limited access for a particular task. For example, you might use group-based licensing and a dynamic group to ensure all employees have an Exchange Online mailbox, and then use access packages for situations in which employees need additional access, such as to read departmental resources from another department.
  • Access that requires the approval of an employee’s manager or other designated individuals.
  • Departments wish to manage their own access policies for their resources without IT involvement.
  • Two or more organizations are collaborating on a project, and as a result, multiple users from one organization will need to be brought in via Azure AD B2B to access another organization’s resources.

Thank you for reading till this point. Stay tuned for more Cloud Security and Administration related posts.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner â›…🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

#microsoftazure
#AzureAD
#identitygovernance
#accessmanagement
#secureaccess
#bestpractices
#continuouslearning

 512 Reads

Enabling protection of multi-cloud environments from one central?

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

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. 

Looking for more references?

Check out a “Protecting multi-cloud environments with Azure Security Center” blog post on Microsoft blog post.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner â›…🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️
#SharingIsCaring❤️️

 765 Reads

What is MCAS and why would you need it?

Hello cloud marathoners,

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.

Here is a high level architecture diagram from Microsoft docs.

What are the main benefits of this cloud service?

Here are the main three benefits ot brings alone:
✔️ Discovery & Manage your apps
✔️ Govern access to apps and resources
✔️ Check compliance on your cloud apps

Check out this detailed level architecture of #appsecurity in Microsoft Azure ™ 👍

MCAS – Microsoft Cloud App Security.


What are the main use cases for your business?

✔️ Shadow IT Discovery & Control
✔️ Secure Access
✔️ Security Poster Management
✔️ Threat Protection
✔️ Information Protection
✔️ User & Entity Behavioral Analytics

Another beauty of above architecture lies in a fact that you could easily integrate this model with third party SaaS apps, all listed on a diagram.

Thank you Matt Soseman for bringing this diagram  #SharingIsCaring❤️️

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner ⛅🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

#microsoftazure
#MCAS#securitymanagement
#OAuth#secureaccess #appsec
#threatprotection
#securityengineering
#bestpractices
#continuouslearning

 2,135 Reads

What are the Microsoft Azure’s Multi-Cloud and Cross-Platform Capabilities?

Hello cloud marathoners,

There are many security and multi-cloud capability services under Microsoft Azure umbrella of services. In this post, I will reference the Microsoft documentation to clarify those capabilities on high-level.
I hope this post will clarify intent and purpose of these capabilities for you.

Important: Please zoom into a infographic – as it is of a high quality and can be very informative in understanding the article.

Microsoft’s cross-platform or cloud security starts with endpoints and cloud visibility and controls: namely Endpoint management and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) that provides insight across your multi-cloud and on-premises datacenter estate as well as Cloud Workload Protection capabilities

Next are the SIEM and XDR Strategy – where Microsoft provides integrated capabilities for the Security Operations / SOC to get the broad and deep visibility needed to rapidly detect, hunt for, and respond/recover to threats across clouds and platforms.

The following capability on the infographic is – Infrastructure Extended Detection and Response (XDR). These capabilities are provided through set of services, namely Azure Defender, Azure Arc, Microsoft 365 Defender with number of features combined under the suit of services.

Next set of capabilities are Identity Enablement and Security – where Azure Active Directory provides comprehensive solutions, including Zero Trust access control that explicitly verifies trustworthiness of devices (via XDR) and users via native UEBA, Threat Intelligence and analytics.

And finally, Information Protection capabilities – utilize the Microsoft Information Protection and Azure Purview services that provide a full lifecycle approach to discovering, classifying, protecting, and monitoring structured and unstructured data as your organization generates and leverages more data. These capabilities provide insights to drive mission completion and competitive advantage.

What would be your approach?
Please, share in the comments section 👍
#SharingIsCaring❤️️

Important: Please zoom into the infographic – as it is of a high quality and can be very informative in understanding this article.

#microsoftazure
#multicloud
#crossplatform
#endpointmanagement
#SOC
#securityengineering
#identityaccessmanagement

 1,553 Reads

Protecting against compromised user devices with Zero Trust Access Control?

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

I have been asked to expand upon set of available Microsoft Azure services that could help with compromised user devices. One way to deal with such scenarios is to temporarily suspend user access until endpoint is cleaned.

Taking into account that your user’s device is compromized, you can automate response either to restric or restore the access to the endpoint.

