Walkthrough using Azure Policy to audit and enforce compliance

azpolicyUse Azure Policy to manage and enforce your standards for governance and compliance and to assess that compliance at scale. When you implement Azure Policy, you are effectively adding guard-rails for your users. But you also have a way to audit your organization compliance against a particular policy.

In this walkthrough, you will learn the implications of using a Policy in Azure. For this walkthrough, you will use Azure CLI to create a storage account that will not be compliant, but allowing its contents to be accessed using HTTP. Then you will add a Policy that requires HTTPS, and see how you can audit existing, non-compliant resource. You will audit the resource using the portal and using PowerShell script. Then you will create another non-compliant resource and see how Azure blocks the resource during creation.

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Understanding Azure Policy for regulatory compliance

azpolicyUse Azure Policy to manage and enforce your standards for governance and compliance and to assess that compliance at scale. The idea is to set standards and to be able to demonstrated your organization is meeting your regularoty compliance goals.

In previous blog posts, you learned about setting up Management Groups and Security Center. For management groups, you learned that policies can be applied  across multiple subscriptions. You noticed that Security Center provides a set of policies (an an policy initiative) for your subscription.

In this post, learn the basics of Azure Policy for you to manage resource consistency, regulatory compliance, security, and cost. And how Policies can be grouped together as initiatives, and how you can assign initiatives to specific regulatory compliance goals.

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Setting up Management Group for production in enterprise

org1Once you have set up your first subscription, you can set up your Management Group.

In Azure, management groups are a way to group your subscriptions. When you apply policies and governance to your management group, all of the subscriptions within a management group automatically inherit the conditions applied. Enterprises want management groups as a way to scale your operations no matter how many subscriptions you may have.

For example, you may want to restrict the regions available for your resources to those within a particular region. A policy that reflects that can be applied to a management group and will automatically be applied to all management groups, all subscriptions, and all resources under that management group.

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Setting up Security Center for production in enterprise

Icon-security-241-Security-CenterSecurity Center provides out of the box policies and a dashboard to identify possible security issues with your subscription.

To start with Security Center has a good set of policies that will help you do basic audits and provide security alerts.

Use Security Center to meet your cloud requirements

In this article, you will be able to meet the following requirements:

  • Set up ways for your security team, developers, and operations to quickly audit subscriptions.
  • Mitigate security issues

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Setting up Log Analytics workspace for production in enterprise

icon_1.0.1195.1535Operations and security are central in any cloud deployment. It should be top of mind in each of your cloud deployments.

Enabling your operations team to find and fix errors, to build practices around scaling your data are essential to having a successful Azure data center.

Log Analytics provides a unified way to show what is happening across your Azure data center.

In this article learn how to set up Log Analytics to receive data from multiple Azure subscriptions, on premises virtual machines or other clouds. And learn to configure your Log Analytics workspace, set up role-based-access-control, and how to incorporate Log Analytics best practices. In addition, you will also learn how to get started with some important queries.

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Organize Azure resources using management group, tags, naming convention

org1Once you have set up your Azure administrators, you can begin to consider how to organize your cloud into management groups, subscriptions, resource groups. You will want to develop a naming standard, and way to tag resources.

Although you may be focused initially on just getting your resources deployed, you will want to be able to manage them. For example, a year from now you may want to know who is responsible for the virtual machine that is no longer doing anything, but is costing money. In other words, you may want lifecycle management.

You may want the ability to charge a set of resources to a cost center and to budget those resources. For example, you may want to receive alerts for both the users and for your administrators when costs are out of line with expectations.

And as we all know, it is easier to organize as you go. In this article, you will learn about some key points in organizing your Azure resources.

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Checklist of Azure tools for enterprise admin: PowerShell, AzCopy, Azure CLI, Docker, Git, Azure Providers

powershellAzure provides the Azure Cloud Shell which includes almost every tool you will need already installed. But that requires you to be logged into the portal. And it times out after a short time. So you can administer Azure from your desktop.

There are tools you will normally want on your local computer to administer Azure:

  • PowerShell
  • Azure Powershell
  • Azure CLI and some additional tools (such as jq and Kubernetes)
  • AzCopy
  • Git
  • Docker
  • Visual Studio Code and extensions

All are cross platform tools. In this article, you will learn how to install the tools from the command line. And you will learn about Azure providers and how to add them to your subscription.

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Setting up your enterprise Azure subscription administrators

azureadministratorpngMicrosoft makes it easy to get started using Azure — sign up for a free subscription and get started. The tutorial show you how to use the portal to create virtual machines, storage, backups. All good.

And then it comes time to take your applications into production. You may realize that you need to show auditors your security methods. And you want to be sure to protect your customer data. Or you may have cloud sprawl and want to control costs.

And you have had a good conversations about your requirements. What then?

This article shows you how to get your subscription up and running using some important best practices for your administrators. It shows how to set up Security Center and how to set up policies that can be used to help your security team validate that you are using best practices.

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Requirements, plan for your enterprise Azure Subscription for production

Cloud Adoption Framework
Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework

You can get started in Azure. But soon it becomes time to build your subscriptions for your enterprise. For example, giving unrestricted access to developers can make your devs very agile, but it can also lead to unintended cost consequences. In addition, you will want to have requirements to demonstrate compliance for security, monitoring, and resource access control.

In this article we help organize some thoughts around the strategy and plan for building out your cloud, including a plan that you can put into Azure DevOps.

The Cloud Adoption Framework provides guidance for in depth analysis and preparation for your cloud. 

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Getting Started with Azure CLI, WSL 2, Windows Terminal

linuxThe Azure CLI is foundational to getting started in Azure, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is an optional feature of Windows 10 that allows you to run Linux on Windows, and the Windows Terminal. For those of us who spend time in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office and want to work with Visual Studio Code, it is the perfect combination.

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