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CIS Red Hat Benchmark Reports

by Stephanie Dunn
February 21, 2017

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a commercially supported and highly scalable Linux distribution that supports virtualization, open source software, and a variety of hardware platforms. Although, RHEL is widely used and supported as an alternative operating system, this Linux distribution is subject to vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers and leave critical systems at risk. 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 RHEL operating systems. These report templates provide a high-level overview of results gathered from CIS compliance scans using the CIS Red Hat 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 Red Hat Benchmarks tested against RHEL 5, 6, and 7 systems, 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 Red Hat 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 RHEL Servers and Workstations.

In order to perform audit scans with SecurityCenter, CIS Red Hat 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 RHEL servers and workstations, and provide the critical information 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 RHEL systems are required, and the files required for each template are listed below with respective templates.

Tenable SecurityCenter helps organizations measure and communicate results with many compliance standards using the CIS Benchmarks. By frequently scanning systems, SecurityCenter will measure compliance in real time, providing a security posture assessment of RHEL servers and workstations throughout the enterprise. SecurityCenter comes default with over 200 audit files for CIS and more than 400 audit files overall. 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 the enterprise against CIS compliance standards.

Report Templates


CIS Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Benchmark v2.2.0 – This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) versions 5.0 - 5.11 running on x86 platforms. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from network configuration and firewall settings, logging and auditing controls, and access and authorization settings. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL5_v2.2.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL5_v2.2.0_L2.audit

CIS Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Benchmark v2.0.2 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) versions 6.0 - 6.6 running on x86 and x64 platforms. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from OS services, network configuration settings, logging and auditing controls, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL6_Server_L1_v2.0.2.audit
  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL6_Server_L2_v2.0.2.audit
  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL6_Workstation_L1_v2.0.2.audit
  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL6_Workstation_L2_v2.0.2.audit

CIS Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Benchmark v2.1.1 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 systems running on x86 and x64 platforms. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from file system configurations, software update settings, warning banners, status of services, file permissions, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL7_Server_L1_v2.1.1.audit
  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL7_Server_L2_v2.1.1.audit
  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL7_Workstation_L1_v2.1.1.audit
  • CIS_Red_Hat_EL7_Workstation_L2_v2.1.1.audit