Center for Internet Security
The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is a community of organizations and individuals seeking actionable security resources. As a member of this community, the university has access to Consensus Security Configuration Benchmarks, Scoring Tools, and Consensus Security Metric definitions.
Using CIS Tools and Resources for System Hardening
To get started using tools and resources from CIS, follow these steps:
- Visit http://benchmarks.cisecurity.org/ to learn more about available tools and resources.
- Create an account at: http://benchmarks.cisecurity.org/register. Use your USC email address to register to confirm that you are a member of the USC community.
Respond to the confirmation email and wait for the moderator to activate your membership.
- Log in to https://community.cisecurity.org/ to download and review CIS benchmarks for your platforms (Note: Mac OS X is listed
under Unix). Benchmarks are available as PDF reference worksheets for system hardening.
- Download the CIS-CAT Benchmark Assessment Tool (available on the member website) and run against a system you would like to secure. This cross-platform Java app
examines your system and produces a report comparing your settings to the published
- Develop system hardening practices based on the benchmarks and CIS-CAT Scoring Tool results. You can use additional CIS tools available to members, such as Windows GPOs, to assist with system hardening. In some cases, you may need to deviate from the benchmarks in order to support university applications and services.
CIS maintains documentation and a short instruction video on using the CIS-CAT Benchmark Assessment Tool, so if you have difficulty with the tool, review these documents first. For other questions, use the CIS member forums or contact email@example.com for help using the CIS benchmarks for system hardening.