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CIS Linux and Unix Benchmark Reports

by Cody Dumont
February 23, 2017

While the majority of hosts on most networks are Windows Workstations, much of the infrastructure and server based systems are comprised of Linux and Unix operating systems. 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. Even vigilant system administrators struggle to maintain hardened systems across a hybrid system environment. Using SecurityCenter and the CIS benchmark guidelines provides an effect mechanism to audit systems against accepted best practices. These report templates provide a high-level view of compliance results based on the CIS Linux and Unix Benchmark Guidelines.

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. One of these policies developed by Tenable includes the CIS Linux & Unix benchmarks, which has been approved and certified by CIS staff members.  These report templates focus on the following operating systems:

  • Amazon Linux
  • Debian
  • FreeBSD
  • HP-UX
  • Oracle Solaris
  • SuSE Linux
  • Ubuntu

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 Linux & Unix 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 Linux & Unix benchmarks 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 Linux & Unix are required, and the files required for each template are listed below with their respective templates.

System administrators are tasked with maintaining a high level of expertise for hybrid system environments, which includes hardening several different distributions of Linux and Unix, along with many other operating systems. Using the CIS Benchmarks and SecurityCenter helps to measure and identify problem areas for system administrators to focus their efforts. By default, 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 Amazon Linux Benchmark v2.0.0 - This template provides the audit results collected during the audit scans collected for Amazon Linux systems running on AWS.  The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Amazon_Linux_v2.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_Amazon_Linux_v2.0.0_L2.audit

CIS BIND 9.0-9.5 Benchmark v2.0.0 - This report template provides the results of audit scan conducted using the Security Configuration Benchmark for ISC BIND 9.0 - 9.5. The audit file was created using the default install of BIND on Red Hat via RPM; if you are running this audit on a different system, edits to audit file may be necessary. The audit file required to support this report template is:

  • CIS_BIND_9.0_9.5_v2.0.0.audit

CIS Debian Benchmark v1.0 - This report is based on an early version of the Debian benchmark.  If you are running older systems that must remain unchanged, the audit file this report is based on may be able to help mitigate some configuration vulnerabilities. The audit file required to support this report template is:

  • CIS_Debian_Linux_v1.audit

CIS Debian Linux 7 Benchmark v1.0.0 - This report template provides audit results from the CIS Debian Linux 7 benchmark.  The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Debian_Linux_7_v1.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_Debian_Linux_7_v1.0.0_L2.audit

CIS Debian Linux 8 Benchmark v1.0.0 - This report template provides audit results from the CIS Debian Linux 8 benchmark.  The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Debian_Linux_8_v1.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_Debian_Linux_8_v1.0.0_L2.audit

CIS Distribution Independent Linux Benchmark v1.0.1 - This report template provides audit results for the Linux systems audited with the distribution independent Linux benchmark.  The benchmark is designed to report on guidelines that are not dependent on any particular distribution of Linux. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Distribution_Independent_Linux_Server_L1_v1.0.1.audit
  • CIS_Distribution_Independent_Linux_Server_L2_v1.0.1.audit
  • CIS_Distribution_Independent_Linux_Workstation_L1_v1.0.1.audit
  • CIS_Distribution_Independent_Linux_Workstation_L2_v1.0.1.audit

CIS FreeBSD Benchmark v1.0.5 - This template provides the audit results based on the FreeBSD benchmark.  The audit file supports systems running FreeBSD. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_FreeBSD_105.audit

CIS HP-UX 11i Benchmark v1.5.0 - This report template provides details on the audit results collected using the CIS HP-UX Benchmark.  The audit file supports audit against HP-UX 11i v2 and v3 through Update 4.  The audit file required to support this report template is:

  • CIS_HPUX_v1_5_0.audit

CIS Solaris Benchmark v1.3 - This template provides the audit results based on Solaris Benchmark v1.3.0.  The audit file supports systems running Solaris 9. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Solaris_9_v13.audit

CIS Oracle Solaris 10 Benchmark v5.2.0 - This report template provides audit data collected from the compliance scans against Solaris 10 11/06 through 10/09. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Solaris_10_L1_v5.2.0.audit
  • CIS_Solaris_10_L2_v5.2.0.audit

CIS Oracle Solaris 11 Benchmark v1.1.0 – This template provides audit data collect using the CIS Oracle Solaris 11 Benchmark v1.1.0.  The audit file supports systems running Oracle Solaris 11 on both x86 and SPARC platforms.  The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Solaris_11_L1_v1.1.0.audit
  • CIS_Solaris_11_L2_v1.1.0.audit

CIS Oracle Solaris 11.1 Benchmark v1.0.0 – This template supports providing audit results from the CIS Oracle Solaris 11.1 Benchmark. The audit file supports systems running Oracle Solaris 11 on both x86 and SPARC platforms. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Solaris_11.1_L1_v1.0.0.audit
  • CIS_Solaris_11.1_L2_v1.0.0.audit

CIS Oracle Solaris 11.2 Benchmark v1.1.0 - This template provides audit results from the CIS Oracle Solaris 11.2 Benchmark. The audit file supports systems running Oracle Solaris 11 on both x86 and SPARC platforms. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Solaris_11.2_L1_v1.1.0.audit
  • CIS_Solaris_11.2_L2_v1.1.0.audit

CIS SUSE Linux Benchmark v1.0 – This template provides audits results based on the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9.0 benchmark. Please note that this benchmark file has not been updated since March 2006. The audit file required to support this report template is:

  • CIS_SuSE_9_v1.audit

CIS SUSE Linux Benchmark v2.0 - This template provides audit results identified using Security SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Benchmark version 2. This benchmark has not been updated since May 2008, so only use this against older systems that can not be upgraded. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are: 

  • CIS_SuSE_10_v2.audit

CIS SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Benchmark v2.0.0 - This template provides audit results based on the CIS SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Workstation 11 benchmarks.  These audit files supports systems running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Workstation version 11 running on x86 and x64 platforms. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Server_11_v2.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Server_11_v2.0.0_L2.audit
  • CIS_SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Workstation_11_v2.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Workstation_11_v2.0.0_L2.audit

CIS SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Benchmark v1.0.0 - This template provides audit results based on the CIS SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 benchmark.  The audit files supports systems running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 12 running on x86 and x64 platforms. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Server_12_v1.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Server_12_v1.0.0_L2.audit

CIS Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server Benchmark v1.1.0 – This template provides audit results based on the CIS Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server benchmark.  The audit files supports systems running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Ubuntu_12.04_LTS_Server_v1.1.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_Ubuntu_12.04_LTS_Server_v1.1.0_L2.audit

CIS Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server Benchmark v1.0.0 - This template provides audit results based on the CIS Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server benchmark.  The audit files supports systems running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Ubuntu_14.04_LTS_Server_L1_v1.0.0.audit
  • CIS_Ubuntu_14.04_LTS_Server_L2_v1.0.0.audit

CIS Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server Benchmark v1.0.0 - This template provides audit results based on the CIS Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server and Workstation benchmarks.  The audit files supports systems running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server and Workstation benchmarks. The guideline provides audit checks for both Level 1 and Level 2 checks. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Ubuntu_16.04_LTS_Server_v1.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_Ubuntu_16.04_LTS_Server_v1.0.0_L2.audit
  • CIS_Ubuntu_16.04_LTS_Workstation_v1.0.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_Ubuntu_16.04_LTS_Workstation_v1.0.0_L2.audit