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Azure Bastion Server: Simplifying Secure Remote Access

Atisha Shaurya
Atisha Shaurya
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In the ever-evolving world of cloud computing, secure remote access to virtual machines (VMs) and infrastructure is paramount. Azure Bastion Server is a service offered by Microsoft Azure that simplifies and enhances the security of remote access to Azure VMs. In this blog post, we’ll explore what Azure Bastion is, why it’s crucial for your cloud infrastructure, and how to set it up.

What is Azure Bastion Server?

Azure Bastion is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering from Microsoft Azure that provides secure and seamless Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Secure Shell (SSH) access to Azure VMs directly from the Azure portal. It eliminates the need for a public IP address, Network Security Groups (NSGs), or a jump host. Azure Bastion leverages the Azure Active Directory for authentication and uses the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to ensure encrypted connections.

Why Azure Bastion Matters

Azure Bastion brings several significant benefits to the table:

  1. Enhanced Security: Azure Bastion reduces the exposure of VMs to the public internet by eliminating the need for public IP addresses. This minimizes the attack surface and enhances security.
  2. Simplified Configuration: Traditional methods of enabling remote access, such as configuring NSGs or a jump host, can be complex and error-prone. Azure Bastion simplifies the setup process.
  3. Unified Access: Azure Bastion provides a unified and consistent way to access Azure VMs, regardless of the VM’s location or configuration.
  4. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Azure Bastion integrates with Azure Multi-Factor Authentication for an additional layer of security.
  5. Audit and Logging: All Bastion connections are logged and audited, helping you maintain compliance and track access.

Setting Up Azure Bastion

Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up Azure Bastion:

1. Create an Azure Bastion Host

  1. In the Azure portal, navigate to your Virtual Machine.
  2. Under the “Settings” section, click on “Bastion” and then “Add Bastion.”
  3. Configure the Bastion settings, including the virtual network and subnet.
  4. Review and create the Bastion host.

2. Configure Network Security Groups (NSGs)

  1. While Azure Bastion enhances security, you should still configure NSGs to control inbound and outbound traffic to your VMs.
  2. Ensure that your NSGs allow traffic to and from the Bastion subnet.

3. Connect via Azure Bastion

  1. In the Azure portal, navigate to the VM you want to connect to.
  2. Click on “Connect” and select “Bastion.”
  3. Enter your credentials, including your Azure AD username and password.
  4. Azure Bastion establishes a secure RDP or SSH connection to your VM, all within the Azure portal.

4. Configure Authentication

  1. Implement Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for an additional layer of security. Azure Bastion seamlessly integrates with Azure MFA.

5. Logging and Monitoring

  1. Configure Azure Monitor and Azure Security Center to monitor and log Bastion connections for auditing and compliance purposes.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices when using Azure Bastion:

  1. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Implement RBAC to control who can create and manage Azure Bastion resources.
  2. Network Segmentation: Carefully design your virtual network and subnet structure to minimize exposure.
  3. MFA: Enable Azure Multi-Factor Authentication for all users accessing resources via Azure Bastion.
  4. Logging and Auditing: Continuously monitor and audit Bastion connections for suspicious activities.
  5. NSGs: Regularly review and update NSG rules to ensure security.


Azure Bastion Server is a game-changer in simplifying secure remote access to Azure VMs while enhancing security. By eliminating the need for public IP addresses and providing a unified access point, it streamlines remote administration tasks and reduces security risks. Whether you’re managing a small set of VMs or a complex cloud infrastructure, Azure Bastion should be a part of your security strategy, ensuring that your remote access remains secure and hassle-free.

Atisha Shaurya

Atisha Shaurya

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