Differences between Azure Security Center, Azure Defender, and Azure Sentinel

Security must be included within the process of technological transformation, although it has always been an important issue, remote working and the escalation of cyber-attacks have made it crucial for every company.

Security must be an additional pillar within our technological base to be transversal to all of our business processes.

Sometimes the information security part is left aside, this is a big mistake that results in losses, we can see many examples in the news every day.

To meet the demand for security, Microsoft offers various tools within Azure, but we will focus on three of them that provide holistic protection of the company: Azure Security Center, Azure Defender, and Azure Sentinel.

 What is the role of each of them?

Azure Security Center

It is the main center of security within Azure that provides a unified point for managing security and auditing both on-premises and cloud infrastructures, as well as monitoring third-party clouds.

It is worth remembering that security is a shared responsibility and that having resources in a public cloud does not absolve the technical team from taking care of certain aspects of it. These tools will help protect the company’s systems and data. However, it will always require a certain degree of operation for the IT staff.

Azure Security Center monitors systems and applications, allowing it to quickly adapt to changing environments where workloads grow and diminish rapidly, keeping systems always secure by automatically providing security mechanisms. In addition, Azure Security Center continuously audits systems and applications to establish a security score based on different security frameworks such as ISO27001, NIST, or CIS, allowing to identification security issues and establish priorities for their solution, as well as providing recommendations on how to mitigate the detected threats.

Azure Security Center is a native part of the Azure architecture, making possible, to some extent, the “Security by default”, managing workloads and allowing the creation of security policies completely tailored to the needs of the company.

This protection is not only limited to the machine and application side but also extends to the network side, displaying, among other things, a map of the network topology in real-time, highlighting nodes with problems and all the additional important information needed.

Azure Defender

Azure Defender integrates with Azure Security Center to improve the security of workloads in both cloud and hybrid environments, providing improved detection and extended responses to different threats. It allows you to benefit from artificial intelligence and automation features to respond more efficiently to different types of attacks such as SQL Injection or brute force attacks, protecting resources such as virtual machines, containers, applications, databases, etc.

When Azure Defender detects a threat of any kind, it sends a security alert, providing all sorts of details, including information about the type of threat, resources affected, or recommendations for remediation. In many cases, it will also provide the ability to trigger an action to solve the problem.

“Among the functions that Azure Defender allows you to perform is the JIT (Just In Time) that allows you to limit access to virtual machines to access only from specific IP ranges and ports, blocking access from any other environment.

It also allows for adaptive application control, providing an automated list of applications that are considered to be safe, to which it also adds the applications that it has learned automatically.

Azure Sentinel

Azure Sentinel is responsible for providing a real-time snapshot of everything that happens in the infrastructure, relating all events linked to the same security incident. This tool, again, serves both the public cloud and everything that connects to the cloud through the various Microsoft or third-party connectors. This linking of events across the infrastructure occurs because Azure Sentinel is actually a SIEM (Security Information Event Management) and a SOAR (Security Orchestration Automated Response).

The power of Azure Sentinel is based on four pillars: the first is the great capacity of data collection, by being capable of acquiring data from countless systems it brings us to the second pillar that is the detection capability through the use of intelligent threat detection technologies, then the third pillar is the ability to help the investigation by correlating incidents through the use of artificial intelligence and finally, the fourth pillar is the ability to respond based on the automation of tasks.

These factors make Azure Sentinel significantly simplify incident management by being able to filter incident data and link it to a core problem, allowing a pattern to be established in a matter of seconds to help resolve security incidents by detecting and addressing the underlying problem.

Sentinel also has data sources all over the world. Continuously learning about the behavior of different systems and different threats, helping AI systems to learn, makes it much more efficient each day.


The existing security solutions in Azure are robust, efficient, and use the latest technologies and above all, as they are native, they are perfectly integrated into the entire ecosystem of services offered by Microsoft. All this allows the technical team to adapt to the constant changes in the security world, putting the focus on the core of the business and optimizing business processes.

Want to learn more about Azure security services and how to protect your business continuity? Contact us and one of our experts will be able to help you.