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Several Windows Azure services help you extend your application security into the cloud.
Three services can help you in providing identity mapping between various providers, connections between an on premises data center, and abilities for applications (where ever they reside) to send messages to each other:
Claims-based identity is a simple but powerful way of handling identity and access for your web sites and web services, whether you work on-premises or you are targeting the cloud. You can create more secure applications by reducing custom implementations and using a single simplified identity model based on claims.
Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) is a set of .NET Framework classes. It is a framework for implementing claims-based identity in your applications.
So which security threats are mitigated by the Windows Azure environment and which security threats must be mitigated by the developer?
The paper, Security Best Practices for Developing Windows Azure Applications, describes what you should consider as key threats that your an application running on the Windows Azure. And it shows specifically where Azure provides the mitigation and those you need to call APIs and those which you need to handle yourself. (It does not address regulatory compliance issues.)
Microsoft has announced plans to release an additional limited preview of an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure in the first half of 2012.
Since the first limited preview released in December, customers such as Webtrends and the University of Dundee are using the Hadoop-based service to glean simple, actionable insights from complex data sets hosted in the cloud.
Customers interested in signing up for the latest preview should visit http://www.hadooponazure.com.
When you are building out your cloud application, security should be front and center in your Windows Azure planning and execution.
In this part, I explore how you can examine the architecture of your application. The pattern and practices teams provide the idea of a Security Frame as a way to look at your application to determine treats and your responses, before you even begin coding.
I also describe how you can use the The Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) in a prescribed way that you can adapt in your organization to address security in every process of your application’s lifecycle.