Azure security

Choosing third-party app and API security for Azure deployments

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For governments at all levels, and for organizations around the globe that are connected to financial services of all kinds, the constant threat of financial cybercrime makes it a top security priority. The widespread use of public-facing apps to conduct financial operations provides a wealth of opportunities for cybercriminals.

If you host your apps in the Azure cloud, you may have found that Microsoft’s native security features need to be complemented with a third-party solution to build a sound and complete security infrastructure in your cloud environment.

How one municipal agency addressed financial crime threat

One very common and widely distributed financial activity is the collection and recording of taxes and excise fees, increasingly conducted via cloud-hosted apps. The experience of one municipal agency — charged with tax collection and seeking to optimize security for its Azure-hosted apps — is instructive.

They faced a fairly straightforward mandate to ensure that taxes were properly collected against all retail purchases, including those made in non-traditional venues, across all manner of commerce including items as diverse as ride shares and vacation rentals.

They stood up a simple app in Azure that all such enterprises could access and use to record such taxes. Obviously, this created a lot of highly sensitive traffic that needed to be kept secure.

They began by implementing Azure’s native web application firewall (WAF), including Frontdoor. However, they soon realized that the solution was not designed to efficiently handle their system of using numerous subdomains for recognizing and categorizing revenues. In addition, the native WAF offered limited capabilities — malware and bot protection required additional purchases.

How third-party solutions can help

As the municipal agency explored available third-party solutions for securing apps in the Azure cloud, they uncovered a wealth of capabilities, services, and benefits to complement native security with comprehensive protection, including:

  • Full integration with Azure, allowing them to leverage Azure services seamlessly
  • Reverse Proxy capability
  • Deep analytics and powerful reporting to help document regulatory compliance
  • Faster and more efficient app development and deployment, using APIs to code security into apps during development cycle

The bottom line for this fiscal organization was that by combining native Azure functionality with the benefits of a full-featured third party security solution built for the cloud, they were able to secure their apps against the growing threat of financial crime while also streamlining processes and accelerating app deployment.

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