Over the past few months, I have conducted many customer workshops, designed and implemented Landing Zones, and migrated or placed VMs into Azure. One of the most common customer questions has been about best practices for Azure VMs to maximize performance and efficiency, minimize costs, increase security, and reduce management overhead. This article is based on my real-world experience and recommendations based on several Azure projects.
The Azure Files Teams announced the availability of joining Azure Fileshares to AD DS since February 2020. This brings a lot of new possibilites, like to move Fileservers directly to a hosted SMB solution or deploy WVD Profiles directly on Azure Fileshares.
Microsoft did a lot of work to bring this solutions to live, but there are some challenges and pitfalls to activate and maintain the service. In this article I will go in a short way over all related considerations for Azure Fileshares AD DS authentication. Please note this article only focus to enable Azure Files for Active Directory Domain Services – not Azure AD or Azure AD DS.
In the past Thomas Naunheim and I do a lot of architecture and designing prinicple for integrating Azure in company environments. We have the idea to create a Azure Governance Best Practices session in the last couple of months to give the community our insights and best practices for Starting/Integrating Azure environments. The goal is to give you insights, where you can find the best documentations to start with a Cloud journey and which technical Azure features help to bring and hold your environment in an compliant and secure state.
The session contains the following topics:
Cloud Adoption Framework
Insights about Azure Policies and Azure Security Center
Azure Enterprise Scale architecture
Identity and Access Management
We are exited to hold the session at the GermanyClouds Meetup on november 26. Did you interested in this topics or you are in the beginning or implementig phase, join us. We will happy to see you there and get your questions.
Our 1st IdentitySummit is over and we had a amazing Summit with our powerfull Speakers and our attendees.
We (Azure Bonn Orga Team) started planning the Summit in March 2020. The Orga Team from the AzureBonn Meetup consists of Melanie Eibl, Thomas Naunheim and René de la Motte. The idea came from Thomas (our Identity Expert) and we can say that was a wonderful idea.
We meet together at the Debeka Innovation Center (DICE) in Koblenz to organize and streaming all the sessions from one central place. The current Corona situation has unfortunately not made a complete live event possible, so we have met under the rules in force to ensure a smooth process and bring a little live feeling.
Now after 6 session in 2 parallel Tracks we can say it was worth every minute of planning – Why?
The answer is simple: First of all because of our great speakers. Each session was planned with a minimum of 300, and each session went deep into the relevant topics, showing what needs to be considered, the pitfalls and best practices available.
In the past I do a lot of Azure Governance workshop and one interesting topic is how to handle the Break Glass Account. Before we going deeper, first we take a look was is the Break Glass Account. For each Administrator role in Azure or Office365 is it best practice to use MFA to secure the account and get a better security for the Tenant. To realize this, normally we use Conditional Access and create a rule, that every Admin require MFA for login. But what can we do, when:
the MFA service is down
we create a Conditinal Access that with a wrong rule set and lost sign-in access
we do not regulary update our control list and the admin account goes lost
For this cases we need a Break glass account, an additional account with a high security password, to enter the Tenant in an emergeny case. For this account, there are some recommendations:
only use a generic account
create a complex password with more than 16 characters
for compliance reason divide the password into two parts
save each part in a different location
create a security group that contains the break glass accounts
create two break glass accounts with no standard username like breakglass@ or emergency
use the Tenant name for the account
do not use a custom domain name
in futher it will be possible to use FIDO2 security key for break glass (right now is in preview and not recommended for such critical scenario)
Now we can discuss in some ways a security gap – a service account with Global admin rights that do not require MFA for login. Now you see, why it is so important to monitor this accounts and get notified when they will be used for login.
Azure allows to use IaaS and PaaS solution together over the same network. But all Azure PaaS services using a public interface for connection. When configure the PaaS firewall to allow traffic only from internal VNETs the public interface still exists. With Azure Private Link there is a new service to disable the public interface and add a private endpoint to secure connect to PaaS from your own VNET.
When configuring the internal service Firewall to block all traffic from outside the VNET, the Firewall make a mapping from internal VNET traffic to the Public IP and block all other IP- Adress ranges – and here comes the new Azure Service Private Link into play. This blog post will cover how Private Link works and how to configure this service for your environment including own DNS solution to get a complete private based Azure VNET.
This is a challenging time for everyone and I hope you are well. Many community conferences cancelled or moved to an online event. The online events give the oppurtunity to learn and discuss in an different way. The European Sharepoint Conference (ESPC) Team has announced the Azure Week between 25.05. – 29.05.20 as a webinar week.
The Azure Week has an great lineup with very useful sessions. Thomas Maurer open the week with a session about Modern Azure Cloud operations for IT Ops and I have the pleasure to close the week with a session about Azure Policy with Azure Security Center.
In this session we will dive into the many aspects of Azure Policy and Azure Security Center and see how they work together.
In the past I have taken several Azure exams, and yesterday I took the Azure Security exam Az-500. I am really glad that I passed the exam. In this article I will give you a brief overview of the topics I saw in the exam and what materials I used to prepare for the exam. I can say directly that the best way to succeed in the exam is practice.
Azure Bastion is a new service to reaches Azure VMs in a secure way without needing a Jump host in the same VNET or to publish an Public IP for a VM.
Azure Bastion is in public preview since end of June 2019. Now the service is General Available (since Microsoft Ignite 2019) and many limitations are gone. This article will short introduce the service, the new features and how easy is it to enroll the service in the environment to reach Azure VMs (Windows or Linux) over a secure way.