Simplify cloud security with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Azure

Cloud security with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Azure

As cloud adoption grows, security continues to be a leading concern for organizations of all sizes. In fact, 85% of organizations cite security as a top cloud challenge.1 This concern is with good reason — 45% of breaches in 2022 occurred in the cloud.2 

Consistency is at the core of security and compliance best practices in any environment. To protect your business, you need the same level of security policy and access controls in the cloud that you have on-site in your datacenter. Standardizing on an operating foundation that provides consistent security controls across datacenter and cloud environments can help you improve security and compliance across your organization. Using Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® as your operating foundation across your on-site and Microsoft Azure environments helps you create the consistency needed to maintain security and compliance. 

Adopt a consistent foundation for security and compliance across Azure and your other environments

Red Hat and Microsoft build advanced security features into Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Azure to make it simpler to maintain security and compliance across hybrid cloud environments. Our security response teams work together and in collaboration with customers, partners, and the global open source community to identify and resolve vulnerabilities.

Microsoft Azure includes multi-layered security across physical datacenters, infrastructure, and operations, while built-in operating security features like live kernel patching, regular updates, security profiles, and a trusted software supply chain help you meet today’s high security and compliance expectations. Best practice-based default settings configure your systems for increased security from the start. Minimized package sets for prebuilt cloud images reduce your cybersecurity threat attack surface.

With Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Azure, you can mitigate security risks, implement and maintain layered security, and streamline compliance across hybrid cloud environments. This overview describes key features and capabilities for adopting a consistent security approach across your datacenter and Microsoft Azure environments.

Detect and remediate vulnerabilities at scale with Red Hat Insights

The average time to identify and contain a data breach in 2022 was 277 days.2 Finding and stopping a breach in 200 days or less can reduce its resulting cost by an average of 24%.2 Consistent, daily monitoring can help you identify risks before they interrupt business operations or result in a breach.

Operate consistently across open hybrid  cloud environments

Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes many optimizations to ensure reliable, security-focused performance on Microsoft Azure. It provides a consistent operating foundation for hybrid and multicloud environments, so you can run applications where it makes the most sense.

Learn about the value of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in the cloud >>

Included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Insights is a suite of hosted services on the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console that continuously analyze platforms and applications to help you better manage and optimize your hybrid cloud environments. Red Hat Insights uses predictive analytics and deep domain expertise to identify, assess, and recommend remediation for security and compliance risks, as well as other operational risks. It also helps you prioritize remediation actions based on the severity, type of risk, and impact of the change. Red Hat Insights works across on-site and cloud environments, allowing you to manage all of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems from a single interface. You can even link your Red Hat account to your Microsoft Azure account to automatically connect your cloud-based systems and workloads to Red Hat Insights and other Red Hat services when you provision them.

Red Hat Insights includes services that help you protect hybrid cloud environments. The vulnerability service lets you scan your systems for common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs), collect scan information, and access remediation guidance using a single interface. And the malware service helps you identify on-site and cloud-based systems that contain active malware signatures quickly to prevent long-term exposure.

Within Microsoft Azure, you can turn on security management and threat protection for Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a default. These settings deliver built-in behavioral analytics and use machine learning to identify attacks and zero-day exploits. Additionally, Microsoft Azure monitors Red Hat virtual machine-related networks and cloud services for known attack patterns and post-breach activity.

Ensure compliance with built-in scanning and remediation for Azure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Noncompliance can result in fines, damage to your business, and loss of certification, in addition to security breaches. The average cost of a data breach for organizations with high levels of compliance failures was US$5.57 million in 2022.2 High levels of compliance failures increased the cost of a data breach by US$258,293 on average in 2022.2 

Both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Azure are certified to key government and industry standards, allowing you to use them confidently in highly regulated environments. For example, Microsoft Azure carries more than 100 compliance certifications

Red Hat Insights includes services that help you more easily maintain compliance in hybrid cloud environments. The policies service lets you define custom security policies, monitor systems for compliance, and alert teams when a system is out of compliance. And the compliance service lets you audit compliance with OpenSCAP policies, remediate systems that are out of compliance, and generate reports for regulatory compliance and security audits. You can also tailor the default policies to your environment and operations to generate more accurate results.

Key built-in policy baselines include:

  • PCI-DSS.
  • Enhanced Operating System Protection Profile (Common Criteria).
  • Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Essential Eight.
  • Center for Internet Security (CIS) Benchmark.
  • HIPAA.
  • Defense Information Systems Agency Secure Technical Implementation Guidelines (DISA STIG).

Finally, Microsoft Azure Policy allows you to create, assign, and manage policy definitions for control and governance. It scans your cloud resources and enforces policy-based rules and actions to ensure compliance with corporate standards and service-level agreements (SLAs).

Speed security and compliance operations

Red Hat Insights helps you accelerate security and compliance operations:

  • 91% less time to detect security vulnerabilities3
  • 69% less time to detect policy violations3

Learn more about managing security and compliance with Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Deploy consistent, hardened images across Azure and other environments with the Red Hat image builder 

72% of organizations have a hybrid cloud strategy in place today.1 While this approach lets you choose the right infrastructure for each workload, it also creates complexity and increases your risk of inconsistencies that can lead to security and compliance issues.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux image builder service helps you create, manage, and deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system images across hybrid cloud environments more quickly and easily. You can build customized, security-hardened images, save them as templates, and push them to your Microsoft Azure inventory to simplify provisioning. As a result, you can be sure that your systems are configured consistently across your datacenter and Microsoft Azure environments.

Verify system integrity across environments with remote attestation

Ensuring system integrity is essential in large-scale, highly distributed environments. Untrusted and compromised systems can leave your organization vulnerable to attack by malicious actors.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes remote attestation capabilities for verifying the state of systems at boot and continuously monitoring the integrity of remote systems. Based on the Keylime open source project, remote attestation uses embedded Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware and the Linux kernel Integrity Measurement Architecture (IMA) to monitor systems at scale. You can also send encrypted files to the monitored systems, and specify automated actions that are performed whenever a monitored system fails the integrity test.

Protect your data in the cloud with advanced encryption capabilities

Your data is a key asset for your business, and protecting it in the cloud is critical.

Using industry-standard encryption protocols, Microsoft Azure secures your data as it travels to, from, and within Microsoft datacenters, as well as at rest in Azure Storage. Red Hat Enterprise Linux also includes support for network-bound disk encryption (NBDE) to simplify the protection of data at rest. NBDE automatically unlocks storage volumes via connections to one or more network servers. This allows you to decrypt volumes without manually managing encryption keys and ensures that volumes are only available when they are secured. Red Hat Enterprise Linux also supports NBDE via TPMs to ensure system integrity before unlocking encrypted volumes.

Zero trust architectures with built-in identity and access management

Traditional perimeter-based security approaches cannot effectively protect new, widely distributed, cloud-based environments. Zero trust architectures can help by applying security to each asset, rather than exclusively at a network perimeter. In fact, implementing zero trust reduces the cost of data breaches by 20.5% on average.2 Identity and access management (IAM) is at the core of zero trust architectures.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Azure offer a variety of mechanisms to control access to your data and applications using the principle of least privileges. Enabled by default, the Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) mandatory access control (MAC) architecture in Red Hat Enterprise Linux enforces separation of information based on confidentiality and integrity requirements. 

Red Hat Identity Management—included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux—can help you centralize identity management, enforce security controls, and comply with security standards across your entire environment. It delivers the capabilities needed to implement zero trust best practices while simplifying your identity management infrastructure. Authenticate users and implement policy-based or role-based access controls (RBAC) via a single, scalable interface that spans your entire datacenter. Red Hat Identity Management integrates with Azure Active Directory (AAD), lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP), and other third-party solutions through standard interfaces. Red Hat Identity Management also supports certificate-based authentication and authorization techniques.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) in Microsoft Azure also simplifies and strengthens security with two-step sign-in verification. Authentication via multiple methods—phone call, text message, or mobile application—helps protect data and applications and reduces the likelihood of access for a compromised credential. 

Build a foundation for zero trust in Linux environments

A zero trust architecture can help you better protect your IT environment and organization.

  • Learn more about implementing zero trust with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • See a live demo of user management in Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Streamline security configuration and management with system roles

As the size and complexity of your infrastructure grows, it becomes harder to manage manually. Cloud misconfigurations were the initial attack vector for 15% of data breaches, resulting in an average cost per breach of US$4.14 million in 2022.2 Automation can help you configure and manage your systems faster, more consistently, and with less effort.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux system roles — powered by Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform — use automation to help you install and manage security settings at scale in less time. System roles work with multiple Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases across infrastructure footprints, so you can configure new security settings and maintain them on all your systems with a single command or workflow.

Secure your cloud future with Red Hat and Azure

A consistent approach to security and compliance across hybrid cloud environments can help you better protect your organization. Together, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Azure give you a security-focused foundation for running applications in your datacenter and in the cloud.

See how Red Hat and Microsoft partner to provide flexibility and support >>

Explore cloud providers and options for Red Hat Enterprise Linux in the hybrid cloud >>

  1. Flexera. “Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report,” March 2022.

  2. IBM Security. “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022,” 2022.

  3. Principled Technologies, sponsored by Red Hat. “Save administrator time and effort by activating Red Hat Insights to automate monitoring,” September 2020.

Manage security across releases in less time

Automation can help you reduce manual errors and manage your systems faster.

Demo: System roles in Red Hat Enterprise Linux >>

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