How to Strengthen Your Cloud Security Posture & Governance

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The cyber-attack landscape has rapidly evolved in recent years and the SolarWinds hack, one of the biggest cybersecurity breaches of the 21st century, was the crack. Today, the costs that result from a single breach could reach millions of dollars without any exaggeration. Quite devastating for an organization, right?

To keep up with the sophistication of today’s threats, the traditional models are failing to provide the full visibility and control you need to secure your environment. Moving to the cloud and addressing security and governance matters in a cloud environment brings more complexity for organizations where regulatory rules are constantly changing, and the cost of compliance increases as well. Keeping up with all this isn’t easy.

In this article, we will closely examine how Microsoft Defender, a security model that quickly adapts to the reality of the world we live in, allows all organizations and governmental entities to appropriately secure their environments whether they are on Azure or on-premises. We will also demonstrate how to leverage the cloud security posture management feature in Microsoft Defender to ensure maintaining a proper security posture and being compliant with various regulatory compliance such as FedRAMP, CMMC, and CIS.

We will also showcase how to secure your workloads within the azure environment and on-prem resources such as storage accounts, containers, VMs, and more.

What are the most common security challenges?

Visibility into the security compliance  ·  Increase in number of sophisticated attacks  ·  Complexity of managing a multi-cloud environment

The very first challenge: the visibility into the security compliance

Last year in 2021, the world witnessed progressive cyber-attacks and we all remember the SolarWinds hack where the cost of a breach was estimated to be almost 4.24 million dollars! Building cloud environments brings more complexity for organizations and 92 percent of them are embracing their strategies in the Cloud but very few of them have learned how to maximize security within those new environments.

1· Microsoft Defender for Cloud

Microsoft Defender is an Azure native security service deployed across different types of cloud and hybrid environments. It provides a full security stack in Azure, on-prem, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments as well.

It offers complete management of the security posture in Azure by using a security score and leveraging a standardized compliance security assessment benchmark to evaluate the security of the environment and providing you with a visible score of your security posture as well as compliance for each of those standard controls. It also detects threats and protects your workloads, either if your VM is running on Azure, or on-prem, and even on AWS or GCP. It also provides full support of protection for Azure resources and along with that full vulnerability assessment and management.

Microsoft Defender has the capability of responding to threats when found during the assessment and mitigating the incident and the alert, and those mitigations can be operated either manually or can be fully automated.The response automation can be using tools such as logic apps and can be integrated with other tools such as (sentinel, teams, outlook, ITSM Products such as slack, ServiceNow, or others)

What makes Defender better than others?

Built-In with Azure

  • No Deployment, Just Enable
  • Built into the resource provisioning process
  • Broadest protection coverage
  • Remediate with a click
  • Free Cloud Security Posture Management

Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Support

  • Auto-provisioning for new resources
  • Onboard on-prem and other cloud resources Like AWS, GCP, Alibaba Cloud with Azure Arc

Secure Score for Multiple environments

  • Birds-eye view of the security posture
  • Prioritized security recommendations
  • Track and manage your security posture state over time
  • Implement security best practices
  • Enable enhanced security features
  • Remediate security configurations

Advanced Threat Protection

  • Workload-specific signals and threat alerts
  • Deterministic, Al, and anomaly-based detection mechanisms
  • Leverage the power of Microsoft Threat Intelligence with 24 trillion signals daily
  • Advanced protection for VMs, databases, containers, web apps, networks, and more.

Microsoft Defender Capabilities for different Roles

Chief Information Security Officer


  • Create an overall security strategy that creates resilience against cyber-attacks and tracks performance over time

Product Use Cases:

  • Top-level view of the cloud security state
  • Create dashboards to visualize progress over time

Security Admin


  • Reduce the attack surface of the organization’s cloud environments

Product Use Cases:

  • Harden the cloud environment with recommendations
  • Set security policies for the environment, monitor implementation, track down vulnerabilities
  • Manage the cloud asset inventory

Security Operations


  • Around-the-clock threat hunting, investigation of breaches, and mitigation of incidents

Product Use Cases:

  • Leverage workload-specific threat detection and response mechanisms to identify attacks, investigate alerts and incidents, and quickly mitigate threats

2· Holistic management of your security posture in the cloud

Secure Score

Understand the bottom line of your security posture, implement recommendations, and monitor over time

