Microsoft Copilot for Security – Use Cases for Cloud Security and DevSecOps Teams

April 15, 2024 | 5 min read

Micah Heaton

Executive Director, Managed Security Center of Excellence

Micah Heaton Square Calcite Duotone

Throughout this blog series, we've helped various cybersecurity groups see possible use cases for Microsoft Copilot for Security. This blog explores how AI and Microsoft Copilot for Security can assist with streamlining security operations for Defender for Cloud. 

Businesses of all sizes continue to move workloads to the cloud. The cloud offers many advantages, such as accessibility anywhere on any device. It eliminates high data center costs and is much greener than land-locked infrastructures.  

  • 94% of enterprises use cloud services   
  • 68% of enterprise infrastructures are cloud-based   
  • 92% of businesses have a multi-cloud strategy in place or in the works*

Unfortunately, 82% of breaches involve data stored in the cloud.**

Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a unified cloud-native application protection platform that helps strengthen an organization’s cloud security posture. It helps provide protection against modern threats and helps reduce risk in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments.  

Many organizations need to expand Defender for Cloud to secure their growing cloud estate but need the people, expertise, and budget to support their expansion. Microsoft Copilot for Security can offload many tasks once performed by security analysts so they can focus on new cloud projects.   

  • Help remediate compromised cloud workloads and assets  
  • Perform baseline compliance checks   
  • Ensure Azure policies are created through Defender for Cloud 

With Microsoft Copilot for Security, organizations can do more with less. They can continue to expand their use of Defender for Cloud and improve their cloud security posture with little or no additional resources. 

Remediate Threats and Incidents Faster 

Remediating cloud workloads after a cyber incident requires swift action to contain the threat, restore affected services, and strengthen defenses to prevent future incidents. Microsoft Copilot for Security can significantly enhance the remediation process by automating actions and analyzing attack patterns to improve security moving forward.  

  • Incident Response Automation: Develop playbooks and workflows to automate response actions for common security incidents. Orchestrate tools and security controls for faster mitigation of cyber threats. 
  • Forensic Analysis and Threat Intelligence: Identify the root cause of the cyber incident, trace the attacker's activities, and assess the extent of the damage. 
  • Vulnerability Management and Patching: Defender for Cloud identifies security vulnerabilities and misconfigurations within cloud workloads. Copilot for Security can assess the severity of vulnerabilities and prioritize remediation and patching based on potential impact and exploitability. 
  • Continuous Monitoring and Remediation: Implement automated remediation workflows that leverage Microsoft Copilot for Security learning and decision making to enforce security policies and access controls and identify and remediate basic security misconfigurations. 
  • Adaptive Security Controls and Policy Enforcement: Recommend security policies and access controls based on evolving threat landscapes and changing workload requirements. 

Microsoft Defender for Cloud uses its native AI to detect threats and vulnerabilities. Microsoft Copilot for Security can assist in streamlining operations specific to the organization's needs and assist in remediating threats and preventing them from occurring or spreading in the future. 

Keep Your Cloud Compliant 

Compliance requirements are becoming stricter and more complicated. Microsoft Copilot for Security can ensure your cloud environment remains compliant. 

  • Data Collection: Gather information on compliance regulations relevant to your organization's industry and geographical location. That could include standards like GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, NIST, NIS2, or industry-specific regulations. Collect data on the current security configurations and settings within Microsoft Defender for Cloud, including policies, access controls, and security baselines. 
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): Parse and interpret compliance regulations documents. That involves extracting essential requirements, control objectives, and specific security measures outlined in the regulations. 
  • Knowledge Graph Construction: Build a knowledge graph representing the relationships between compliance requirements, security controls, and cloud security settings within Microsoft Defender for Cloud.  
  • Compliance Assessment: Analyze the current security settings and configurations within Microsoft Defender for Cloud against the compliance requirements extracted from the knowledge graph. Identify any discrepancies, misconfigurations, or non-compliant settings that may pose risks to compliance. 
  • Recommendations and Remediation: Generate recommendations for remediation actions based on identified compliance gaps and deviations from the expected security posture. Prioritize remediation efforts based on the severity of compliance violations and potential impact on regulatory compliance. 
  • Continuous Monitoring: Implement a feedback loop mechanism to continuously monitor changes in compliance regulations, security best practices, and cloud security configurations. 

Microsoft Copilot for Security can automate the process of checking compliance settings within Microsoft Defender for Cloud, enabling proactive identification of compliance issues and effective remediation actions to maintain regulatory compliance and mitigate security risks. 

Align Defender for Cloud and Azure Policy  

Security standards in Defender for Cloud are based on Azure Policy initiatives or the Defender for Cloud-native platform. Currently, Azure standards are based on Azure Policy. AWS and GCP standards are based on Defender for Cloud. 

Microsoft Copilot for Security can help ensure Azure Policy is created effectively and aligned with Microsoft Defender for Cloud. 

  • Automated Policy Template Creation: Generate Azure Policy templates based on the recommended configurations derived from policy requirements. Utilize predefined policy templates, industry standards, and best practices to structure the policy templates for different compliance requirements and security policies. 
  • Policy Validation and Testing: Implement validation mechanisms to ensure that the generated Azure Policy templates meet the intended compliance objectives and security requirements. Automatically test policies' effectiveness through simulated scenarios and evaluate their impact on cloud resources and configurations. 
  • Natural Language Policy Authoring: Utilize NLP algorithms to translate natural language policy requirements into structured Azure Policy definitions and configurations. 
  • Integration with Microsoft Defender for Cloud: Integrate with Microsoft Defender for Cloud to automatically deploy the generated Azure Policy templates within the Azure environment. Develop and utilize APIs and automation to orchestrate the deployment process and ensure consistent policy enforcement across cloud resources. 
  • Continuous Monitoring and Optimization: Monitor and confirm the implementation and effectiveness of deployed Azure Policies. Analyze telemetry data, security events, and compliance reports to identify areas for policy optimization and refinement over time. 

By leveraging Microsoft Copilot for Security, organizations can streamline the process of defining and maintaining Azure Policies with Microsoft Defender for Cloud. This approach enables proactive compliance management, enhances security posture, and reduces the manual effort required for policy authoring and enforcement. 

BlueVoyant is an early adaptor of Microsoft Security for Copilot and a member of the Microsoft Design Advisory Council for Copilot for Security. Our commitment to our clients is to continually provide guidance on how and where to optimize security operations with Microsoft, including Copilot for Security.  

*Source - Zippia Cloud Adoption Report 2023 

**Source - Cost of a data breach report 2023 

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