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Why Microsoft Azure Excels in Data Security and BCDR Integration

Data Security and BCDR are one of the most critical points regarding hardware failures, any natural disaster, or software failures. To recover the data within no time after a disaster or ensure the safety of the data, you need to have a trusted platform to quickly take action. There are many small businesses that cannot afford the high costs to secure their data on-premises but can migrate to Azure and receive the full benefits including the major concern for data security.

 

On the other hand, many of the good running businesses can get affected due to any of the natural calamity or natural disaster so in order to prevent your businesses from suffering losses due to outages you can replication your data to multiple regions continuously and provide high availability without any failure.

Microsoft Azure Cloud

Azure provides various helpful features, such as backup and disaster recovery, Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Archive Storage.

Some major facts from the Azure portal are:

  • 80% reduction in average data recovery time
  • 370% 5year ROI
  • 97% reduction reduced lost end-user productivity from data loss
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Azure Offerings

Azure Backup

It is the one place for centralized backup services and solutions to help organizations and also scale upon storage needs. You are able to monitor, govern and optimize data protection in a consistent manner with the help of a backup center.

The centralized effect also helps out to define the policies of the backup schedules. It is quite capable of protecting work environments such as Azure VMs and Azure file shares etc.

When maintaining replicated environments, it is obvious to suffer failure at any point in time. Still, with the features such as volume shadow copy and pre-post-processing scripts, data from virtual machines is continuously backed up and restored to maintain the consistency of the applications running.

Backup data can be in multi-varied forms such as Azure VMs, and MySQL servers that too can be stored in Azure VMs, Azure files, etc.

Storing of backups can be managed according to the need of data. Azure provides storage of backups in three different ways:

  • Locally redundant storage
  • Geo-redundant storage
  • Zone redundant storage

Azure Site Recovery

Businesses are the most critical to work upon when they get hit by any means of natural disaster. To keep your business going smoothly, you need to focus on running it with the help of built-in disaster recovery.

 

The Azure Site Recovery helps you to maintain business continuity for all the planned and unplanned outages faced during application deployment and failover. Microsoft is a recognized leader by Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Disaster recovery.

To implement the Azure site recovery, you must replicate an Azure VM directly from the Azure portal to a different Azure region. With the help of Azure Site recovery, you can ensure compliance testing for the disaster recovery plan without impacting the production loads or the end users.

 

The application supported by Azure site recovery always keeps applications highly available during outages with automatic recovery from on-premises to Azure or other regions.

 

To restore the data backup, you need to have the additional infrastructure. Still, with site recovery, you can reduce the cost of deploying and maintaining the on-premises disaster recovery infrastructure. You will be saving all the costs and pay according to the pay-as-you-go model for the computing services.

 

Azure Archive Storage

Storage of data with cost-effective pricing is important, as the separation of data according to the needs of the organization. It provides the lowest price for the archive storage tier. Encryption of data is automatically done at rest.

 

Many organizations need to maintain years of data such as medical, educational, or any other relevant data. This type of data is suitable

 

With the help of intelligent tiering, the data can be integrated into hot and cold tiers. The Archive storage is supported by all the leading data management partners. The data stored in the Archive storage is secured and highly available, with different options to manage the export of the data with minimum latency. You can store TBs of data at a very low cost and retrieve them as per the offerings.

 

Azure Data Security

Azure data protection is the most helpful when securing your data while it is at rest or in transit. You need to follow best practices for Azure data and security encryption related to the following states:

 

At rest: You can add all your data from the storage objects or the data which is in static form, such as physical media.

In transit:​​​​​​​ Whenever the data is transferred between the components or different geographic locations the data is in a transit state.

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Azure Encryption Models

It supports various models such as service managed keys, customer-managed keys on customer physical hardware. With the help of client side enncryption , you can store keys on secure location or on-premises location.

 

Client-side encryption

This type of encryption is performed outside of the Azure environment. When using client-side encryption, the cloud service providers cannot access the encryption keys and cannot decrypt the data. You are the only control person of the data.

It includes the data encrypted by an application running by a service application or any customer data center. Encrypted data is being received by the Azure.

Server-Side encryption

It offers the below keys to manage the data control:

 

  • Service managed keys: The keys are in a combination related to a service that offers a combination of control and a convenient way to control the data.
  • Customer managed keys: You are able to control the keys such as you could generate your own keys and use it under the Bring your own keys model.
  • Service managed keys in customer-controlled hardware: It is a complex way to manage keys since the keys are outside of Microsoft control under the Microsoft model of Host your own key. It is a complex process many of the Azure services might not support this model.
 

Azure Key Vault

It is a cloud service from Azure for the storage of your secrets safely and restricting unauthenticated access to the secrets.

Azure key vault provides access control that is needed to secure the encryption key access to end users. The encryption key needs to be secured and so should be stored in safe locations. With the use of a key vault, you can increase security to a much greater extent, and you would be capable of controlling your keys and passwords used in different projects. The application using the keys or password has no direct access to any of the keys.

 

The key vault can be used to encrypt keys and passwords that are stored in HSM. Even Microsoft employees are also not able to access or extract your keys, in addition, you are capable of audit and monitoring your key with the help of Azure logging.

 

When you use Azure key vault to store the credentials or key in the cloud instead of on-premises, it helps you to improve performance and reduce latency issues for your applications.

 

Azure Resource Manager

The Azure Resource manager helps you work on resources in our application as a single group. You are able to perform multiple operations such as updating or deleting the resources as a whole single entity. It also provides an Azure Resource Manager template that can be reused for deployment, testing, or production environment.

 
It also helps in maintaining the security of the application running in Azure since it follows certain access controls which is quite helpful in comparison to manual deployment which can be vulnerable to risk.

 

Application Insights

It is an application performance management service that can be used to monitor your live applications and also analyze the performance for any errors. It also comes with analytics tools that can review for any issues and also check for user activity performed on any applications. It is capable of monitoring your application from the pre-testing phase to the published phase.

 

Application Insights can analyze the data for you, and it can create charts, and tables that can be helpful for gathering insights such as end-user interactions with the application or any dependency related to third-party applications.

It is an efficient tool to maintain the availability, and security to analyze your issues and also monitor them in case of detailed analysis of any issue.

 

Azure Advisor

It analyses your resources and gathers insights which in order can be used for improving the security and performance of the applications. In the following manner, you can also keep a check on the overall expense of Azure resources and eliminate it from your resource pool.

The recommendations from the Microsoft Defender for cloud by performing security analysis can be insightful in improving the security aspect of the application architecture or those which are already deployed on Azure.

Conclusion

Azure provides a wide range of security features that are best to encrypt your data on rest as well as transit. Azure Firewall, WAF, Azure Firewall manager, etc. Microsoft has invested more than 1 billion dollars in its cybersecurity and research development. It has been a key employer in hiring the greatest number of cybersecurity experts.

 
You can have a secure foundation with Azure’s multi-layered security model with the assistance of cybersecurity experts in Azure. You will be able to implement the best practices along with simplified security models with built-in controls for your workloads. Any of the unknown threats can be easily identified with global security features provided by Azure.

 

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