Few weeks ago, Microsoft released the Premium SKU of Azure Firewall. This new SKU provides new functionalities, like TLS inspection, IDPS, Web categories and URL filtering:

Next-generation firewall capabilities with Azure Firewall Premium | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft Azure

Azure Firewall

The cost is approximatively 1077€ per months, plus 0.014€/GB processed:

Pricing – Azure Firewall | Microsoft Azure

To start, we will create a new Azure Firewall, with Premium SKU, in our HUB VNet. You need to create a dedicated subnet, AzureFirewallSubnet:

Create a firewall

After few minutes, you have your firewall deployed, with a basic configuration:

Firewall deployed

To manage the Firewall, you need to go to the firewall manager. You can see virtual network that are protected:

Firewall Manager

As you can see, I can now access many websites:

Many websites

I created a route table to forward all the traffic of my spoke subnet, to my hub Azure Firewall. To do that, get the private IP of your firewall:

Firewall Overview

And forward the traffic, to the virtual appliance Azure Firewall, with the IP that you get from it:

Forward the traffic

Now I have errors when I want to access something, because by default, the Azure Firewall is blocking everything:

Errors

If I want to allow a website, for example Facebook, I will create an allow rule, with Web Category Social Networking. All categories are mentioned here:

Azure Firewall web categories | Microsoft Docs

In the Rule Collections, create a new rule, with the following information:

Rule Collections

Apply it. After few seconds, the website is working again:

The website is working again

If you want to allow only a social website in the social networking category, create a rule with a priority 100 for example, with the url that you want and an allow, and after a rule with Deny, on the social networking category.

I can modify the rule, to allow for example only google.com. With the Premium SKU, it is possible to do the inspection in the URL, after the /, for example, google.com/example:

Edit rule collection

And it works:

Site works

If you go into Application Rules, you can see rules that we created before:

Application Rules

It is just an example of what you can do. But with Premium SKU, you can do more, like:

– TLS inspection to have an end-to-end encryption

– IDPS (Intrusion Detection and Prevention System) to monitor malicious traffic, log it (in Log Analytics), report it and block it

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You will find more information here: Azure Firewall Premium features | Microsoft Docs

If you want to protect rapidly, without having Firewall knowledge, your Azure infrastructure, it is a great solution. But be careful, it has not the same full functionality as a real firewall, like Palo Alto, Checkpoint, etc. For example, a great feature will be to allow an Active Directory group to access to a specific category of URL, and deny for all others. But Azure Firewall is a young product, and I am sure that it will evolve in the near future.

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Florent Appointaire
Florent Appointaire is Microsoft Engineer with 5 years of experience, specialized in Cloud Technologies (Public/Hybrid/Private). He is a freelance consultant in Belgium from the beginning of 2017. He is MVP Cloud and Datacentre Management. He is MCSE Private Cloud and Hyper-V certified. His favorite products are SCVMM, SCOM, Windows Azure pack/Azure Stack and Microsoft Azure.