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Navigating the Future of IT Infrastructure and Security: Insights from CloudBrew 2023

As the main system administrator in our company, staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of IT infrastructure and security is not just a responsibility but a necessity. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a series of enlightening sessions at CloudBrew, which focused on the latest advancements in IT infrastructure, with a keen emphasis on security. In this blog post, I will share my key takeaways from each session.

Image courtesy of CloudBrew

Embracing Cloud-Based Automation for Infrastructure Management

The first session delved into the importance of modernizing infrastructure management by transitioning from traditional server-bound scheduled tasks to more agile and scalable cloud-based solutions. The speakers emphasized leveraging Azure Automation account and Azure Functions to consolidate automation in the cloud, triggered by events rather than fixed schedules. Additionally, we were shown examples of how the integration of Azure Arc to manage servers outside of Azure can be a solution for enhanced efficiency, security, and scalability. 

Mastering Defender for Servers 

Defender for Servers emerged as a central component in Microsoft’s security suite, particularly designed to protect servers across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. This session explored the various plans, feature sets, and deployment methods of Defender for Servers. We were shown the distinction between agent-based and agentless scan methods, providing valuable insights into their suitability for different scenarios. The session concluded with practical guidance on deploying Defender for Servers at scale, empowering us to master this crucial defense tool effectively. 

Ransomware as a Service, are you prepared? 

The third session tackled the rising threat of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) and its evolving complexities. The speaker shed light on the origin of the RaaS model and illustrated several high-profile cases where enterprise environments fell victim to ransomware attacks. The session not only highlighted the challenges faced by security operations in dealing with advanced threats but also offered practical recommendations for fortifying our environment against them. 

Microsoft Purview for Enhanced Data Protection 

The final session provided insights into Microsoft Purview, the compliance portfolio offering crucial capabilities for understanding and safeguarding corporate data. The speakers emphasized the importance of gaining insights into corporate data, applying sensitivity labels, and utilizing automatic labeling through Purview Information Protection. Moreover, the session offered a deeper understanding of how Purview fits into the broader Microsoft ecosystem, particularly in monitoring and protecting data within the organization.

Conclusion

These sessions have equipped me with valuable insights and strategies to enhance our company’s IT security infrastructure. As we navigate the future, implementing cloud-based automation, mastering Defender for Servers, staying vigilant against RaaS, and leveraging tools like Microsoft Purview will be instrumental in fortifying our defenses and ensuring the resilience of our IT systems. 

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