Thursday, September 23, 2021

Introducing Network Security Dashboard for Azure Security Center





Microsoft Azure enables you to deploy a variety of infrastructure, web application and automation resources.  These resources are generally a part of a larger infrastructure or an application service that your organization provides to its internal and external users.  In addition to the networking endpoints of an overarching service that your users interact with, the different resources in an infrastructure or application service interact with each other through their own networking endpoints.  These interactions depend on the underlying networking services provided by the Azure cloud to communicate with other tiers and with its users.  This communication internally within Azure and to Azure from external networks is protected with resource specific ACLs and with the cloud native network security services such as DDoS Protection, Web Application Firewall (WAF), Network Security Groups (NSG) and Firewall in Azure.  With all network security controls in place, and each one implemented in a different dashboard, it becomes challenging for customers to have a single view of their entire Azure Network Security state, and that is what this workbook aims to solve.



Current Challenge


As your footprint in the Azure Cloud grows, the number of services and the infrastructure, application and automation resources involved in these services increases significantly which results in the number of endpoints which are exposed internally and externally, with or without the required security controls.  This represents the attack surface of your organization which can be exploited by an attacker.  To appropriately secure your attack surface, you require better monitoring and governance of your resources, services, and their endpoints.  The first step in this process is to inventory and gain visibility into the networking and security configuration your endpoints across your environment, along with the network security services they utilize or those which maybe inline.  This helps you understand all the different paths an attacker can utilize to compromise your boundary and infiltrate into your environment plus the protections you already have against or those that need to put in place to prevent them.



Proposed Solution


Up until now, there was no single view with which you could visualize all your externally or internally exposed endpoints, their networking and security configuration or the network security services you had setup in Azure.  You had to browse through many different blades in Azure to assess and obtain this information.  With the availability of the new Network Security Dashboard for Security Center, you can now quickly get real time visibility of the security configuration of your networking and network security services, across multiple subscriptions in Azure.

The Network Security Dashboard is free to use for all customers and does not require you to be a paid customer of Azure Security Center.



What’s in the Dashboard


The new Network Security Dashboard for Security Center provides a unified view and deep visibility into the configuration of your overall networking, and network security services in Azure.  If you have been actively using Security Center and Network Security features in Azure, this dashboard is for you!

The dashboard is powered by Azure Resource Graph (ARG) queries and divided into different sections as explained below:


  • Overview: summary view of all your network security and networking resources for selected subscription(s)
  • Public IPs & exposed ports: ports exposed to the internet and mapping of public IPs to asset types
  • Network security services: DDoS protections plans, Azure Firewall and Firewall policies, Azure WAF policies and NSG views
  • Internal networking mapping: network interfaces, route tables, private links, and virtual networks with DDoS protection status (including subnets and peering)
  • Gateway and VPN services: consolidated view of Bastion hosts, VPN gateways, Virtual Network Gateways and Express Route circuits
  • Traffic Manager: details of all your traffic manager profiles
  • Security Center recommendations: filtered view of all ASC network related recommendations including resource count, severity, and security control

Informational options can be accessed using the action bars at the top section, select FAQ button to show the frequently asked questions. You can also see recent changes documented on the change log option.



How to Deploy


The Network Security Dashboard is available in the Azure Security Center GitHub Repo page, under Workbooks and can be accessed directly with its direct URL:

The workbook can be deployed quickly in the Azure Commercial and Gov cloud environments by clicking the respective “Deploy to Azure” buttons on the workbook page.



Deploying Network Security DashboardDeploying Network Security Dashboard



How Does it Work


The Network Security Dashboard is a workbook in Azure Security Center.  The workbook is based on Azure Resource Graph (ARG) queries which retrieve real time configuration data of your resources, networking and network security services deployed across multiple subscriptions in Azure.  The workbook can be edited, and all queries can be modified to meet your needs.



How to Use


To use this dashboard, you need at least Reader permission at the subscription level. Assuming you have the required permissions, watch the screen capture below to learn about how to navigate through and use the dashboard.



Using Network Security DashboardUsing Network Security Dashboard





The Network Security dashboard provides valuable information about your attack surface in Azure.  The workbook is available to all customers free of charge and does not require you to be a paid customer of ASC.

We will continue to add support for additional Azure Network Security and networking products to the workbook in future.  You will find information about all future revisions and currently planned future updates in the Upcoming Changes section on the GitHub page for the workbook.  You can also contribute to the workbook by joining the community and following the guidance.



Additional Resources


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