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CIS Apache Benchmark Reports

by Stephanie Dunn
March 7, 2017

The Apache web server is one of the most popular open source web servers used by organizations today. Many leverage Apache’s ability to scale across multiple platforms and support Java web applications using Apache Tomcat. Although many consider Apache to be a highly secure alternative to other web servers, any misconfigurations on these systems can lead to corporate websites and other critical web servers becoming compromised. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is an organization that works with security experts to develop a set of 'best practice' security standards designed to harden operating systems and applications. These report templates provide a high-level overview of results gathered from CIS compliance scans using the CIS Apache Benchmarks.

Tenable Network Security has been certified by CIS to perform a wide variety of platform and application audits based on the best practice consensus benchmarks developed by CIS. Tenable submits example test cases for all of the criteria within each unique benchmark, and then submits our results to CIS personnel for official certification. Tenable has developed audit files based on the CIS Apache Benchmarks tested on systems running Apache services, and has been approved and certified by CIS staff members.

When performing managed scans with SecurityCenter, some CIS audits require additional patch audits and vulnerability checks. Any additional requirements for completing an audit using the CIS Apache Benchmarks will be included within the audit file description text. In some cases, multiple scans may be required to be performed, as Tenable provides both Level 1 and Level 2 audit checks. Level 1 checks provide minimum settings recommendations, and are generally considered safe to apply to most systems. Level 2 checks include recommendations for complex or highly secure environments, and can lead to reduced functionality of systems running Apache services.

In order to perform audit scans with SecurityCenter, CIS Apache Benchmark audit files must be uploaded first. Next, the appropriate credentials must be added, after which a scan policy can be created. Finally, a scan can be scheduled. As part of the post scan jobs, the 'Auto-Run Reports' can be enabled automatically, running this report on the data collected using the appropriate audit file. Using these benchmarks will help to assess the effectiveness of existing security controls on systems running Apache HTTP Server and Apache Tomcat, and provide the critical context needed to strengthen an organization's security posture.

The reports are available in the SecurityCenter Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, Assurance Report Cards, and assets. The reports can be easily located in the SecurityCenter Feed under the category Compliance & Configuration Assessment. The report requirements are:

  • SecurityCenter 5.2.0
  • Nessus 6.9.3
  • CIS Audit Files for Apache are required, and the files required for each template are listed below with respective templates.

In order to maintain the overall security of systems and data within the enterprise, organizations must have an effective and repeatable way to measure compliance results. Tenable SecurityCenter helps organizations obtain results using the CIS Benchmarks by measuring compliance in real time, providing an accurate assessment of an organization’s security posture. By prioritizing remediation actions of misconfigured systems, the organization can maximize their investment in compliance reporting and system hardening efforts. With more supported technologies than any other vendor, organizations will obtain the most comprehensive view of the network, and the intelligence needed to assess systems running Apache HTTP Server and Apache Tomcat using CIS compliance standards.

Report Templates


CIS Apache HTTP Server 2.2 Benchmark v3.4.0 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for systems running Apache Web Server 2.2 on Linux platforms. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from file and directory permissions, encryption controls, service settings, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Apache_HTTP_Server_2.2_Benchmark_v3.4.0_Level_1.audit
  • CIS_Apache_HTTP_Server_2.2_Benchmark_v3.4.0_Level_2.audit

CIS Apache HTTP Server 2.4 Benchmark v1.3.0 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for systems running Apache Web Server 2.4 on Linux platforms. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from file and directory permissions, encryption controls, service settings, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Apache_HTTP_Server_2.4_Benchmark_v1.3.0_Level_1.audit
  • CIS_Apache_HTTP_Server_2.4_Benchmark_v1.3.0_Level_2.audit

CIS Apache Tomcat Benchmark v1.0.0 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for servers running Apache Tomcat versions 5.5 – 6.0.20 running on Linux. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from configuration settings, protocol settings, Tomcat configuration settings, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_v1.0.0_Apache_Tomcat_Level_1.audit
  • CIS_v1.0.0_Apache_Tomcat_Level_2.audit

CIS Apache Tomcat 7 Benchmark v1.1.0 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for servers running Apache Tomcat versions 7.0 running on Linux. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from configuration settings, protocol settings, Tomcat configuration settings, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Apache_Tomcat_7_L1_v1.1.0.audit
  • CIS_Apache_Tomcat_7_L2_v1.1.0.audit

CIS Apache Tomcat 8 Benchmark v1.0.1 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for servers running Apache Tomcat versions 8.0 running on Linux. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from configuration settings, protocol settings, Tomcat configuration settings, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Apache_Tomcat_8_L1_v1.0.1.audit
  • CIS_Apache_Tomcat_8_L2_v1.0.1.audit