Microsoft Azure, like any other hosting and cloud platform, has trade-offs between control of resources and ease of implementation. It provides several security measures for experienced users. Microsoft strictly adheres to compliance and undergoes regular third-party audits. This can be considered a good start; however, it is each consumer’s responsibility to maintain their stability and security. Azure services provide the arrangement to create virtual machines, networks, and applications, but it is the end-user that owns them. For this reason, it is essential that your Azure instances also receive regular security audits to protect your most sensitive assets. Azure penetration testing enables you to benefit from many of the advantages of traditional penetration tests while remaining in compliance with Microsoft’s requirements.
Several elements of Azure cloud services cannot be tested. For instance, it is strictly prohibited to perform DDoS attacks on the network, as it may result in an unexpected downtime and might affect many users/businesses. On the other hand, there are several services that can (and should) receive a regular assessment. The following are a few examples of those that can be tested.
Microsoft has set forth several protocols that must be followed if you choose to conduct Azure penetration testing. However, no prior approval is required to conduct penetration tests on Azure services, as of June 2017. While this helps save time during the pre-engagement process, there are several factors to be considered before testing your Azure environment. The following activities are prohibited when carrying out penetration testing
Thus, it is quite crucial to seek out qualified security engineers to aid in assessing your Azure environment, as it greatly reduces the likelihood of damage and non-compliance, while ensuring the required and acceptable components are tested.
Protecting your proprietary content that lies within the Azure platform while remaining in compliance with Microsoft’s policies is both crucial and challenging. Hence, many organisations choose to partner with professional penetration testing service providers.
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