Option#1 – Retrict Access

To help with this scenarious you could use the Azure AD’s Conditional Access features. The Conditional Access knows about the device risks because Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) notified Intune, who then updated the compliance status of the device in Azure AD.

During this period, the user is restricted from accessing corporate resources. These applies to all new resource requests and will block any current access to resources that support continuous access evaluation (CAE).

Your user will still be able to do general internet productivity and research (like Wikipedia, external web resources and anything else that doesn’t require corporate authentication), but won’t have access to corporate resources.

Option#2 – Restore Access

The second option (illustrated on infographic) mitigates the “Access restored” scenariou. This correspondce to sceanriou wher threat has been remediated and cleaned up, MDE triggers Intune to update Azure AD and Conditional Access restores the user’s access to corporate resources.

Described two scenarious above, mitigate the risk to the organization by ensuring attackers who may be in control of these devices cannot access corporate resources, while minimizing the impact on user productivity to minimize disruption of business processes.

What is next?

Check this interesting references on Microsoft docs and learn about Continue Access Evaluation (CAE) – and other Common Conditional Access policies.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner â›…🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍#microsoftazure 
#conditionalaccess 
#compromiseduser
#continuouslearning

 2,080 Reads

How to become a Microsoft Security🛡️ Ninja ⚔ ???

Hello friends,

Recently, I have been asked about good refences to master security echo-system on Microsoft technologies, especially in Cloud security products and services. Thus, I dived into references and compiled following resources for everyone to enjoy 👍👌

Learn about basic to advanced scenarios on network security, MCAS, Defender, Office365 and other security🛡️🔐 services on Microsoft Azure – from following collection of blog posts: 

✔️ Microsoft Cloud App Security Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/MCASNinja

✔️ Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/MDENinja

✔️ Azure Network Security Ninja Training https://lnkd.in/g9qeMrT

✔️ Azure Security Center Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/ASCNinja

✔️ Azure Sentinel Ninja Training https://lnkd.in/gpZb7kS

✔️ Microsoft 365 Defender Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/M365Ninja

✔️ Microsoft Defender for Identity Ninja Training https://aka.ms/DFINinja

✔️ Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Ninja Training https://aka.ms/MDONinja

In addition, you could easily join to the Microsoft Security Community, and get latest announcement from here: https://lnkd.in/gXdv7Sq

Stay tuned …. for upcoming announcements on Microsoft Azure, as all of them will be shared back here 😘

#microsoftazure #continuouslearning #cybersecurity #networksecurity #informationsecurity #cloudsecurity

 950 Reads

Why “Start small and Expand” approach is good for your company business?

As cloud☁️ journey matures, each company 🏨 knows that service
requirements and needs will be changing. As cloud providers add new features and products, the new market opportunities and possibilities will rise.

There are several reasons why you would want to pursue the cloud landing zones. Using the start small and expand landing zone, you could get started with cloud adoption at a low-risk pace, and build up the security, governance, and regulatory policies over time.

As a benefit, with “start small and expand” you can use Azure Resource Manager templates and Azure Policy to create a CI/CD pipelines for subscriptions with Azure Blueprints.

As an ongoing improvement effort, you could expand and improve the landing zone with the Cloud Adoption Framework enterprise-scale design guidelines from Microsoft Azure ™

Get started by learning “What is an Azure landing zone?” 👉 https://lnkd.in/eD7xtWV #SharingIsCaring❤️

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ 🎯 the #cloudmarathoner ⛅🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ on LinkedIn ᴀɴᴅ 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

 315 Reads

What is an Azure administrative unit and its benefits? 🤔

The Administrative Units (AU) are Azure AD resources which can contain only users and groups.

AUs could manage permissions 🛡️🔐 in a role to any segment of your organization. For example, you could use AUs to delegate the User Administrator role to regional support specialists, so they can manage users only in the region that they support.

The AUs are especially helpful when an organization whose IT department is scattered across globe and wants to categorize and define relevant geographical boundaries.

Currently, supported scenarious from Azure AD portal are:

  • Create administrative units
  • Add users and groups members of administrative units
  • Assign IT staff to administrative unit-scoped administrator roles.

In addition, assigned users can easily manage their AU users from mystaff Microsoft website 👉 https://mystaff.microsoft.com/

Check out the following Microsoft docs post for more details and use ases👉 https://lnkd.in/dXMMncJ #SharingIsCaring❤️

Now, if you end up loving this story and want to lean about managing your sers with “My Staff” – then check out this handy post on Micrsoft docs page:

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become the #cloudmarathoner â›…🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

 604 Reads