Q57. What are Storage Access Keys?

When we create a storage account, Azure generates and assigns two 512-bit storage access keys to the account. These keys are required for authentication when accessing the storage account. Two access keys are generated, one is the primary access key and another is the secondary access key. Remember, these keys can be regenerated whenever required. When you generate a new key, the earlier ones are retired.

In the Management Portal, click on the Manage Access Keys icon located at the bottom of the dashboard screen. The Manage Access Keys dialog is displayed which is shown below. Use this dialog to Copy and regenerate the keys.

To access Azure storage services from an application, we need to provide an account name and access key in the connection string. Copy the access key from the ‘Manage Access Keys’ dialog to use it in the connection string.

storage access keys

How Azure ensures the security of Storage account

Regenerating of the access keys is required to ensure security of storage accounts. Azure provides two access keys so that while we regenerate a new key, our services which are using the storage account will not be interrupted. For smooth functioning, the following steps are recommended for regenerating a new key.

a. Before regenerating a new primary access key, we should make sure that all applications and services use the secondary access key of the related storage account. This has to be done because as soon as we generate a new primary access key, the application(s) will not be able to access the storage account with the previous access key.
b. Click on the regenerate button next to the primary access key and 'click Yes' to confirm. A new key will be generated.
c. Update connections strings in all the applications and services with the new access key. Your applications will now be able to use the storage account.
d. To regenerate the secondary access key, click on the regenerate button next to the secondary access key.
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