Microsoft Defender for Cloud Troubleshooting Guide

This guide is for information technology (IT) professionals, information security analysts, and cloud administrators whose organizations need to troubleshoot Defender for Cloud related issues.


When you're facing an issue or need advice from our support team, the Diagnose and solve problems section of the Azure portal is good place to look for solutions:

Defender for Cloud's 'Diagnose and solve problems' page

Use the Audit Log to investigate issues

The first place to look for troubleshooting information is the Audit Log records records for the failed component. In the audit logs, you can see details including:

  • Which operations were performed
  • Who initiated the operation
  • When the operation occurred
  • The status of the operation

The audit log contains all write operations (PUT, POST, DELETE) performed on your resources, but not read operations (GET).

Troubleshooting the native multicloud connector

Defender for Cloud uses connectors to collect monitoring data from AWS accounts and GCP projects. If you’re experiencing issues with the connector or you don't see data from AWS or GCP, we recommend that you review these troubleshooting tips:

Common connector issues:

  • Make sure that the subscription associated with the connector is selected in the subscriptions filter, located in the Directories + subscriptions section of the Azure portal.
  • Standards should be assigned on the security connector. To check, go to the Environment settings in the Defender for Cloud left menu, select the connector, and select Settings. There should be standards assigned. You can select the three dots to check if you have permissions to assign standards.
  • Connector resource should be present in Azure Resource Graph (ARG). Use the following ARG query to check: resources | where ['type'] =~ ""
  • Make sure that sending Kubernetes audit logs is enabled on the AWS or GCP connector so that you can get threat detection alerts for the control plane.
  • Make sure that Azure Arc and the Azure Policy Arc extension were installed successfully.
  • Make sure that the agent is installed to your Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) clusters. You can install the agent with the Azure Policy add-on for Kubernetes should be installed and enabled on your clusters recommendation, or Azure policy extension for Kubernetes should be installed and enabled on your clusters recommendations. Download the given script provided in the recommendation and run it on your cluster. The recommendation should disappear within an hour of when the script is run.
  • If you’re experiencing issues with deleting the AWS or GCP connector, check if you have a lock (in this case there might be an error in the Azure Activity log, hinting at the presence of a lock).
  • Check that workloads exist in the AWS account or GCP project.

AWS connector issues:

  • Make sure that the CloudFormation template deployment completed successfully.
  • You need to wait at least 12 hours since the AWS root account was created.
  • Make sure that EKS clusters are successfully connected to Arc-enabled Kubernetes.
  • If you don't see AWS data in Defender for Cloud, make sure that the AWS resources required to send data to Defender for Cloud exist in the AWS account.

GCP connector issues:

  • Make sure that the GCP Cloud Shell script completed successfully.
  • Make sure that GKE clusters are successfully connected to Arc-enabled Kubernetes.
  • Make sure that Azure Arc endpoints are in the firewall allowlist. The GCP connector makes API calls to these endpoints to fetch the necessary onboarding files.
  • If the onboarding of GCP projects failed, make sure you have “compute.regions.list” permission and Azure AD permission to create the service principle used as part of the onboarding process. Make sure that the GCP resources WorkloadIdentityPoolId, WorkloadIdentityProviderId, and ServiceAccountEmail are created in the GCP project.

Troubleshooting the Log Analytics agent

Defender for Cloud uses the Log Analytics agent to collect and store data. The information in this article represents Defender for Cloud functionality after transition to the Log Analytics agent.

Alert types:

  • Virtual Machine Behavioral Analysis (VMBA)
  • Network Analysis
  • SQL Database and Azure Synapse Analytics Analysis
  • Contextual Information

Depending on the alert types, customers can gather the necessary information to investigate the alert by using the following resources:

  • Security logs in the Virtual Machine (VM) event viewer in Windows
  • AuditD in Linux
  • The Azure activity logs and the enable diagnostic logs on the attack resource.

Customers can share feedback for the alert description and relevance. Navigate to the alert itself, select the Was This Useful button, select the reason, and then enter a comment to explain the feedback. We consistently monitor this feedback channel to improve our alerts.

Check the Log Analytics agent processes and versions

Just like the Azure Monitor, Defender for Cloud uses the Log Analytics agent to collect security data from your Azure virtual machines. After data collection is enabled and the agent is correctly installed in the target machine, the HealthService.exe process should be running.

Open the services management console (services.msc), to make sure that the Log Analytics agent service running as shown below:

Screenshot of the Log Analytics agent service in Task Manager.

To see which version of the agent you have, open Task Manager, in the Processes tab locate the Log Analytics agent Service, right-click on it and select Properties. In the Details tab, look the file version as shown below:

Screenshot of the Log Analytics agent service details.

