Trustwave Unveils New Offerings to Maximize Value of Microsoft Security Investments. Learn More

Trustwave Unveils New Offerings to Maximize Value of Microsoft Security Investments. Learn More

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Cloud Architecture, Frameworks and Benchmarks

At any point in your cloud security journey, you should consider practical architectures, frameworks, and benchmarks that will benefit your current and future infrastructure. These tools will provide guidance directly from those who have pioneered similar solutions. Working with existing designs will speed up your efforts and provide your organization with confidence that it is following industry security standards.


Architecture vs. Framework

What is the difference between an architecture and a framework? Commonly, a framework encompasses several architectures. However, the opposite can also be true, such as in the Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA). So, the frameworks mentioned below will contain several architectures such as SIEM, EDR, etc.


Architectures and Framework Examples

All cloud vendors provide best practices architecture guides and frameworks.

For example, Microsoft has:


Security Benchmarks

In addition to frameworks, there are security benchmarks that can be used as controls for ensuring cloud resources are behaving according to some measure of security standards.

An example of this is the Microsoft Cloud Security Benchmark (MCSB). We can think of the MCSB like NIST or CIS compliance controls, however, it includes secure scores, which assist in prioritizing the security improvement processes.


Combining Benchmarks, Controls and Architectures

Connecting benchmarks like MCSB and controls like NIST along with actual security solutions can help bridge the gap between auditors and security architects. An effective delivery solution can be planned and prioritized by understanding the associations between these topics.

Table 1 Example mapping between MCSB, NIST and a Microsoft Security Solutions

Table 1: Example mapping between MCSB, NIST and a Microsoft Security Solutions


Use Cases

This brings up two questions. Who should use this, and where should it be implemented? It’s typically the cybersecurity architect’s responsibility to understand these topics and to communicate relevant subjects to the required teams, such as the auditors and security operations.

Here’s an example of a use case and how it maps to the architectures, etc.

Table 2 Example mapping of an actual use case to the relative architectures, etc.

Table 2: Example mapping of an actual use case to the relative architectures, etc.



Always think in terms of a well-structured architecture when constructing enterprise cloud solutions. Use security benchmarks as controls to keep track of best practices in your security architecture. Understand the relationship between frameworks, architecture, benchmarks, and controls.



About This Blog Series

Follow the full series here: Building Defenses with Modern Security Solutions.

This series discusses a list of key cybersecurity defense topics. The full collection of posts and labs can be used as an educational tool for implementing cybersecurity defenses.



For quick walkthrough labs on the topics in this blog series, check out the story of “ZPM Incorporated” and their steps to implementing all the solutions discussed here.



All topics mentioned in this series have been mapped to several compliance controls here.

David Broggy, Trustwave’s Senior Solutions Architect Implementation Services, was selected last year for Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award.


Operational Technology Security Maturity Diagnostic


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