The evolution of Cloud Services is one of the biggest IT innovations to support businesses and organizations, no longer was there a need to purchase high-end expensive computing resources, servers, and networking devices, and then wait for several months for shipment and delivery. These resources can now be purchased at scale with just the click of a button from various Cloud service providers like Microsoft, Google, and AWS. Beyond this, were newer challenges of how to secure the resources you have deployed to the cloud, who gets to do what? and how? This blog post does an overview of Cloud Security and identifies some free Microsoft Courses that explore the subject in greater depth.
What Is Cloud Security?
Cloud security is the practice of protecting cloud-based data, applications, and infrastructure from unauthorized access. It includes practices, controls, tools, policies, and procedures that are designed to protect cloud resources from unauthorized access. Cloud Security addresses privacy (no unauthorized users have access to sensitive data) of data, availability (services are not disrupted) of data, and Integrity (information is not intercepted and altered in the course of data transmission) of data. A good deployment of Cloud Security measures will provide organizations the opportunity to run their computing resources in the cloud without disruption from hackers or unauthorized users.
Significance of Cloud Security
Cloud Security has become significant in recent times as the Cloud has become a huge target for hackers. Just because you put something up in the Cloud, that is effectively managed by large Cloud Service Platforms (CSPs)does not in any way mean you are protected from hacks and compromise. There is a shared responsibility between the CSPs and the Enterprise adopting the Cloud Solutions. Most Cloud Service Platforms will offer the standard Cloud Security tools (for their platform). They are responsible for the software, networking, and facilities that run the Cloud but not are responsible for security in the Cloud.
Security in the Cloud will be how the different CSP resources are configured and used. It is the responsibility of the Enterprise or organization to handle the security challenge at that level. In this shared responsibility model, it is important to note what the responsibilities of each party are. It may vary from one Cloud Service Provider to another, depending on the cloud resource being deployed. There is a need for enterprises to be educated on the applicable best Cloud Security practices, what their responsibilities are, the limits of whatever security measures they deploy, etc.
With more critical resources being deployed in the Cloud, it is important that there be significant resource allocation for Cloud security as any shortcomings in this regard will define a failure in cloud deployment.
Why Microsoft Courses?
Microsoft Azure has a market share of 23 percent in the Provision of Cloud Services. It is second only to Amazon Web Services, making it a clear Industry leader. It is the platform of choice for many enterprises so it is worthwhile learning about their Security Solutions. Microsoft has made a huge investment in the area of Cloud Security, the following are collections of some free Microsoft Courses to boost your Cloud Security skills. There are continuous updates to meet present Cloud security challenges.
Free Microsoft Cloud Security Courses
1. Microsoft Sentinel for MSSP
Microsoft Sentinel, sometimes referred to as Azure Sentinel, is a Cloud-native SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), and SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) cloud security solution offered by Microsoft. The Course is designed for Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) and other Microsoft partners who want to integrate Microsoft Sentinel into their portfolio. It is written from the perspective of SOC Architects and Implementers and covers the following areas
- Microsoft Sentinel’s Capabilities
- Technical dependencies
- Multi-tenant management
- Data collection models
- Threat Detection and Analytics
- Strategies for an automated response
- Activity summaries and reports
- Cost models and data storage.
The Microsoft Sentinel Cloud security solution is for organizations to detect, investigate, and respond to security threats and incidents across different cloud deployment models – on-premise, hybrid, multi-cloud, etc.
2. Azure Network Security (Ninja Training)
Azure Network Security discusses a variety of Cloud Security tools and services within the Microsoft Security landscape. It helps you understand the risks and potential exposure of a conceptual network design and how to use Azure services and tools to improve the network. It is a beginner-friendly Cloud security course, starting with the basics of Cloud security and ending with some hands-on practice to really enhance your cloud security skills. The main components of the course are as follows
- The Basics of Network Security – Introduction to security concepts, Azure products, firewalls
- Architecture and Deployment, Azure firewalls, Web Application Firewall (WAF), various deployment models
- Operations – Centralized management, optimization, Governance, Responding to incidence
- Integrations – Using Azure Sentinel
- Hands-on Lab – With network security labs, WAF attack test lab
- General resources.
The Course is available for free in the link Azure Cloud Security Ninja Training
3. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Course
This is a top-level Cloud security solution for the protection of endpoint devices within an organization, from threats such as malware, advanced persistent threats (APTs), viruses, etc. Microsoft Endpoint Defender provides real-time threat protection, security analytics, and automated responses. It is a core part of Azure’s overall (Microsoft 360 Defender) security offerings. This course teaches all there is to know about Microsoft Defender solutions for endpoints.
