Facebook Google Plus Twitter LinkedIn YouTube RSS Menu Search Resource - BlogResource - WebinarResource - ReportResource - Eventicons_066 icons_067icons_068icons_069icons_070

CIS VMware ESXi Benchmark Reports

by Stephanie Dunn
March 14, 2017

VMware ESXi is a popular bare-metal hypervisor used by organizations to support virtualized systems within the enterprise. Hypervisors provide the ability to scale and deploy systems on demand, support high-performance systems, and increases operational efficiency. With virtualized systems residing on the same physical host, organizations must apply appropriate security controls that will isolate, secure, and address misconfigurations across physical and virtual hosts. 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 VMware ESXi 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 VMware ESXi Benchmarks tested on systems running VMware ESXi version 5.1 and 5.5, 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 VMware ESXi 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 VMware ESXi.

In order to perform audit scans with SecurityCenter, CIS VMware ESXi 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 VMware ESXi systems, 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 VMware ESXi 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 VMware ESXi using CIS compliance standards.

Report Templates

 

CIS VMware ESXi 5.1 Benchmark v1.0.1 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture of VMware ESXi 5.1. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from virtual machine configuration settings, ESXi setup recommendations, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_VMware_ESXi_5.1_v1.0.1_L1.audit
  • CIS_VMware_ESXi_5.1_v1.0.1_L2.audit

CIS VMware ESXi 5.5 Benchmark v1.2.0 - This benchmark provides guidance for establishing a secure configuration posture of VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 2. This report includes a high-level overview of results gathered from virtual machine configuration settings, storage settings, virtual network settings, ESXi setup recommendations, and more. The audit files required to support this report template are:

  • CIS_VMware_ESXi_5.5_v1.2.0_L1.audit
  • CIS_VMware_ESXi_5.5_v1.2.0_L2.audit