What is Microsoft Azure attestation?
According to Microsoft, Azure Attestation allows organizations to “verify the identity and security posture of a platform before” it accesses cloud resources.
“Azure Attestation receives evidence from the platform, validates it against security standards, evaluates it against configurable policies, and produces an attestation token for applications based on claims,” the company says.
The service supports TPM attestation and trusted execution environments such as Intel Software Guard Extensions and virtualization-based security enclaves.
“MAA is used to assess a hardware platform against agency policies to ensure that binaries running on it have not been tampered with or modified by malware or malicious users.” Nextgov reports. “Devices must also demonstrate that they have all the appropriate security protocols and requirements enabled.”
Plus, Acronis add in a blog post, “Attestation establishes trust by validating the identity and integrity of essential hardware and software components. The remote attestation method provides trusted parties with a verifiable, unbiased, and tamper-resistant device report on a remote peer.”
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What are the benefits of Azure Attestation for agencies?
There are three main benefits of Microsoft Azure Attestation for government agencies.
The first is a unified platform that can verify the trustworthiness of multiple environments and ensure that agencies can safely trust and use cloud computing tools like Azure. “Azure Attestation provides comprehensive certification services for multiple environments and distinctive use cases, such as enclave validation, secure key sharing, and multi-party confidential computing,” the company says.
Another is that organizations can easily access a default provider in your Azure region for attestation services without going through a setup process. Microsoft says that the default providers are available to all Azure Active Directory users.
Finally, Azure Attestation allows agencies to apply custom attestation policies. “Azure Attestation evaluates the platform’s evidence against its policies to ensure that binaries running within the platform have not been tampered with by outside entities,” says Microsoft. “If your attestation provider allows signed policies, Azure Attestation will use your signer certificates to validate signed policies and authenticate users.”
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How does Azure Attestation help with cybersecurity?
In addition to the direct benefits associated with implementing MAA, the main cybersecurity advantage of Azure Attestation is that it lays the groundwork for zero-trust adoption.
Zero trust can involve the use of strict access controls, multiple authentication checkpoints, and increased monitoring resources to repeatedly verify users and devices before allowing them access to a network or asset.
“MAA validates both identity and platform, providing condition-based access with a zero-trust environment to protect organizational resources.” Forbes Reports.
In fact, Nextgov reports that Microsoft Azure Attestation “should allow Windows 11 devices to be easily integrated into zero-trust network environments as agencies bring them online. Windows 11 will not enable zero trust on its own, but it can act as a critical component of any highly secure network.”