A CIS benchmark contains guidance from the Center for Internet Security (CIS) on best practices for configuring IT systems, networks, and software. The CIS has released over 140 benchmarks with the support of cybersecurity professionals and subject matter experts in communities worldwide.
The CIS Benchmarks are categorized into seven groups, including:
The buzz around K8s is showing no signs of letting up, and although Kubernetes is a fantastic platform for containers and microservices, there have been question marks around its overall security, especially in its early days. CIS has been working on securing Kubernetes since 2017, and the Center for Internet Security benchmark is already at version 1.23.
The Kubernetes CIS benchmark, like other CIS benchmarks, provides security posture management best practices tailored to the unique needs of Kubernetes and its containers. The CIS Benchmarks for Kubernetes provides extensive security guidance broken up into two domains: Master Node Security Configuration — covering Scheduler, Controller Manager, Configuration Files, etcd, and PodSecurityPolicies — and Worker Node Security Configuration — targeting Kubelet and Configuration Files.
CIS benchmarks are a set of best-practice cybersecurity standards for a range of IT systems and products including firewalls. The firewall benchmark provides a baseline configuration to ensure compliance with industry-agreed cybersecurity standards that is developed by CIS alongside communities of cybersecurity experts within industry and research institutes. System and application administrators, security specialists, auditors, help desk, and platform deployment personnel can use the benchmark to develop, deploy, assess, or secure their security infrastructure.
CIS benchmarks provide numerous benefits to an organization, including:
Companies must achieve, maintain, and demonstrate compliance with a growing number of regulations. As the regulatory landscape grows more complex, it can be difficult for an organization to ensure that it is compliant with all applicable requirements.
The Center for Internet Security Benchmarks are designed to aid compliance efforts by outlining best practices that align and comply with major regulations. For example, CIS Benchmarks are closely mapped to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA), and ISO 27001.
In addition to providing guidance regarding best practices, Center for Internet Security also offers CIS Controls and CIS Hardened Images, which are preconfigured images of securely configured systems. These resources can also streamline the compliance process by providing organizations with access to systems that are designed to be compliant with applicable regulations.
An organization can achieve CIS compliance by implementing the best practices outlined in the CIS benchmarks. These resources are freely available and contain step-by-step guidance for securing a range of systems. Alternatively, an organization can deploy CIS Hardened Images, which contain prebuilt versions of different operating systems that are configured to be compliant with CIS requirements.
However, while manually achieving compliance with the CIS benchmarks is possible, it can be difficult to achieve at scale. Compliance management software can help an organization to achieve and maintain compliance with the CIS benchmarks by identifying and highlighting non-compliant configurations for remediation.
Maintaining regulatory compliance and system security for all of an organization’s IT assets can be difficult, especially as the corporate infrastructure expands to the cloud. Multi-cloud environments, with their limited visibility and unfamiliar configuration settings, are a common cause of data breaches and security incidents.
Check Point CloudGuard automates compliance management, including compliance with the CIS benchmarks and other major security regulations and standards. Organizations can even use this to manage the configuration of Check Point firewalls based on the CIS Check Point Firewall Benchmark. To learn more about Check Point firewall capabilities, ask for a free demo. To learn more about CloudGuard’s capabilities and how it can help your organization to improve cloud security and simplify regulatory compliance, sign up for a free demo today.