Every business organization generates valuable information or data that is an asset of the firm. With increased number of cyber-attacks and data breaches, companies are now compelled to implement various methods that can help them to secure their critical data when in rest or during data transfer over a network. Securing system and data of course begins with identity based controls and it is this identity and access management features that are available in various Microsoft business products that help to protect the data from any unauthorized access by making it available only to the legitimate users.
We all are aware that encryption is the best process to protect data when in transit. It is a process of encoding the data that can only be read by authorized persons. The encrypted data help to protect from hackers and intruders. Microsoft products and services are based on encryption and adopt industry standard transport protocols for more data security. Microsoft goes beyond the password and the username model to offer stronger authentication. Robust tools often make it easy for the administrators to manage the identity. The products also provide a secure infrastructure that ensures protection of critical data. The encryption techniques, algorithms, protocols can transfer data over a secured path while maintaining the privacy of the data.
Some important Microsoft products and services that can secure apps are data are:
Microsoft Azure: It is an open, flexible, cloud computing platform that is used to develop and manage applications through the network of data centers. It supports a wide range of operating systems, frameworks, tools, programming languages, databases and devices. The encrypted communication processes make Azure responsible for ensuring data protection.
• Azure Active Directory Identity protections offer a consolidated view of the risk event and also the potential vulnerabilities that affect the organizations identities.
• Azure Multi Factor authentication involves the need of more than one method to verify the user for access of any data in app, both in the cloud and on site.
• Azure Active Directory B2C is a global identity management service for apps that scale to hundreds of millions of identities. It can be integrated across web platforms and mobiles.
• Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration is a solution that supports cross company relationships by allowing partners to access corporate applications or data by using their self-managed identities.
• Azure Active Directory Join allows you to extend the cloud capabilities to your Windows 10 devices for centralized management. It makes it easy for the users to connect to the organizational cloud through AAD and makes access easy to resources and apps.
Microsoft Office 365: Office 365 uses the SSL / TLS and AES standards to ensure that data security and confidentiality is maintained. The main identity models in Office 365 are:
• Cloud identity: Accounts can be managed in Office 365 and no on-premises servers are needed to manage the users.
• Federated identity: You can synchronize on-premises directory objects with Office 365 and manage the users. The passwords can also be synchronized so that the users have the same password for cloud and on-premises.
Microsoft Dynamics 365: Dynamics 365 uses Azure Active Directory to authenticate users and protect against unauthorized access, simplify the management of users, and also allows you to assign privileges easily. It uses a role based security system and customers can further customize the security by controlling the user access by setting the access levels and permissions.
Microsoft Power BI: This is Microsoft's business analytics and it helps the users to create reports with interactive visualizations that are created by business intelligence. It uses the HTTPS protocol to ensure the security of the data through encryption process. To ensure security and protection of data in storage, Power BI encrypts key data like Direct Query datasets, reports and etc.
Visual Studio Team Services: This is a complete software package that enables the team to share and build software codes, track the work and send software across various platforms. It uses Azure Active Directory accounts to perform authorization, authentication and access control. Beside this, it uses Azure Blob to store unstructured data, which makes use of SQL's transparent data encryption or TDE to protect the data from any malicious activity or thefts.