Microsoft Azure

Ensuring the security of Azure data when it is transferred between different environments

Ensuring the security of data as it is transferred between different environments, such as between on-premises and Azure environments, or between different Azure regions, is critical to maintaining the overall security of your data.

Ensuring the security of data as it is transferred between different environments, such as between on-premises and Azure environments, or between different Azure regions, is critical to maintaining the overall security of your data. In this technical reference guide, we will walk through the process of ensuring the security of data when it is transferred between different environments in Azure.

Prerequisites

Before ensuring the security of data when it is transferred between different environments, you will need to have the following:

  1. An Azure subscription that you have access to as an administrator.
  2. Data that needs to be transferred between different environments.
  3. Knowledge of the various Azure services used for data transfer, such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Lake Storage, and Azure storage accounts.

Step 1: Use encryption for data in transit and at rest

Encryption is a fundamental security technique for protecting data, both when it is in transit and when it is at rest. When data is encrypted, it is transformed into a form that is unreadable by anyone without the appropriate decryption key.

To encrypt data in transit in Azure, use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols, which can be enabled for data transfer services such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Lake Storage, and Azure storage accounts.

To encrypt data at rest in Azure, you can use Azure Storage Service Encryption (SSE) and Azure Disk Encryption (ADE) features. SSE automatically encrypts data at rest when it is written to Azure Storage, and decrypts the data when it is read. ADE encrypts the data on the operating system level, including the boot volumes, data volumes and any data on the temp drive.

Step 2: Use secure protocols for data transfer

When transferring data between different environments, it is important to use secure protocols that can help to protect the data during transit. Two common protocols that are used to transfer data securely are File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

To use SFTP in Azure, you can use Azure Data Factory and its SFTP connector, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1 and Gen2 both support SFTP as a protocol for data transfer.

Step 3: Use access controls to restrict access to data

Access controls can be used to restrict who has access to data, and what actions they are able to perform on that data.

To control access to data in Azure, you can use Azure role-based access control (RBAC) to assign roles to users and groups, and Azure storage access control (SAC) to assign permissions to users and groups. Azure Data Factory also offers its own access control feature, where you can control the access to specific data factory resources, like pipelines and datasets.

Step 4: Monitor data transfer activities

Monitoring data transfer activities can help you to identify and address any security issues or discrepancies in a timely manner. Azure has different activity logs that can be used to monitor different data transfer activities.

You can use Azure Data Factory's monitoring feature to track the data movement, including monitoring pipelines, activities, and triggers. The Azure Monitor can also track data transfer activities of storage accounts, and Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 has its own activity logs that you can access.

By following these steps, you can help to ensure the security of data as it is transferred between different environments in Azure. Keep in mind that the configuration and setup steps may vary depending on the specific data transfer scenario and requirements of your organization.

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