Resource visibility

View and manage your cloud resource inventory


Ensure your configurations align with key compliance standards and enforce organizational policies

The Security Dashboard

Centralized Posture View

Your security posture across Azure in one place

Focused views

Easily access deep dive views for security posture, resource inventory, workload protection, and more

Top insights front and center

· Understand which recommendations to prioritize

· See your most attacked resources and take action

Security Posture - Secure Score

  • Assess and implement best practices for security and compliance
  • Cover all critical cloud resources across the network, access, compute, databases, your service layer, and more
  • Hundreds of out-of-the-box recommendations
  • Create custom recommendations to meet organizational requirements
  • Use “Fix” or a Logic App to remediate with a single click or enforce policies to avoid configuration drifts
  • Improve and track your secure score and overall security posture over time

Compliance assessment and management

  • Assess and manage your compliance status with a continuous assessment of your cloud resources
  • Use Industry standards, regulatory compliance frameworks, and vendor-provided benchmarks to implement security and compliance best practices.
  • Create custom recommendations to meet unique organizational needs

PCI  · NIST  · SOC  · ISO  · HIPAA  · Azure Security Benchmark  · CIS  · CMMC  · FedRAMP  · DOD

PCI  · NIST  · SOC  · ISO  · HIPAA  · Azure Security Benchmark  · CIS  · CMMC  · FedRAMP  · DOD

Use asset inventory to manage your resources' security posture

The asset inventory page of Microsoft Defender for Cloud Inventor Cloud provides a single page for viewing the security posture of the resources you’ve connected to Microsoft Defender for Cloud.


  • Which of my subscriptions with enhanced security features enabled have outstanding recommendations?
  • Which of my machines with the tag ‘Production’ are missing the Log Analytics agent?
  • How many of my machines tagged with a specific tag have outstanding recommendations?
  • Which machines in a specific resource group have a known vulnerability (using a CVE number)?

Threat Protection for all layers on the cloud and On-Prem

Threat detection

Prioritized alerts across compute, databases, the cloud service laver, and more

MITREATT&CK® framework mapping

Understand the effect across the adversary’s attack lifecycle

Leading threat intelligence

Highly sophisticated & resource-specific alerts based on Microsoft’s global threat intelligence

Vulnerability management

Identify and remediate vulnerabilities before they are exploited

Alert correlation

Prioritize more easily with connected alerts that are grouped into incidents

3· Protect your workloads in the cloud and on-premises

  • Use detections that are built for the unique attack vectors of each resource type, built on the powerful insights of Microsoft Threat Intelligence
  • Reduce your attack surface by continuously scanning workloads to identify and manage vulnerabilities

  • Automatically protect new workloads as soon as they are deployed

  • Integrate with your SIEM for easy management of incidents.

Deploy Microsoft Defender for Cloud threat protection to your workloads anywhere with Azure Arc

  • Extension installation, e.g. Log Analytics agent
  • Enforce compliance and simplify audit reporting
  • Asset organization and inventory with a unified view in the Azure Portal–Azure Tags
  • Server owners can view and remediate to meet their compliance-RBAC in Azure

Respond and automate

  • Leverage “Quick Fixes” for the fastest way to implement recommendations
  • Automate threat alert responses with Azure Logic Apps and use the apps of your choice to create intelligent workflows
  • Connect to Microsoft Sentinel and easily move between the portals when investigating and managing incidents

Strengthen your Cloud Security Posture Today with BESPIN GLOBAL

  • Enable Defender for Cloud to assess your security posture
  • Fix your top 5 Secure Score recommendations today
  • Start a free trial to protect your workloads
  • Onboard AWS, GCP and on-prem workloads with Azure Arc
Mahmoud Atallah

Mahmoud Atallah

Mahmoud Atallah is a Senior Cloud Solutions Architect for Bespin Global MEA. With over 10 years of experience spanning Microsoft Solutions, Azure, DevOps, Cloud Security, Infrastructure as Code, Modern Workspace, and AVD, he was recently awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). Atallah helps customers build successful Azure practices, and lead on more transformation and digital journeys to Azure Cloud.  He enjoys sharing his knowledge around topics like Modern Workspace, Endpoint Management, Azure WVD, Office 365, EMS, and Intune amongst others.