Computer network and system security bring an ever-changing set of challenges to IT security professionals. The rise of cloud computing has brought a new dimension to cybersecurity because users often need access from third-party devices or remote locations, which can be difficult to fully secure. 

In the world of cloud security, two of the main tools against cyber threats are Microsoft Azure Sentinel and Azure Security Center. 

Both these products handle security for Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure. At first, even experienced cloud engineers and architects may think that these two products overlap. They may start to compare Azure Sentinel vs. Azure Security Center to decide which one is best for their needs. 

However, once you understand the differences between Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel, it may become apparent that both are necessary for an effective cloud security strategy. 

What Is Azure Sentinel?

Microsoft Azure Sentinel has a dual purpose. It provides Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and offers Security Orchestration Automated Response (SOAR) services. In other words, it gives you a birds-eye view of what is happening throughout the entire system, and it helps automate responses when a breach gets discovered. 

Sentinel collects data from the system and all Microsoft products connected to it. In other words, it can cover the entire system. It uses machine learning to gradually increase effectiveness by eliminating false alarms and learning usage patterns specific to a company or organization’s users and operations. With this knowledge, it can effectively detect anomalies and quickly shut down the activity that is causing them. 

Microsoft Azure Sentinel automates the reaction to security threats. This aspect is vital because manual responses are often slow by nature. Because it offers a view of the entire system in one central place, IT security employees can monitor the breach and response and ensure that anomalies that could signal additional security problems are not occurring elsewhere within the system. 

Finally, Azure Sentinel can turn its machine-learning component on to past breaches to ensure a better, system-specific response the next time a security threat gets detected. 

What Is Azure Security Center?

To understand the Azure Sentinel vs. Azure Security Center comparison, you need to know that the latter is a Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) solution. It also provides real-time security monitoring for on-site systems so that you can monitor all cloud-based and on-premises activity in one place. You have a complete system map showing all active components and resources. 

This tool allows you to set up best practices for enhancing and maintaining security throughout your cloud systems and in-house networks. Azure Security Center then automatically assesses each connection and each new addition to the system to ensure that it follows all the necessary protocols. If a user isn’t complying with currently set protocols, or if there is behaviour that doesn’t follow existing usage patterns, Security Center will send a notification. 

Furthermore, when you add a new resource to your cloud system, Security Center ensures it meets existing security standards and defines vulnerabilities if it does not. 

As with Sentinel, Security Center uses AI to look at current activity patterns and learn them. Based on this, it can offer insights to help your IT team improve cybersecurity and define new best practices.

What Is the Difference Between Azure Sentinel and Security Center?

Both Azure Sentinel and Azure Security Center allow you to monitor cloud-based activity and detect cyber threats. The two tools also have AI and machine-learning components. However, there are a couple of key differences that make them unique from one another.

The first significant difference in the Azure Sentinel vs. Azure Security Center comparison is the focus of the two tools. Each focuses on a different approach to cloud security.

Sentinel’s primary aim is to detect and respond to security threats. It accomplishes this by looking at data logs and
finding unusual trends or threats.

Security Center, on the other hand, aims to ensure the best possible security practices by ensuring that every
component, connection, resource, and user complies with necessary security protocols.

If your cloud computing system were a building, Azure Sentinel would act as the security guard who found and
responded to break-ins. Security Center would be the head of security, who ensured that the alarm system and security patrols occurred on time and that everyone who entered the building had the proper clearance and

The next question related to the Azure Sentinel vs. Azure Security Center debate is whether you need both or must
choose one or the other.

Can You Use Azure Sentinel and Security Center Together?

Since they are both Microsoft Azure products, you can use them together. As you hopefully understand by now, doing
so would not be redundant. In fact, the two can complement each other.

For example, Azure Security Center can collect large amounts of data on security practices and procedures. Sentinel’s
machine learning capabilities can use this data to become more effective at detecting threats and breaches. Because it already knows the framework set out by Security Center, Sentinel can more effectively respond when a security
breach occurs.

Also, by managing users and ensuring every resource on your cloud network operates according to necessary security
procedures, Security Center can limit the number of issues to which Sentinel
needs to respond.

The answer to the question is yes, you can use both Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel together. In fact, the
two perform best when paired together.

Ensure You Have The Best Protection

To get the most out of your Microsoft products, it pays to work with a specialist like Softlanding to work on deploying cloud security tools for Azure. With an expert handling the setup, optimization, and deployment of Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel, you can be sure that everything will work seamlessly and provide the necessary protection and threat response that you need to have peace of mind about your cloud security.

Contact Softlanding today to learn about our professional and managed IT services

Written By:


Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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