The course covers two Cloud security roles – Security Operation (SecOps) and Security Administrator (SecAdmins). The course addresses different levels of difficulties – Fundamental, Intermediate, and Expert levels, in multiple modules, You choose the level of depth that is applicable to your level. A breakdown of some of the major concept or modules are as follows
- Security Operations and Evaluation labs (Fundamental level has 11 modules, Intermediate level 9, Expert 7 modules
- Security Administrators (Fundamental level has 6 modules, Intermediate 8 modules, and Expert level has 3 modules)
4. Microsoft Defender for Cloud (Ninja Course)
Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a cloud-native application protection solution for multi-cloud and multi-cloud environments. It was formerly known as Azure Security Center and Azure Defender. This course is suitable for persons who are just starting out in Microsoft Defender for Cloud security to some advanced levels in providing security for multi-cloud environments. The description is as follows ;
- Introduction to Microsoft Defender Cloud
- Cloud Security Posture Management
- Regulatory Compliance capabilities for Microsoft Defender for Clouds
- Enhancing your Cloud Posture with Microsoft Defender for Clouds
- Integrations and APIs
- Defender for DevOps
- Defender fo APIs
The course is available at Microsoft Defender for Clouds
5. Microsoft Defender for O365 Course
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (or O365) is the Microsoft Cloud-based email security service. It is a Cloud Security solution to protect an organization’s email communication and infrastructure from threat actors. Email security is a crucial part of any business environment. It was formerly known as Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).
This course content focuses on two professional roles, there are the Security Operations (SecOps) and Email Security teams. The course covers three levels of difficulty – Fundamental, Intermediate, and Expert level. There are different learning modules for the different difficulty levels. You can begin with the one that is appropriate to your skill level and then rank up to a higher one after completion. Some descriptions of the course are as follows;
- Email Security (Fundamental level has 4 modules, Intermediate level has 11 training modules)
- Security Operations for Expert levels with 8 training modules.
The link to the course is at Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Ninja.
6. Microsoft Defender for IoT Course
Microsoft Defender for IoT is the Microsoft security solution to protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices and their deployments to the Cloud. The focus is on enhancing the safety of Internet of Things devices and networks. Microsoft Defender for IoT enables the auto-discovery of unmanaged IoT/OT assets, identifies critical vulnerabilities, and detects anomalous or unauthorized behavior. This course is mostly through video presentation and has the following modules.
- Overview of the Core concepts
- Basic Features – core features of the platform including asset discovery, deployment options, reporting, alert handling,
- Deployment – Specifics on the deployment option and a walk-through of the licensing component within the Azure portal.
- Sentinel Integration – Sentinel integration with the Microsoft Defender for IoT
- Advanced Topics -such as how to use enterprise data integrator, IoT maps to MITRE ATT&CK, Large-scale deployment
The link to the course is at Microsoft Defender for IoT
7. Microsoft Purview Information Protection (Ninja Training)
The Microsoft Purview Information Protection is the Azure framework, consisting of a suite of products that are integrated to provide visualization of sensitive data. It offers lifecycle protection for data and data loss prevention. The training modules are for three different levels of difficulty -Beginners, Intermediate, and Expert. The foundation of the course teaches you to classify data according to Microsoft’s own data classification service.
Training resource is at Microsoft Purview Information Protection
8. Azure Advanced Threat Protection
The Azure Advanced Threat Protection is a Microsoft Cloud security solution that helps organizations protect their On-premise Active Directory environment from advanced security threats. The former name for this was Microsoft Defender for Identity. There are three levels of expertise, each consisting of several learning modules.
- Beginners Level – Fundamentals of Microsoft Defender. 13 modules
- Associate Level – Identity Security Posture Assessments, Investigate Lateral Movement Paths and indicators of compromise, 18 modules
- Expert Level – Advanced Hunting with Microsoft 365 Defender, 2 Modules
The link to the course is at Microsoft Purview Information Protection Ninja
Certificates for the Cloud Security Courses
Each of these courses comes with a fun Certificate to show that you have completed the curriculum for each of the courses. You can apply for such at the end of the course assessments. This is not the official Microsoft Professional Certification, to get those, you will need to sit and pass the standardized exams where applicable. These courses will help you boost your knowledge of Cloud security and enhance your skills.
Boost your Security skills and advance your career with free Cloud Security courses from Microsoft. The Courses include solutions from Microsoft with free resources, The free courses include Microsoft Sentinel for MSSP, Azure Network Security, Microsoft Defender for Endpoints, Microsoft Defender for Clouds, Microsoft Defender for Office365, Microsoft Defender for IoTs, Microsoft Purview Information Protection and Azure Advance Threat Protection.