• Alex Feng

What are the Core Center for Internet Security Benchmarks?

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is an organization that was established in 2000 with the primary goal of offering robust cybersecurity solutions. The Center for Internet Security Benchmarks are the documented industry best practices for safe configuration of software, cloud infrastructure, IT systems, and networks.

Essentially CIS has introduced an average of over 140 benchmarks. It has also released several innovation tools for big and small enterprises to ensure their cybersecurity is not compromised.


How the Benchmarks Are Organized


The over 140 benchmarks include configuration recommendations arranged depending on the following aspects:

  • Level 1: The organization aspect is incorporated in organizations that require low security and compliance. It reduces security attacks at the surface level without much interference to the business functionality.

  • Level 2: The benchmark profile is adopted in an organization that requires high security. Level 2 is more technical and costly to implement in the organization. The profile necessitates robust planning and seamless coordination to eradicate business disruption.


CIS Benchmark Classification


CIS provides all the benchmarks at no cost on their website. You can download the PDF documents conveniently for your business. The CIS benchmarks are classified as follows:


1. Operating System Benchmarks


These benchmarks offer robust security for Linux, Apple OSX, and Microsoft Windows. The security configurations enable access restrictions, installation protocols, and browser configurations.


2. Mobile Device Benchmarks


Benchmarks mainly target mobile systems such as Android and iOS. They cover predefined security configurations of the mobile device's settings and developer options. Some of the core areas covered include app permissions, privacy settings, and browsing settings.


3. Cloud Provider Benchmarks


These benchmarks address prevalent cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft Azure. These ensure proper compliance, network configurations, and logging protocols.


4. Network Device Benchmarks


These mainly provide security configurations for all network devices. Consequently, it also covers all applicable hardware from Juniper, Cisco, among others.


5. Server Software Benchmarks


Prevalent server software like SQL servers, Kubernetes, Microsoft Windows, among others, receive robust security configuration from this benchmark.


6. Desktop Software Benchmarks


This benchmark offers security configuration options for common desktop applications such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Office in your business. The settings aim at protecting the server from third parties.


Why Do CIS Benchmarks Matter?


Cybersecurity challenges are quite diversified, and organizations cannot always independently develop effective standards. The Center for Internet Security benchmarks offer guidelines or standards for configuring operating systems and important cloud infrastructure. Arguably, the invention of standardized criteria enables a seamless process of reducing cyber attacks in most organizations.


The Benchmarks Enable High-Security Configuration


Organizations have the capability of adapting safe security practices that are compliant with industry practices. Since the guidelines are well-defined, the possibilities of incorporating insecure settings are mitigated. The benchmarks act as an intermediary in security configurations in all organizations.


Cyber attacks are quite common due to various vulnerabilities in digital innovations. The benchmarks' safe practices protect your system from unauthorized party attack. The adoption of secure browsing options, system configuration settings, and type 1 and type 2 criteria enables robust cybersecurity.


Ensures Compliance in the Organization


In the adoption of software or hardware in an organization, compliance is paramount. Ensuring you are compliant reduces the risks of harsh penalties or your business being sued. The CIS benchmarks are compliant with many preexisting standards and frameworks.


What are the Steps of CIS Benchmark Application?

  • Narrow down your options: the different benchmark options are customized for certain softwares and industries. Identify a benchmark most suitable for your infrastructure.

  • Read the benchmark guidelines to ensure they properly conform with your business infrastructure.

  • Implement the benchmarks into your systems.


Implementing Center for Internet Security Benchmarks


In the implementation, you can either opt for the manual or automated procedure. The manual approach is free but will require intense labor for installation and implementation. Also, since the center for internet security benchmarks are regularly updated, it can be challenging to adopt those changes.


The automated approach is less technical, and regular updating is possible. You can continually monitor the performance of your benchmark to check for any errors and easily rectify them. The automated procedure minimizes the risks of misconfiguration and ensures that your organization is 100% secure and compliant.


What are the Advantages of Automated Approach?

  • Repeatability: the automated options are easy to scan.

  • Predictability: with the automated options, it is possible to project future trends. You can predict how the system will perform in the future, and any deviations will warrant rectifications.

  • Time and Cost Savings: the manual process is labor-intensive, and you will require resources to pay the employees. With the automated option, minimal labor is required making it very effective.

  • Enhance more productivity: another advantage of the automated approach is leading to high levels of production. Resources that would have been used to set up the systems manually are channeled towards essential operations in an organization.

  • Baseline configurations: the CIS benchmarks are not static and are prone to changes and updates. The automated procedure allows adjustments according to the updates. It is also a flexible system that will allow for expansion according to the business's growth or the clientele base. Additionally, you can identify any misconfigurations in the design and make effective changes.


Install CIS Benchmarks with Professionals


For robust cybersecurity in an organization, the adoption of CIS benchmarks is inevitable. The adoption requires a seamless process of proper implementation and conformance. Arguably, not every benchmark option is suitable for your business infrastructure; thus, a diligent selection is critical.


At Magnataur, we have a comprehensive understanding of the various benchmark options and how to implement them at your business. Safeguard the authenticity of your business by hiring us to implement operational and robust security practices.


For more information about the resources we used within this blog post, follow these links below:


https://www.cisecurity.org/cis-benchmarks/


https://statescoop.com/remote-desktop-protocol-remains-one-of-top-attacked-protocols-report-says/


https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/cyberattacks-on-three-us/


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