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CIS Desktop Application Compliance Reports

by Josef Weiss
February 28, 2017

Hardening operating systems is a key component to a risk management strategy. However, applications should not be overlooked.  Applications such as internet browsers and office suites can be configured in such a way as to reduce overall risk to the organization.  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.  This report provides a high-level overview of results gathered from CIS compliance scans using the CIS Desktop Application 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. Examples of these policies developed by Tenable include the Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office Suites.

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 Application 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 setting 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 key systems or applications.

When performing audit scans with SecurityCenter, audit files related to the CIS Application Benchmark must first be uploaded to SecurityCenter. 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, and provide the critical information needed to improve 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 Application audits are required, and the files required for each template are listed below with their respective templates.

The IT Operations team works closely with the Security team to ensure systems are properly hardened and security policies are properly applied. SecurityCenter helps to measure and communicate results with many compliance standards using the CIS Benchmarks. SecurityCenter comes with over 200 audit files for CIS and more than 400 audit files overall, which supports the security operations team in performing audits on many system types and applications. By prioritizing remediation actions for misconfigured systems, the organization can maximize their investment in compliance reporting and system hardening efforts. SecurityCenter delivers comprehensive security solutions that provide continuous visibility and critical context, enabling decisive actions to protect the organization.

Report Templates

CIS Google Chrome Benchmark v1.1.0 – This report template provides the compliance results for systems audited using the CIS Google Chrome Benchmark.  The benchmark applies to Windows systems with Google Chrome Browser installed. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Google_Chrome_v1.1.0_Level_1.audit
  • CIS_Google_Chrome_v1.1.0_Level_2.audit

CIS Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Benchmark v1.0.0 - This report template provides the compliance results for systems audited using the CIS Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Benchmark.  The benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_IE9_v1.0.0.audit

CIS Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 Benchmark v1.1.0 - This report template provides the compliance results for systems audited using the CIS Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 Benchmark.  The benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Microsoft Internet Explorer 10. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_IE10_v1.1.0.audit

CIS Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 Benchmark v1.0.0 - This report template provides the compliance results for systems audited using the CIS Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 Benchmark.  The benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Microsoft Internet Explorer 11. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_IE11_v1.0.0.audit

      CIS Microsoft Outlook 2013 Benchmark v1.1.0 - This report template provides the compliance results for systems audited using the CIS Microsoft Outlook 2013 Benchmark.  The benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Microsoft Outlook 2013. The audit files required to support this report template are:

      • CIS_MS_Office_Outlook_2013_Level_1_v1.1.0.audit

      CIS Microsoft Outlook 2016 Benchmark v1.1.0 - This report template provides the compliance results for systems audited using the CIS Microsoft Outlook 2016 Benchmark.  The benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Microsoft Outlook 2016. The audit files required to support this report template are:

      • CIS_MS_Office_Outlook_2016_Level_1_v1.1.0.audit