cft

What Is Azure Pentesting and Why Is It Important?

Are you running your resources in an Azure environment? Read more to know how to secure them with Azure Penetration Testing.


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Kanishk Tagade

2 years ago | 4 min read

Azure is one of the widely used cloud platforms across every industry segment. There are many benefits to using the Azure cloud platform, and it is a great way for developers to get their applications up and running quickly. However, there is one drawback: you never know what could happen if someone infiltrates your virtual machines or storage accounts. The good news is that there's a solution! This blog post will cover how to penetration test Azure Infrastructure so you can be confident in your security.

What is Azure Penetration Testing?

Azure penetration testing is the process of locating, identifying and preventing Azure infrastructure vulnerabilities. Azure penetration testing is important because Azure infrastructure can house sensitive information about your company, and Azure cloud services are accessible by all users around the world.

Who Should Penetration Test Azure?

Anyone who wants to ensure their Azure cloud environment is secure should perform an Azure penetration test. This includes:

  • Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) looking for ways to improve security practices across customer accounts
  • Azure users concerned about unexpected behaviour or suspicious activity within Azure resources such as virtual machines and storage accounts

Why Azure Penetration Testing is Important?

  • Azure penetration testing is important to ensure Azure infrastructure has the proper security settings in place.
  • Azure penetration testing includes identifying and preventing vulnerabilities within Azure resources such as virtual machines and storage accounts.
  • Anyone who wants to make sure their Azure cloud environment is secure should perform an Azure penetration test, including Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) looking for ways to improve security practices across customer accounts, or users concerned about unexpected behaviour or suspicious activity within Azure resources such as virtual machines and storage accounts.

What Are Some Common Azure Infrastructure Vulnerabilities?

The most common types of vulnerability in Microsoft Azure include:

  • Weak passwords
  • Unpatched assets
  • Lacklustre encryption key management
  • Insecure interfaces and APIs

These are just a few examples; there could be many more!

How to Pentest Azure Infra?

The best way to begin penetrating Azure infrastructure is with a reconnaissance scan. This will determine what virtual machines or storage accounts are in use on your Azure subscription.

The next step would be using one of these tools during an offensive security test:

Microsoft LAPS: You can run this tool if you have access to Active Directory credentials.

Metasploit Pro: If you don’t have access to Active Directory credentials, then consider running Metasploit Pro for Azure hacking with the help of some pre-built reports that automate data collection processes.

These Azure hacking tools allow you to scan Azure infrastructure for vulnerabilities that can then be mitigated or patched.

A good penetration tester is always keeping up with the latest Azure security news by staying on top of Microsoft Azure updates and subscribing to Azure-related blogs. Another helpful practice would be following trusted sources like HackerOne, GitHub, Twitter feeds, etc. so they will know about unpatched bugs in their Azure virtual machine images as soon as they become known. Knowing how hackers are trying to infiltrate your system before they do it is crucial because an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

And don't forget to check out the Azure Security Center!

Azure Security Center is an Azure service that helps you prevent, detect and respond to threats by providing rich security analytics for your Azure resources. By leveraging the machine learning capabilities of Azure Security Center, it offers anomaly detection (and prevention) capabilities across all Azure services. The best part about Azure Security Services? It’s free!

Steps to conduct penetration testing for Azure

Step 1: Reconnaissance

Azure penetration testing begins with a reconnaissance scan. This will determine what Azure virtual machines or Azure storage accounts are in use on your Azure subscription.

Step 2: Scanning

Azure infrastructure for vulnerabilities This step uses one of these Azure hacking tools to scan Azure infrastructure for the following:

Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) and Instances Azure Storage Accounts Subscriptions Configurations Policies You can also use Microsoft LAPS if you have access to Active Directory credentials, or Metasploit Pro if not. Once these scans are complete, remediate any potential issues that come up by patching your systems or changing configurations as needed. If there is an unpatched vulnerability in virtual machines images, follow this guide on how to securely deploy VMs into Azure using Chef recipes until it’s fixed! When all security holes detected in Azure infrastructure have been patched, you can move on to the next stage of Azure penetration testing.

Image: Astra Pentest Automated Vulnerability Scanner

Step 3: Attack

Azure penetration testing is a step-by-step process that involves identifying and preventing vulnerabilities within Azure resources such as virtual machines and storage accounts. Azure Security Center runs Azure security analytics that detects threats to Azure infrastructure. Azure virtual machines can also be set up with Azure Monitoring, which provides you with real-time information about your system’s performance and availability. You can also perform blackbox penetration testing using open-sourced tools for your Azure environment.

Step 4: Remediate

There are many different tools available for performing penetration testing of Azure Infrastructure; some examples include Microsoft LAPS, Metasploit Pro (with pre-built reports like this one), or the Azure Security Center (which has free capabilities). Use these services to scan for vulnerabilities within your Azure resources such as virtual machines images, storage accounts, subscriptions configurations policies etc. The best way to protect yourself is by staying on top of Azure security news and Azure updates to make sure you are always up-to-date.

Summing Up...

With the rise of digitalization, many organizations are looking to take on more cloud-based solutions for their business. Azure penetration testing is a great way to make sure your organization’s data and services remain secure in this new environment.



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Kanishk Tagade

Kanishk Tagade is a B2B Marketer and corporate contributor at many technology magazines and security awareness platforms. Editor-in-Chief at "QuickCyber.news", his work is published in more than 50+ news platforms. He is also a social micro-influencer for the latest cybersecurity defense mechanisms, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning, AI and IoT products.


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