CIS Hardened Images, which are types of Amazon Machine Image (AMI) offerings that are “securely” configured based on the CIS Benchmarks, are now available in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace in AWS GovCloud (US). CIS Hardened Images have been available in the AWS Marketplace since 2015.
CIS Hardened Images are “securely” configured, or hardened, based on the CIS Benchmarks, a set of consensus-based recommendations developed by cybersecurity experts around the world. The CIS Benchmarks are an internationally recognized set of secure configuration standards utilized by over 1,500 businesses to improve their cybersecurity defenses.
“A single OS can have over 200 configuration settings, so hardening an image manually can be a tedious process, especially across multiple virtual machine environments,” said Brig. Gen. USAF (Ret.) Steve Spano, President and COO of CIS. “To save time without compromising cybersecurity, AWS GovCloud (US) users should consider spinning up a CIS Hardened Image. In fact, frequent AWS users should start with the CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark, which helps an organization build a set of security policies and processes to protect data and assets in the AWS Cloud. We’re excited to now be available on AWS GovCloud (US), and CIS is proud to collaborate with AWS to soon provide secure configurations in all AWS regions.”
Sensitive Workloads in the Cloud
CIS hardened AMIs are configured with the majority of the relevant CIS Benchmark recommendations. These hardened images include exception reports and CIS-CAT Pro reports showing conformance to applicable CIS Benchmarks. CIS Hardened Images are available for Linux, Microsoft Windows Server, CentOS Linux, RHEL, and more.
“Security and compliance are principal factors for customers when considering moving workloads into the cloud. Organizations need trusted security configurations to reduce risk, and to save time and money,” said Troy Bertram, General Manager, Worldwide Public Sector Business Development, AWS. “CIS’ security hardened Amazon Machine Images streamline security configuration, and add value for customers who are looking to move workloads into the AWS GovCloud (US) Region with low-friction procurement.”
AWS GovCloud (US) is an AWS region designed to allow U.S. government agencies at the federal, state, and local level, along with contractors, educational institutions, and other U.S. customers, to host sensitive workloads in the cloud by addressing their specific regulatory and compliance requirements. Launching an image hardened according to the trusted security configuration baselines prescribed by CIS would strengthen security, reduce security costs, and help accelerate workload deployment time.