May 29, 2024

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Microsoft Azure ’s safety posture is foundational to the safety guarantees we make to our prospects. The provision chain of Microsoft Azure servers depends on a multifaceted and sophisticated ecosystem of companions throughout silicon manufacturing, meeting, techniques integration, transit, and operationalization in knowledge facilities. A number of interplay factors throughout this provide chain pose vital threats to the safety and integrity of an Azure server touchdown in manufacturing. These dangers embrace firmware tampering, tampering, set up of malicious code or adware, weakened safety controls, and lots of extra. We at Microsoft imagine it’s crucial to construct mechanisms to proactively detect and remediate such points through the early phases of product improvement or earlier than servers dock in an information middle.  

Hardware Root-of-Belief (RoT) units similar to Cerberus and Trusted Platform Module are the cornerstone for establishing foundational belief on parts in our cloud. This ensures the authenticity and integrity of those parts and their firmware with traceability all the way in which again to silicon manufacturing. One of the best ways to perform our goal is to confirm “provenance” of our servers all through their lifecycle from manufacturing facility to manufacturing utilizing RoT gadget identities. Through the silicon manufacturing course of, the gadget identification is securely extracted and annotated to uniquely determine trusted units. This mitigates the danger of “rogue” units discovering their approach into the Azure fleet undetected (Determine 1). Lenovo is one among our main provider companions which are pushing the boundaries of safe provide chain with us.

To additional defend these RoT identities on which we anchor the chain of belief, we leverage the facility of enclaves and the Confidential Consortium Framework with Microsoft Azure confidential ledger to integrity-protect our provider provenance database. Study extra about our firmware integrity protections.

Azure confidential ledger integrity protects current databases and functions by appearing as a point-in-time supply of fact which offers cryptographic proofs in verification eventualities. Particularly, saved knowledge is just not solely immutable and tamper-proof within the append-only ledger however can also be independently verifiable. Additionally it is useful as a repository of audit trails or information that should be stored intact and selectively shared with sure personas. Information logged within the ledger stays immutable, privacy-enhanced, and shielded from insider threats inside a company and even the cloud supplier.  

On this situation, Azure confidential ledger offers industry-leading tamper-evidence capabilities to find out if any unauthorized manipulations have occurred with these delicate gadget identities. At completely different deadlines, verification checks are executed in opposition to the Azure confidential ledger to make sure that the information is constant and pristine. Utilizing this know-how additionally mitigates tampering dangers from extremely privileged Azure operators. 

Flowchart of Provenance Verification using Hardware Root-of-Trust Identities.
Determine 1: Azure confidential ledger protects provenance verification utilizing root-of-trust identities. 

Azure confidential ledger is used to mild up a crucial infrastructure safety situation—Undertaking Odyssey. Undertaking Odyssey goals to cryptographically confirm the provenance of RoT units (connected to servers) as they undertake their journey from OEM flooring to Microsoft Azure knowledge facilities and all through their manufacturing lifecycle. As a part of the manufacturing workflow, suppliers add a signed manifest of RoT identities right into a trusted ‘provenance database’ that makes use of tamper-evident Azure confidential ledger integration. Because the units are assembled into parts, blades, and racks, their identities may be verified at every step of the availability chain course of. After lengthy journeys by air, land, and sea, the assembled racks arrive at Microsoft Information Facilities the place they endure further checks to make sure that they weren’t tampered with throughout transit. Lastly, when a server is prepared for manufacturing, it undergoes attestation the place its RoT identification may be re-verified earlier than permitting it to hitch the manufacturing setting and host buyer workloads. Servers are anticipated to endure this course of periodically making certain that the parts keep compliant all through their lifecycle, thereby making certain that malicious and unauthorized swapping of blades and motherboards is detected, and non-compliant servers may be tagged for eviction, investigation, and remediation. 

This is just one piece of our total safety story. Microsoft Azure has developed complete safety necessities to allow safety capabilities similar to safe boot, safe replace, attestation, restoration, encryption, and telemetry to make sure Azure is resilient to such assaults by way of sturdy capabilities round prevention, detection, and response.  

Learn extra about how we safe Microsoft Azure’s and firmware. 

At Microsoft, a core a part of our tradition is leveraging the work of one another to ship industry-leading safety to our prospects with a protection in-depth strategy. Azure gadget provenance and provide chain safety is a basic constructing block of our foundational safety stack. By way of cryptographic provenance verification of Azure through Undertaking Odyssey and extra defense-in-depth protections of gadget identities utilizing Azure confidential ledger, we’re setting the gold customary in cloud provide chain safety to learn our prospects.


“Lenovo’s key precedence is to confirm and make sure the end-to-end safety and traceability for Microsoft cloud . By implementing this course of in each our part and system integration factories, not solely can we belief that the we obtain from downstream ODM/OEM suppliers is secured and trusted, however we will add the Lenovo fingerprint knowledge to the chain of belief, which helps guarantee Microsoft that the acquired by knowledge facilities is absolutely secured and reliable. 

Integrating this answer into the Lenovo international provide chain workflow was exceptionally clean due to the thorough documentation and examples that the Microsoft crew maintains on an ongoing foundation. Assuring the integrity and traceability of knowledge in Azure confidential ledger permits Lenovo to deal with course of and product high quality, without having to spend additional improvement cycles engaged on an in-house safety answer.”—James McFadden, Govt Director, Provide Chain High quality & Engineering, Lenovo.

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