Log Analytics agent installation scenarios

There are two installation scenarios that can produce different results when installing the Log Analytics agent on your computer. The supported scenarios are:

  • Agent installed automatically by Defender for Cloud: You can view the alerts in Defender for Cloud and Log search. You'll receive email notifications to the email address that was configured in the security policy for the subscription the resource belongs to.

  • Agent manually installed on a VM located in Azure: in this scenario, if you're using agents downloaded and installed manually prior to February 2017, you can view the alerts in the Defender for Cloud portal only if you filter on the subscription the workspace belongs to. If you filter on the subscription the resource belongs to, you won't see any alerts. You'll receive email notifications to the email address that was configured in the security policy for the subscription the workspace belongs to.


To avoid the behavior explained in the second scenario, make sure you download the latest version of the agent.

Monitoring agent network connectivity issues

For agents to connect to and register with Defender for Cloud, they must have access to the DNS addresses and network ports for Azure network resources.

  • When you use proxy servers, you need to make sure that the appropriate proxy server resources are configured correctly in the agent settings.
  • You need to configure your network firewalls to permit access to Log Analytics.

The Azure network resources are:

Agent Resource Ports Bypass HTTPS inspection
* 443 Yes
* 443 Yes
* 443 Yes
* 443 Yes

If you're having trouble onboarding the Log Analytics agent, make sure to read how to troubleshoot Operations Management Suite onboarding issues.

Antimalware protection isn't working properly

The guest agent is the parent process of everything the Microsoft Antimalware extension does. When the guest agent process fails, the Microsoft Antimalware protection that runs as a child process of the guest agent may also fail.

Here are some other troubleshooting tips:

  • If the target VM was created from a custom image, make sure that the creator of the VM installed guest agent.
  • If the target is a Linux VM, then installing the Windows version of the antimalware extension will fail. The Linux guest agent has specific OS and package requirements.
  • If the VM was created with an old version of guest agent, the old agents might not have the ability to auto-update to the newer version. Always use the latest version of guest agent when you create your own images.
  • Some third-party administration software may disable the guest agent, or block access to certain file locations. If third-party administration software is installed on your VM, make sure that the antimalware agent is on the exclusion list.
  • Make sure that firewall settings and Network Security Group (NSG) aren't blocking network traffic to and from guest agent.
  • Make sure that there are no Access Control Lists (ACLs) that prevent disk access.
  • The guest agent requires sufficient disk space in order to function properly.

By default the Microsoft Antimalware user interface is disabled, but you can enable the Microsoft Antimalware user interface on Azure Resource Manager VMs.

Troubleshooting problems loading the dashboard

If you experience issues loading the workload protection dashboard, make sure that the user that first enabled Defender for Cloud on the subscription and the user that want to turn on data collection have the Owner or Contributor role on the subscription. If that is the case, users with the Reader role on the subscription can see the dashboard, alerts, recommendations, and policy.

Troubleshoot Azure DevOps Organization connector issues

The Unable to find Azure DevOps Organization error occurs when you create an Azure DevOps Organization (ADO) connector and the incorrect account was signed in and granted access to the Microsoft Security DevOps App. This can also result in the Failed to create Azure DevOps connectorFailed to create Azure DevOps connector. Error: 'Unable to find Azure DevOps organization : OrganizationX in available organizations: Organization1, Organization2, Organization3.' error.

It is important to know which account you are logged in to when you authorize the access, as that will be the account that is used. Your account can be associated with the same email address but also associated with different tenants.

You should check which account you are currently logged in on and ensure that the right account and tenant combination is selected.

Screenshot of the Azure DevOps organization Consent Page for the Microsoft Security application.

To change your current account:

  1. Select profile page.

    Screenshot showing how to switch to the ADO Profile Page.

  2. On your profile page, select the drop down menu to select another account.

    Screenshot of the Azure DevOps profile page that is used to select an account.

The first time you authorize the Microsoft Security application, you are given the ability to select an account. However, each time you login after that, the page defaults to the logged in account without giving you the chance to select an account.

To change the default account:

  1. Sign in and select the same tenant you use in Azure from the dropdown menu.

  2. Create a new connector, and authorize it. When the pop-up page appears, ensure it shows the correct tenant.

If this process does not fix your issue, you should revoke Microsoft Security DevOps's permission from all tenants in Azure DevOps and repeat the above steps. You should then be able to see the authorization pop up again when authorizing the connector.

Screenshot of the authorization page used to revoke the permission of the Microsoft Security application.

Contacting Microsoft Support

You can also find troubleshooting information for Defender for Cloud at the Defender for Cloud Q&A page. If you need further troubleshooting, you can open a new support request using Azure portal as shown below:

Screenshot of creating a support request in the Help + support area.

See also

In this page, you learned about troubleshooting steps for Defender for Cloud. To learn more about Microsoft Defender for Cloud: