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:

โœ”๏ธ Delegate management of resources from high privileged account to managers
โœ”๏ธ Govern access for users in your organization
โœ”๏ธ Govern access for users outside your organization
โœ”๏ธ Automate and simplify day-2-day management
โœ”๏ธ 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.

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ #cloudmarathoner โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

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

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.


Microsoftโ€™s Azure security and management tools extend protection to your multi-cloud estate (AWS + GCP) and here are the key services that enable it:

โœ”๏ธ Azure defender for Servers
โœ”๏ธ Azure Security Center
โœ”๏ธ Azure Defender for SQL

First, we will start withย  Azure Defender for Servers.
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.)

Second important service 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, 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.

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ #cloudmarathoner โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ
#SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ๏ธ

What is MCAS and why would you need it?

Hello cloud marathoners,

The MCAS (Microsoft Cloud App Security) ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ๐Ÿ” – 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:
โœ”๏ธ Discovery & Manage your apps
โœ”๏ธ Govern access to apps and resources
โœ”๏ธ Check compliance on your cloud apps

Check out this detailed level architecture ofย #appsecurityย inย Microsoft Azure โ„ขย ๐Ÿ‘

MCAS – Microsoft Cloud App Security.


What are the main use cases for your business?

โœ”๏ธ Shadow IT Discovery & Control
โœ”๏ธ Secure Access
โœ”๏ธ Security Poster Management
โœ”๏ธ Threat Protection
โœ”๏ธ Information Protection
โœ”๏ธ 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 youย Matt Sosemanย for bringing this diagram ย #SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ๏ธ

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ย #cloudmarathonerย โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

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

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.

Microsoftโ€™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 ๐Ÿ‘
#SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ๏ธ

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

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 doesnโ€™t require corporate authentication), but wonโ€™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 userโ€™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.

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ #cloudmarathoner โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘#microsoftazure 
#conditionalaccess 
#compromiseduser
#continuouslearning

How to become a Microsoft Security๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ Ninja โš” ???

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 ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ

Learn about basic to advanced scenarios on network security, MCAS, Defender, Office365 and other security๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ๐Ÿ” services on Microsoft Azure – from following collection of blog posts:ย 

โœ”๏ธ Microsoft Cloud App Security Ninja Trainingย  https://aka.ms/MCASNinja

โœ”๏ธ Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Ninja Trainingย  https://aka.ms/MDENinja

โœ”๏ธ Azure Network Security Ninja Trainingย https://lnkd.in/g9qeMrT

โœ”๏ธ Azure Security Center Ninja Trainingย  https://aka.ms/ASCNinja

โœ”๏ธ Azure Sentinel Ninja Training https://lnkd.in/gpZb7kS

โœ”๏ธ Microsoft 365 Defender Ninja Trainingย  https://aka.ms/M365Ninja

โœ”๏ธ Microsoft Defender for Identity Ninja Trainingย https://aka.ms/DFINinja

โœ”๏ธ Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Ninja Trainingย 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 ๐Ÿ˜˜

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

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

As cloudโ˜๏ธ journey matures, each company ๐Ÿจ 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 โ„ข

Get started by learning “What is an Azure landing zone?” ๐Ÿ‘‰ https://lnkd.in/eD7xtWV #SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก ๐ŸŽฏ theย #cloudmarathonerย โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ on LinkedIn แด€ษดแด… ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

What is an Azure administrative unit and its benefits? ๐Ÿค”

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

AUs could manage permissions ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ๐Ÿ” 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 mystaffย Microsoftย website ๐Ÿ‘‰ https://mystaff.microsoft.com/

Check out the following Microsoft docs post for more details and use ases๐Ÿ‘‰ย https://lnkd.in/dXMMncJ #SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ

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:

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become the #cloudmarathoner โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

What is Microsoft Cloud App Security and what it does?

Well, it is a Cloudโ˜๏ธ Access Security Broker (CASB) ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ ๐Ÿ” that supports various deployment ๐Ÿš€ modes; like log collection, API connectors, and reverse proxy.


You can get a rich visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics to identify and combat cyberthreats across all yourย Microsoft Azure โ„ขย and third-party cloud services.

Cloud App Security integrates visibility with your cloud by providing:
โœ”๏ธ Cloud Discovery
โœ”๏ธ Sanctioning and unsanctioning an app
โœ”๏ธ App connectors
โœ”๏ธ Conditional Access App Control protection
โœ”๏ธ Policy Control
โœ”๏ธ Types of apps to migrate

Check out how to get started withย Microsoftย Cloud App Security ๐Ÿ‘‰ย https://lnkd.in/eZg2Pby#SharingIsCaringโค๏ธ

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ย #cloudmarathonerย โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

Starting points in DevSecOps journey

Hello friends,

During my journey to become a Microsoft Azure Security professional, I have compiled set of useful resources in addition to the exam materials. These resources do complement cloud and application security with open-source tooling, and a book that is much needed for success.

I am excited to share this with my network and DevSecOps enthusiasts ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. WhiteSource Bolt – is a #free developer tool for finding and fixing open source vulnerabilities.
  2. Find Security Bugs – it is a SpotBugs plugin for security audits of Java web applications – https://find-sec-bugs.github.io/
  3. OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) – one of the most popular free web security tool, actively maintained by a dedicated international team of volunteers – https://owasp.org/www-project-zap/
  4. Sqlmap – is an open source penetration testing tool that automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws and taking over of database servers – http://sqlmap.org/
  5. OpenVAS – Open Vulnerability Assessment Scanner is a full-featured vulnerability scanner. Its capabilities include unauthenticated testing, authenticated testing, various high level and low level Internet and industrial protocols, performance tuning for large-scale scans and a powerful internal programming language to implement any type of vulnerability test. – https://openvas.org/
  6. Recon-ng – is a full-featured Web Reconnaissance framework written in Python. Complete with independent modules, database interaction, built in convenience functions, interactive help, and command completion, Recon-ng provides a powerful environment in which open source web-based reconnaissance can be conducted quickly and thoroughly – https://tools.kali.org/information-gathering/recon-ng
  7. OWASP Glue – is a framework for running a series of tools. Generally, it is intended as a backbone for automating a security analysis pipeline of tools – https://github.com/OWASP/glue
  8. Awesome DevSecOps book. Inspired by the awesome-* trend on GitHub. This is a collection of documents, presentations, videos, training materials, tools, services and general leadership that support the DevSecOps mission. These are the essential building blocks and tidbits that can help you to arrange for a DevSecOps experiment or to help you build out your own DevSecOps program.
  9. #lambhack is A vulnerable serverless lambda application. This is certainly a bad idea to base any coding patterns of what you see here. It allows you to take advantage of our tried and true application security problems, namely arbitrary code execution, XSS, injection attacks and more.
  10. Black Duck is a commercial alternative to WhiteSource Bolt. It helps to manage the risks that come with the use of open source. Black Duck software composition analysis solutions and open source audits give you the insight you need to track the open source in your code, mitigate security and license compliance risks, and automatically enforce open source policies using your existing DevOps tools and processes.
  11. OWASP Honeypot-Project. Goal of the OWASP Honeypot Project is to identify emerging attacks against web applications and report them to the community, in order to facilitate protection against such targeted attacks. Based around the earlier OWASP/WASC Distributed Web Honeypots Project.
  12. Open Source Honeypots That Detect Threats For Free. You could read details on this interesting post.

Note: in noway this presents a complete guide. However, I hope it will guide your project into a more successful DevSecOps state.

I do encouragetoย comment and shareย your tips and resources here. This will ultimately help every community member to become a better security professional. Thanks!