Azure infrastructure monitoring

Configuration and change management

Azure reviews and updates configuration settings and baseline configurations of hardware, software, and network devices annually. Changes are developed, tested, and approved prior to entering the production environment from a development and/or test environment.

The baseline configurations that are required for Azure-based services are reviewed by the Azure security and compliance team and by service teams. A service team review is part of the testing that occurs before the deployment of their production service.

Vulnerability management

Security update management helps protect systems from known vulnerabilities. Azure uses integrated deployment systems to manage the distribution and installation of security updates for Microsoft software. Azure is also able to draw on the resources of the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC). The MSRC identifies, monitors, responds to, and resolves security incidents and cloud vulnerabilities around the clock, every day of the year.

Vulnerability scanning

Vulnerability scanning is performed on server operating systems, databases, and network devices. The vulnerability scans are performed on a quarterly basis at minimum. Azure contracts with independent assessors to perform penetration testing of the Azure boundary. Red-team exercises are also routinely performed and the results are used to make security improvements.

Protective monitoring

Azure security has defined requirements for active monitoring. Service teams configure active monitoring tools in accordance with these requirements. Active monitoring tools include the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) and System Center Operations Manager. These tools are configured to provide time alerts to Azure security personnel in situations that require immediate action.

Incident management

Microsoft implements a security incident management process to facilitate a coordinated response to incidents, should one occur.

If Microsoft becomes aware of unauthorized access to customer data that's stored on its equipment or in its facilities, or it becomes aware of unauthorized access to such equipment or facilities resulting in loss, disclosure, or alteration of customer data, Microsoft takes the following actions:

  • Promptly notifies the customer of the security incident.
  • Promptly investigates the security incident and provides customers detailed information about the security incident.
  • Takes reasonable and prompt steps to mitigate the effects and minimize any damage resulting from the security incident.

An incident management framework has been established that defines roles and allocates responsibilities. The Azure security incident management team is responsible for managing security incidents, including escalation, and ensuring the involvement of specialist teams when necessary. Azure operations managers are responsible for overseeing the investigation and resolution of security and privacy incidents.

Next steps

To learn more about what Microsoft does to secure the Azure infrastructure, see: