Azure Sentinel is a Cloud based Security Information Event Management (SIEM) solution designed to modernise threat detection and response for businesses and give IT security teams a more comprehensive view of their threat landscape across the whole organisation.
Azure Sentinel is a native tool in the Azure Portal and compliments the use of other Azure platform security services, such as Azure AD, Azure Security Centre and Log Analytics, to better automate and improve the threat response capabilities across cloud and on-premises environments.
While the Azure Sentinel solution is still untapped for most organisations, having originally launched in March 2019, its features are continuously evolving - and it’s ready to demand attention from organisations looking to improve their threat security posture with the Azure Cloud or with their hybrid architectures.
In this article, we break down the top 3 business benefits when using Azure Sentinel.
Benefit #1 - Azure Sentinel is better value for money
Azure Sentinel leverages the cloud-based intelligence and natively integrated features of the broader Azure platform and Azure Data Services to make enterprise security response smarter, faster and easier for both IT management and business leaders.
- Time to Value: Sentinel’s centralised control plane neatly brings analytics and management together in one place. You can access a one-page dashboard overview of events, alerts and cases by status, visually represented in graphic form, and any potential malicious events and data source anomalies. Threat management capabilities - cases, hunting, notebooks - are all easily accessed in the left-hand side bar, while configuration - FAQs, data connections, analytics and workspace settings - are equally accessible here for both a quick glance and in-depth analysis.
- Cost Effective: Like all public cloud-based services and tools on the Microsoft Azure platform, Azure Sentinel can help lower business overheads related to security posture almost immediately after adoption because of its scalable, fully managed nature. The service can be automatically scaled to meet your organisational security needs at any given time, meaning you only have to pay for the resources that you need, and can lower usage when not needed. As the solution is managed by Microsoft as a platform based service, your IT security team can focus more on the threat landscape, rather than the management of the technology.
- Automation: Azure Sentinel is also bolstered by cloud AI and machine learning systems to automate monitoring and response, with the ML capability specifically called Fusion. Fusion is intended to reduce alert fatigue and increase threat response productivity and is automatically turned on by default. It uses graph-powered ML algorithms to correlate activities across different security services your business may be using, like Azure AD Identity Protection (for identity and access management), Azure Security Center and Microsoft Cloud App Security, combining them into an easily manageable security incident overview.
Benefit #2 - Azure Sentinel has seamless security integrations
Azure Sentinel has a rich portfolio of native and third-party integrations that strengthen your organisation’s security capabilities across both tools. This is achieved through connectors which connect to your data sources, and again improves time to value.
Some of Azure Sentinel’s most popular native integrations within the broader Azure platform include:
- Office 365: Azure Sentinel has native integration with the core Software as a Service (SaaS) productivity suites of Microsoft, including Office 365. You can strengthen security for your staff using these essential software products by importing your data from O365 into Azure Sentinel for analysis with only a few clicks, and both storage and analysis of Office 365 data is free for all.
- Azure Monitor Log Analytics: Azure Sentinel is also highly compatible with Log Analytics, used to store and analyse big data in only a few seconds with minimal code. Your users can collect, store, query and analyse a lot faster to identify potential anomalies as either malicious or non-threatening actors.
- Microsoft Cloud App Security: Better enable centralised monitoring of alerts and discovery data. Connecting with Azure Sentinel lets you better protect cloud applications and maintain standard security workflows while automating security processes across cloud-based and on-premises events.
Some of Azure Sentinel’s popular third-party integrations include:
- Palo Alto: Azure Sentinel integration with Palo Alto Networks via the in-built data connector lets businesses easily connect Palo Alto Networks logs into one place for better visibility. Users have an overview of these logs via Azure Sentinel’s dashboards, and you can create custom alerts and strengthen your team’s threat response investigation instantly. You’ll also gain deeper insights into platform usage and security operation capabilities.
- ServiceNow: ServiceNow Security Operations can connection with Azure Sentinel via Microsoft Graph Security API integration, which lets organisations consolidate and analyse deeper insights from Azure Sentinel and other Microsoft services (Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Advanced Threat Protection, etc) to allow customers visibility and response capabilities of all incidents directly in ServiceNow, which acts as the central management layer. Essentially, all security alerts are ingested into ServiceNow and automatically create security incidents to review, with a number of automation features to enable more consistent response.
- SumoLogic: Connecting Azure Sentinel and SumoLogic together enables better support for securing on-premises and Azure apps, and is especially useful for organisations fostering a more seamless hybrid cloud experience using the Azure platform’s capabilities and SumoLogic’s solution as the management layer. You can identify critical Azure app issues more effectively, correlate on-premises and cloud event data more quickly, and leverage platform services like Kubernetes, Docker and more with SumoLogic.
Benefit #3 - Azure Sentinel meets the needs for both IT Security and decision-makers
Azure Sentinel is a security solution that caters to security teams (within IT) and decision-makers.
- Security Teams: which can include your internal or external staff in charge of threat response (security analysts, engineers, researchers, etc), Azure Sentinel offers a versatile range of easy-to-use tools that can enhance security operations significantly. Security teams can get alerts in real time, remediate problems more efficiently using ML and AI-enhanced automation, and use query language for more proactive identification of threats and anomalies.
- Decision-makers and non-technical management: The value in Azure Sentinel is easily illustrated and proven through its powerful analytics capabilities and cost-savings as a fully managed service by Microsoft. Business leaders can access relevant data across the business using Azure Sentinel’s visualised and interactive dashboards, which saves time having to source reports from different departments and enables more direct opportunities for insights.
Azure Sentinel is a continuously evolving and cutting edge threat solution in the Microsoft Azure portfolio. Compared to other Azure-based security tools, Azure Sentinel’s capabilities are undeniably strong for enhancing threat detection capabilities and ensuring that all parties have a better visualised overview of security data. For more information, visit our Cyber Security page