cloud professional services

Mar 16, 2020 12:41:16 AM by ohad shushan

Everything you need to know about CIS Benchmarks and Azure Blueprints


Transformative and empowering as cloud platforms might be, they come with significant security challenges in the front end and back end of their architectures. Successful deployment of business processes and applications on the cloud requires planning and understanding of all the relevant risks and vulnerabilities and their possible solutions.

Top seven critical Security Concerns on the Cloud

  • Malware-injection attacks
  • Flooding attacks
  • Identity and access management
  • Service provider security issues
  • Web applications security threats
  • Privacy and personal data protection and compliance challenges
  • Data encryption on transmission and processing challenges


The Center for Internet Security (CIS) outlines the best practices for secure deployment and protection of your IT system at the enterprise level or on the cloud. Key international players in cybersecurity collaboratively create these globally recognized standards. The CIS benchmarks provide a roadmap for establishing and measuring your security configurations. Azure Cloud customers can leverage these standards to test and optimize the security of their systems and applications.


The benchmarks by the nonprofit organization support hundreds of technologies from web servers to operating systems, databases, web browsers, and mobile devices. The configuration guidelines take account of the latest evolved cyber threats and the complex requirements of cloud security.


Benefits of the CIS Benchmarks for Cloud Security

  • They enable easy and quick configuration of security controls on the cloud.
  • They entail mapped out steps that address critical cloud security threats.
  • You can customize benchmark recommendations to fit your company standards and compliance policies.
  • Automatic tracking of compliance using the benchmarks save time.


CIS Microsoft Azure Foundations Benchmark

The Microsoft-CIS partnership taps into Microsoft’s proven experience and best practices in internal and customer level Azure deployments while leveraging the CIS’s consensus-driven model of sharing configurations.


The new Azure blueprint for CIS Benchmark prescribes expert guidelines that cloud architects can use to define their internal security standards and assess their compliance with regulatory requirements.


The CIS Microsoft Azure Foundations Benchmark includes policy definitions on:


  • Access control - multifactor authentication and managing subscription roles on privileged and non-privileged accounts.
  • Vulnerability monitoring on virtual machines.
  • Monitoring storage accounts that allow insecure connections, unrestricted access and those that limit access from trusted Microsoft services.
  • SQL Server auditing and configuration.
  • Activity log monitoring.
  • Network monitoring where resources are deployed.
  • Recoverability of key vaults in the event of accidental deletion.
  • Encryption of web applications.


Azure Blueprints

Azure Blueprints are the templates used by cloud architects to design and implement the appropriate cloud resources for adhering to company standards and regulatory requirements. These Blueprints are pivotal in attaining a robust cloud security posture. You can design and deploy compliant-ready environments in the shortest time, and be confident that you are meeting all the right standards with minimal risk and resource wastage.

Critical applications of Azure Blueprints:

Simplifying Azure deployment

You get a single blueprint definition for your policies, access controls, and Azure Resource Manager templates, which simplify large scale application deployments on the Azure environment. You can use PowerShell or ARM Templates to automate the deployment process, but without having to retain large declarative files and long scripts. The versioning capability within these blueprints means that you can edit and fine-tune the control and management of new subscriptions.

Streamlining your creation environment

Azure blueprints enable the deployment of several subscriptions in one click, which results in a uniform environment from production to development and QA subscriptions. One can also track and manage all blueprints in a centralized location. The integrated tooling makes it easier to maintain control over every resource and deployment specifications. The resource locking feature is especially critical in ensuring that new resources are not interfered with.


Achieving compliant development

The Azure blueprint has a self-service model that helps to speed up compliance with your application deployment. You can create custom templates or use the blueprints to meet standards where there is no established framework. The built-in compliance capabilities of Azure Blueprints target internal requirements and external regulations, including ISO 27001, FedRAMP Moderate, and HIPAA HITRUST, among others.


The new Azure blueprint for CIS benchmark sets a foundational security level for businesses deploying or developing workloads on the Azure Cloud. Nonetheless, it’s not exhaustive in its scope of security configurations. Site-specific tailoring is required to attain full compliance with CIS controls and requirements.


Cloudride LTD provides cloud consulting services, including security and networking blueprint, architecture design, migration, and cost optimization, among others. Our cloud partners include MS-AZURE, AWS, and GCP alongside other independent service providers. We’re happy to help you achieve a competitive advantage with a robustly secure and agile cloud infrastructure.

Contact us to learn more.




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