For organizations to secure their operations on the Azure cloud, implementing the database security practices is essential. Microsoft Azure has been growing as one of the leading cloud platforms. However, security, which is a common concern among all cloud platforms, remains a challenging issue to resolve. Azure follows the shared responsibility model, which offers the base for Azure SQL database security.

Key features offered by the Azure SQL database

  • Failover assurance to prevent data loss and disaster recovery with the help of geo-replication of the database
  • AI-based Automated performance tuning
  • High resource availability and scalability
  • Backup retention for longer durations

Areas That Organizations Must focus on For Azure SQL Database Security

Identifying critical areas to maintain a good security posture for Azure SQL databases is vital for organizations. It is imperative that they make sure their data privacy standards are up to date and are in compliance with necessary regulations. They must identify potential threats early and take immediate action to evade any interferences or downtime. 

As accessibility has been associated with several concerns regarding data breach or theft, organizations must ensure enforcing restrictions on accessing databases. Furthermore, this must be done abreast robust security permissions. Organizations that continuously monitor multiple modifications across their databases are more likely to maintain a strong data integrity and privacy.

Azure SQL Database – Best Practices for Security

In the line of aforementioned imperative areas that must be focused on to maintain the security of Azure SQL databases, organizations can define primary objectives of their infrastructure. Following are some of the key best practices for establishing a robust Azure SQL database security.

Threat Protection

One of the best ways to protect Azure SQL databases for organizations is by enabling the advanced data security (ADS), which includes key capabilities such as data discovery, vulnerability assessment, advanced threat detection, and data classification. ADS helps organizations monitor and manage their databases through centralized dashboards, in turn making maintenance activities efficient. 

Periodic Auditing

Maintaining compliance, identifying vulnerabilities due to misconfigurations, and monitoring activities of databases is imperative for organizations for continuous logging and tracking events. Auditing is a feasible way of accomplishing this, as it enables organizations to track and log events on the Azure Storage Account. This helps organizations to find potential vulnerabilities through best practices.

Multi-factor Authentication

Users claim to be many different things and multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the best way to verify the same. Organizations can do this by adopting the most common way of MFA i.e. sending codes to mobile devices, such as one-time-passwords, or mandating password or fingerprint protection. This helps organizations ebb the vulnerabilities to their database and prevent compromised credentials. Conditional access and interactive authentication are two aspects of a robust security and organizations must use MFA to achieve this. It helps organizations establish a stringent control over users’ access to resources.

Inventory

Creating inventories of data is one of the most important-to-consider best practices for Azure SQL database security. This helps organizations ensure accurate implementation of security abreast the emphasis on vital valuable assets. Information protection enables organizations to realize desired functionalities that ensure data classification. Monitoring the data to ensure efficient infrastructure security is a prominent area to be emphasized and information protection facilitates this for organizations.

Encryption

Organizations must ensure that their data in transit and at rest is encrypted. The built-in always encrypted feature enables organizations in preventing their data from exposure to threats even during usage. This is done by keeping the encryption keys away from the engine driving the database, which in turn ensures accessibility only to data owners. It further helps organizations prevent data accessibility by cloud and database administrators.

To Remember

There are various security features that Azure offers built-in for information protection, access management, network security, and threat protection. Not all of these features are automated and most of them mandate configuration. It is crucial for organizations to review the functionality of the security features and follow the most suited best practices for a robust security of their Azure SQL databases as well as the infrastructure. 

Upgrades are the only constant in the increasingly dynamic world of digital transformation. Keeping pace with security advancements is the only way for organizations to maintain a robust compliance posture.

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