As the IT landscape continues to evolve rapidly, network security becomes increasingly crucial for safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining network integrity. Implementing robust access control measures, such as network security groups (NSGs), is essential to ensure network security. NSGs function as virtual firewalls, permitting or denying inbound and outbound traffic to and from Azure resources based on predefined rules. However, managing and monitoring NSGs can become complex, particularly when dealing with numerous rules and resources. It is imperative to maintain a balance between allowing legitimate traffic and maintaining a high level of security by ensuring defined rules are neither overly permissive nor overly restrictive. This article presents an approach that utilizes Apache Spark and Python code to identify the optimal set of user rules by analyzing Network Watcher Flow Events Logs. The proposed method aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of managing NSGs while ensuring robust network security in Azure environments.


Azure network security groups (NSG) allow or deny network traffic to virtual machine instances within a virtual network by activating rules or access control lists (ACLs). An NSG can be associated with a subnet or with an individual virtual machine instance within that subnet. All Virtual Machine instances connected to a subnet by an NSG are subject to its ACL rules. You can also restrict traffic to an individual virtual machine by associating an NSG directly with it. Each network security group contains a set of Default Rules. The default rules in each NSG include three inbound rules and three outbound rules. The default rules cannot be deleted, but since they are assigned the lowest priority, you can replace them with your own.

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