New Azure Files Enhanced Access Control Experience Feature



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Microsoft announced that it will double Azure’s security at its recent Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

Microsoft today announced new security features that will enhance the access control experience, including the introduction of authentication support for Server Message Block (SMB) access via the Azure Active Directory Domain Service (Azure AD DS).

Now, domain-related Windows virtual machines can mount and access your Azure file shares via SMB using AD DS IDs with forced NTFS access control lists.

In addition, you can limit access to specific files and folders at the sharing level using role-based access control (RBAC). The permission assignment functionality is similar to NTFS, so the process of “lifting and moving” an application is easier.

Azure Files is the only public cloud file storage system that provides secure, fully managed cloud file sharing based on server message blocks (SMBs), which can also be cached on site to ensure performance and compatibility. Today, we are pleased to announce that Azure Files has just become bigger, faster and better than ever before.

Azur Files: SMB File Service in the Cloud

Although the SMB protocol is normally used under Microsoft Windows, these shares can also be included for reading and writing on Linux and MacOS systems. Support for the new version of SMB allows functions such as encryption during transmission. However, this can also be achieved by using the REST interface via HTTPS.Azure Files, which allows users to create SMB v3.0 file shares in the Microsoft cloud, similar to Amazon EFS. Creating a new file share is a very simple process via the user interface, which can also be done via Powershell or CLI Azure.



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Azure File Sync allows full integration of Azure files into local systems. If you run the Azure File Sync Agent on a local Windows Server computer, Azure Files data can be cached locally for faster access, with all writes transparently synchronized to Azure. Azure File Sync provides data resilience and end-to-end integration with Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS).

Advantages

  • Very fast entry
  • Fully managed solution
  • File synchronization and file sharing snapshots

Considerations

  • Size limited to 5 TB
  • No integrated support for NFS
  • Integration with Microsoft Azure AD for SMB share authentication is previewed and can only be implemented through Azure AD domain services.

What is the next step for Azure file access control?

Support for authentication with Azure Active Directory Domain Services is particularly useful for application lift and relocation scenarios, but Azure Files can help move all local file shares, whether they provide storage for an application or for end users. Our team is working to extend authentication support to Windows Server Active Directory, which is hosted on site or in the cloud.

CONCLUSION

Security has always been a priority for Microsoft. Recently, the technology giant has made many changes to its cloud computing platform.

From the Azure Security Center for IoT to the Azure Security Lab and Azure Files, security was the primary objective.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/better-security-with-enhanced-access-control-experience-in-azure-files/



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