Microsoft Secures Azure Data with Enhanced Encryption

Microsoft — like Google — is beating the drum on security. It is enhancing the encryption of data transfers between users and the Azure cloud guest operating systems. 

The encryption improvements, which apply to Microsoft Azure cipher solution for hosted guest virtual machines, gives users better and more secure connections during the transmission of data.

According to a Microsoft blog post the new enhancements apply to the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which makes it harder to decrypt connections and information going across such connections.

This follows  recent moves by Google to secure and encrypt emails. In the coming weeks, it announced that it will publishing a list of best practices in the coming weeks to make Transport Layer Security (TLS) adoption easier and to avoid common mistakes.

Securing Data

Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), are cryptographic protocols designed to provide communication security over the Internet.

In fact, Google is so adamant about securing data transfer between users that it has said it will give websites that have been secured by HTTPS higher page rankings in search.

Last year, Google also announced that users’ data that is placed in its Cloud Storage system will be encrypted by default.

The announcement that Microsoft is enhancing Azure security is just the latest move from Microsoft and follows security and encryption upgrades for and OneDrive.

As well as the TLS enhancements, Microsoft is also enabling Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) which ensures that a different encryption key is used for every connection, making it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections.

By providing PFS, it will help ensure that connection keys remain fresh, and that attackers who may have a compromised key, are not able to reuse it in future sessions when trying to decrypt traffic going to and from a guest virtual machine. These advancements are another important step in the journey to helping ensure our customers get the best in class security protections as they become available,” Mike Reavey, general manager of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing.

Blocking Unauthorized Access

Like the other big vendors in the information space, Microsoft has been focusing on keeping snoopers out of its customers’ data. This intensified after it emerged that government agencies in many countries had been scanning information from private emails.

The response from companies like Google and Microsoft has been swift. Over the past six months, Microsoft has been working with partners and other industry players to sure that all data is encrypted and stays encrypted no matter where it is located, or how it is transferred between users.

For Microsoft, the only thing that is more important than securing Azure is perpetuating the image of Azure as a secure cloud offering, especially as it appears to be making ground in the cloud space against Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Title image by Adriano Castelli /