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We have already talked in our blog about “Services for Storing Secrets on AWS” and now, let’s take a close look at Microsoft Azure!
The safety of sensitive data is of utmost importance in the current digital era, businesses and organisations are more concerned than ever about it. Keeping secrets, such as passwords, API keys, and other sensitive information, safe and secure, is one of the major issues in data security.
Thankfully, cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure include a number of tools and services that can assist businesses in storing secrets safely and securely.
Organisations can get a number of advantages by using Azure services for secret data storage, including:
- Security: Azure has strong security features to safeguard to protect secrets, including encryption at rest and in transit, access controls, and monitoring capabilities.
- Compliance: Azure’s secret storage services adhere to industry standards like HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS, making it simpler for businesses to fulfil their legal requirements.
- Scalability: Azure services are created to be scalable, enabling businesses to manage and keep secrets as their needs change and expand.
- Flexibility: Azure offers a range of services for secrets storage, allowing organizations to choose the service that best meets their specific needs and requirements.
Microsoft Azure Secrets Storing
The fact that Azure Secrets Storing offers a centralised location for managing secrets is one of its key benefits. This means that businesses can avoid the drawbacks of dispersed and unsafely kept secrets, including the need to manually manage access control for every secret and maintain track of numerous places.
Secrets are arranged in a hierarchical structure by Azure Secrets Storing, which makes it simple to maintain and restrict access. Companies can track who accessed a secret and when owing to the strong auditing and logging options offered by Azure Secrets Storing.
The integration of Azure Secrets Storing with other Azure services is one of its important advantages. For example, Azure Key Vault can be used to store cryptographic keys that are used to encrypt and decrypt secrets stored in Azure Secrets Storing. Additionally, secrets used by other Azure services, such as Azure Functions and Azure App Service, can be safely stored and managed with Azure Secrets Storing.
Microsoft Azure Key Vault
You may safely store and manage cryptographic keys, certificates, and secrets using the cloud-based service Azure Key Vault. It allows you to access essential information from your applications while still protecting them.
A software key is used to encrypt each secret in your key vault. You no longer need to store security information in your applications when using Key Vault.
How to create Key Vault step by step?
- You need to log in to the Azure portal and click on the “Create a resource” button. Then, select “Key Vault” from the list of available services. Proceed with the instructions you see on the screen and enter the needed information.
2. Select the pricing tier that best suits your needs and adjust the advanced parameters as necessary.
Soft delete enabled mean that when you delete something it will not go away to go to the bin, so you can recover it if you need to.
3. After you create a Vault you can start creating and managing cryptographic assets, such as keys, secrets, and certificates.
4. You can not only create and manage secrets but also version the secrets, for example when you have different versions, and you want a new secret that saves data for your new DB, but you want that old version of the system still can have access to the old database which stored in the old secret.
Microsoft Azure Tools and Services
- Managing SSL/TLS certificates
Azure Key Vault can be used to handle SSL/TLS certificates used in web apps, APIs, and other services. Businesses may simply maintain and renew certificates while assuring their security by storing them in Azure Key Vault;
- Azure Storage
Service, which provides a secure and scalable way to store data in the cloud. You can use it to store secrets in a storage account, which provides encryption at rest and in transit;
When you create storage you can set up security settings. You also can set up restrictions to have public access or have it available only from Azure by “Allow blob public access”.
Azure Managed Identity
And let’s take a closer look at this service that provides an automatically managed identity for your Azure resources. It is still one of Microsoft Azure’s Tools and Services, but have more details we can tell you about!
It eliminates the need to store credentials in your code or configuration files, which can reduce the risk of credential exposure.
Provide service, for example, azure VM to have an identity instead of the end user in Azure Active Directory. Once this identity is created you can use it to grant access to the target resources of its Azure id authentication, for example, Azure secret DB. Now you can Autorisy this identity and have grand permissions based on the level of access you want.
- Automatic credentials rotation;
- Identity lifecycle management -1). It means that when you delete a VM, the identity associated automatically also will be elated.
When the code run from Asure VM which have system management identity enabled you don’t need to store credential or secret anywhere on the code, the authentication happened automatically via the virtual machine.
User-Assigned Manage Identity
It creates the identity independent of the lifecycle of the actual resource and assigns the identity to a new resource that gets created. It is used when you have a lot of VM and Systems assigned to manage identity.
So here are the main differences:
Azure App Configuration
It is a service that provides a central location for storing application settings and feature flags. You can use it to store secrets and access them from your applications.
Why use App Configuration?
Applications that run in the cloud employ several external services and execute on various virtual machines or containers across various geographic locations. In a distributed setting, building a reliable and scalable application is difficult. Developers are assisted by a variety of programming approaches in managing the growing complexity of creating apps.
App Configuration can be used by any programme, however, the types of applications that gain the most from it are those listed below:
- Microservices based on Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Service Fabric, or other containerized apps deployed in one or more geographies.
- Serverless apps, which include Azure Functions or other event-driven stateless compute apps.
- Continuous deployment pipeline.
Azure App Configuration is designed for performance, scalability, and security.
Azure Secrets Storing is a powerful and flexible service that allows organizations to securely store and manage secrets. By providing a centralized location for managing secrets, Azure Secrets Storing helps organizations to avoid the pitfalls of scattered and insecurely stored secrets and provides extensive auditing and logging capabilities. With its robust security features and integration with other Azure services, Azure Secrets Storing is a valuable tool for organizations looking to enhance their security posture and protect sensitive data.
Azure Key Vault uses industry-standard security measures to protect your data, such as hardware security modules (HSMs), multi-factor authentication, and role-based access control. All secrets are encrypted at rest and in transit.
Azure Key Vault has a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where you are charged based on the number of operations you perform and the amount of data you store.