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Use Azure Security Center to protect your workloads

Use Azure Security Center to protect your workloads

At this series of posts we will make a walk along the Azure Security Center, to see some common usage scenarios. Like how we can use it to protect from a Virtual Machine to a whole Data Center.

To make it easier to understand we will start with a typical Azure IaaS scenario. A Virtual Machine with IIS role to act as Web Server. The steps to create the VM is out this post’s scope. I will simply describe the process. First we create a Windows Server 2016 Virtual Machine. Second we log in and add the Web Server (IIS) role. Third we open the port 80 at the VM’s Network Security Group (NSG) and voila we can browse at the Azure DNS name of the VM and see the IIS default landing page.

Azure Security Center

At this point the security of the Web Server is relying on the Network Security Rule, a layer 3 firewall that allows access to the port 80 and of course the Windows Firewall that does exactly the same.

Lets browse to the Azure Security Center from the Azure Portal. There we see an overview of security settings for the whole subscription.

Azure Security Center

First, click the “Compute”. I will skip the overview and go directly to the “VMs and computers” tab. There we see the name of the VM and the five points of interest. Our VM is not monitored, it doesn’t have endpoint protection and it reports some vulnerabilities.

Azure Security Center

Recommendation: Enable data collection for subscriptions

To start resolving the issues click the VM to go to the Recommendations blade. The first recommendation says to enable data collection for the subscription. Of course this is the Log Analytics, OMS (Operations Management Suite) integration. This will enable the subscription resources to report to log analytics.

Azure Security Center

Press the “Enable data collection for subscription”. The Data Collection blade will open. There we can enable or disable the automatic provision of the monitoring agent. This is the Microsoft Monitoring Agent that connects a Virtual Machine to Log Analytics and also we can use it for connecting to SCOM.

Azure Security Center

The second option is to chose a workspace. IF you have already created an OMS workspace you can choose it. If not let it create a new one automatically. Finally press save.

Returning to the previous blade you will see that the “Turn on data collection” recommendation, is now in Resolved state.

Azure Security Center

Although this recommendation is resolved instantly, the Microsoft Monitoring Agent is not yet installed. Go back to the Compute / Data collection installation status to see the agent installation status.

Azure Security Center

Stay tuned for the next Azure Security Center post to resolve more recommendations.

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