Azure Sentinel and a Zero Trust Security Strategy: Help Secure Your Business

Written by Jaime Gutt, Cyber Security & Compliance Engineer - LATAM at Maureen Data Systems (MDS)

As the cyber threat landscape expands, cloud-based services increase in popularity, and remote work becomes the norm, organizations must now rethink and adapt their respective security strategies. To ensure business continuity, a reactive approach to security needs to be replaced by a proactive one, with consolidation, automation, and cost optimization being key. Let’s dive deeper into this.

 

 A challenge which Information Security professionals often deal with is the vast amounts of data stemming from different resources within the organization’s IT environment, in many cases hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Additionally, multiple security and monitoring tools are used in order to secure these resources. SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tools generally comes in handy for security professionals to aggregate data and logs from various sources including servers, databases, applications, and security products. However, SIEMs are often used as reactive and costly tools which can generate hundreds of alerts daily and require Information Security professionals to regularly monitor and assess. Oftentimes dealing with false positives, fatigue, and waiting for threats to surge as opposed scouting for those vulnerabilities in the first place. How does an organization adjust to being more proactive with security, leveraging automation, harnessing the power of the cloud, minimizing cost, and simplify processes by consolidating data and logs into one central place? This is where Azure Sentinel comes in..

Azure Sentinel is Microsoft’s cloud native SIEM tool. Beyond the typical SIEM tool, Sentinel specializes in four main aspects:

  • Cloud-Scale Data Collection - Sentinel centralizes all your data sources into one place, ingesting data from servers, applications, devices, firewalls, and even users. Microsoft makes this easy by offering a wide array of ‘Data Connectors’ which can be integrated with just a few clicks. These data connectors include not only Microsoft native sources (Office 365, Defender, Azure AD), but also third-party ones such as Fortinet, Palo Alto, Cisco, and even AWS. For complex Hybrid and Multi-Cloud environments, Sentinel is built to consolidate.
  • Detecting Threats – Once you have your ‘Data Connectors’ integrated with Sentinel, logs will start coming in and Sentinel will start detecting undiscovered threats and vulnerabilities. Additionally, you are given you the option to create your own customized detection rules and have Sentinel alert you accordingly. As mentioned previously, false positives can be a factor in overwhelming security professionals and creating unnecessary clutter. Sentinel minimizes false positives by using Microsoft Intelligence, analytics, and learning from previous patterns and behavior.
  • Proactive Investigating – We discussed not only being reactive, but also proactive. Within Azure Sentinel, Microsoft has developed powerful hunting tools which allow you to actively investigate through data sources and discover threats and vulnerabilities. Through built-in and customizable queries, your team can consistently discover and monitor for anomalies, unusual activities, and their root causes. With Sentinel Notebooks, you can leverage virtual sandboxing in order to carry out further in-depth investigations with Machine Learning and visualizations. As opposed to waiting for an alert to come in before implementing the proper controls, hunting and proactive investigations in Sentinel allow you to prepare and discover before the potential security incident takes place.
  • Respond – This is where Sentinel’s SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation and Response) come into play, and one of Sentinel’s main competitive advantages. Once incidents/alerts start coming in, Sentinel is equipped to perform automated responses and take necessary actions on behalf of the team to quickly and efficiently mitigate or resolve the threat altogether. Sentinel offers plenty of built-in ‘Playbooks’ designed to respond to incidents related to your data connectors and offers you the capability to customize and design your Playbooks, gearing them towards your business necessities and incrementing productivity within your Security team.

Our team at Maureen Data Systems is prepared to work with your organization to create a Zero Trust Security Strategy, aligning with your business objectives. Always ensuring Compliance, Data Governance, and Risk Mitigation. MDS is an award-winning Microsoft Partner, with a global team comprised of certified Engineers and Solution Architects.

Contact us to learn more about how Azure Sentinel and a Zero Trust Security Strategy can help your business!

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