Building Secure Cloud Solutions in Microsoft Azure

Rainer Stropek | | @rstropek


Security is of paramount importance when building web APIs or Apps running in the cloud. In this session, long-time Microsoft MVP Rainer Stropek introduces you to the top five technologies in Microsoft Azure that will make your PaaS-based solutions in this cloud environment significantly more secure. You will hear about Managed Identities, Private Endpoints, Key Vaults, logging/monitoring/telemetry, and Azure Policies. The knowledge gathered in this session can help you to create cloud architectures that have a high level of security built-in.


Rainer Stropek

  • Passionate software developers for 25+ years
  • Microsoft MVP, Regional Director
  • Trainer, Teacher, Mentor
  • 💕 community

What Are You
Going to See?



  • Always prefer PaaS over IaaS if technically possible
    • Cloud is expensive when using IaaS
    • Not using PaaS is wasting productivity
  • Apply Lean principles
    • "...a way to do more and more with less and less [...] while coming closer and closer to providing customers exactly what they want" 🔗
  • Azure PaaS offerings have a lot of security measures built-in
    • Authentication, encryption, key/certificate management, etc.



  • Always prefer IaC over manual maintenance of cloud artifacts
    • Native in Azure: Bicep, PowerShell, Azure CLI
    • Lots of OSS and 3rd party options (e.g. Terraform, Pulumi, etc.)
  • IaC is a security measure
    • Enables code reviews
    • Repeatable (e.g. for staging)
    • IaC combined with source control ➡️ auditability
    • Good practices written in code can be shared
  • IaC only leads to enhanced security if access to Azure control plane is properly secured!
    • Investment in AAD and RBAC is required for that
    • MFA, PIM, Conditional Access, secured deployment processes, etc.


Managed Identity

Managed Identity

  • Problem: Where to store secrets for M2M communication?
    • How to create those secrets?
    • How to regularly update those secrets?
    • Secrets in the hand of admins circumvent MFA
  • Assumption: Deployment process is secure
    • We have to make sure of that (more about that later)
  • The fact that code is running in a specific Azure service is proof of identity
    • ​Uses developer identity (MFA) for local debugging
    • Managed Identity can get rid of most secrets for apps inside Azure

Areas of Application

  • Access PaaS/Serverless services provided by Azure
    • E.g. Storage, Key Vault, Container Registry, etc.
  • Access databases provided by Azure
    • E.g. Azure SQL DB, Cosmos DB, etc.
  • Access backend services
    • Can be custom-built
    • Don't even need to run in Azure

Azure MI

Key Vault

Managed Identity is nice, but...

  • ...what about services that don't support MI?
    • New Azure services
    • External services not related to Azure
  • Solution: Azure Key Vault
    • Secure place to store secrets, encryption keys, and certs
    • Authenticate to Key Vault with Managed Identity
  • As always: Follow the principle of least privilege
    • Use Azure RBAC for access management
    • Managed Identities are service principles

Key Vault

Private Endpoints

Private Endpoints

  • Azure supports virtual networks (VNets)
    • Lots of security components available for VNets
    • E.g. NSGs, Azure Firewall, App Gateway, Frontdoor, etc.
  • Problem: Most PaaS offerings cannot be moved into VNets
    • They are run by Microsoft
  • Solution: Private Endpoints
    • Enables accessing PaaS services over PE in your own VNet
    • PaaS services does not need to be available on public Internet
    • Available for many Azure PaaS offerings 🔗

Azure AD



Key Vault







  • Problem: How to ensure that teams follow security practices?
    • Manual checking is error-prone and doesn't scale
  • Solution: Azure Security Policies
    • Coded rule about specific security conditions that must be controlled
    • Audit: Check condition, for compliance reports
    • Enforce: Actively change/deny certain settings
  • Built-in vs. custom
    • Azure has lots of policies built in 🔗
    • You can define custom policies

Key Vault

Logging, Monitoring,

Azure Logs

Azure Platform Logs


Rainer Stropek | | @rstropek


By Rainer Stropek