System Hardening & Configuration Review

Laying a strong foundation for your cyber defense| Understanding how your information asset configurations stack up against CIS Benchmarks and standards
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Why opt for a System Hardening and Configuration Review Service?

An organization should conduct Security Hardening and Configuration Review of network and application infrastructure at regular intervals. A review intends to identify portions of the network, assign a threat rating to each portion, and apply an appropriate level of security. A comprehensive review flags the weak spots of a network, ranks threats to prioritize, and implements defense strategies based on threat levels.

  1. Threats to your network, resources, and data are timely recognized.
  2. A balance is created with the security protocols for a streamlined business routine.
  3. System hardening against popular standards is becoming a preferred practice. It is the backbone of cyber secured organizations and related industries.
      • A prime example is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). Hardening the card’s inner ecosystem as per standards is the key feature of this tool.
      • United Kingdom’s Minimum-Security Standard used for public sector companies also has this requirement.
      • The Directive of Network and Information Security (NIS) of the European Union also have identical requirements.

Why Choose Di8it for System Hardening and Configuration Review Service?

Even the slightest bugs during the installation of new operating systems, network devices, products, and other important components can lead to systemic issues. Di8it’s System Hardening and Configuration Review Service specifically evaluate your present security configuration and assess how it stacks up to emerging threats.

Our team provides the best possible solution, keeping in mind the continued efficiency of a company. We intend to identify any weak spots in your system to eliminate imminent threat. We use industry-standard tools and protocols to inspect important IT components of your company. Our thorough inspection of your security components involves vital parts of your system — servers, virtualization layer, communication & network infrastructure, network firewalls, VOIP technology, databases, and VPNs. This ensures that each part of your system is properly synchronized and resistant to threats.

Why CIS Benchmark?

The Gold Standard of System Hardening Benchmarks
CIS Benchmarks are regarded as the gold standard of system hardening benchmarks, courtesy of their dependability, efficiency, and global popularity. Over a hundred CIS Benchmarks and configuration guidelines are currently available. These are spread across 25+ vendors and cover seven core technology categories, which are a part of but not confined to the following:

  • Operating systems benchmarks
  • Server software benchmarks
  • Cloud provider benchmarks
  • Mobile device benchmarks
  • Network device benchmarks
  • Desktop software benchmarks
  • Multi-function print device benchmarks

CIS Benchmarks and Regulatory Compliance
CIS Benchmarks are aligned with the modern security and data privacy regulatory frameworks National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, the PCI DSS, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability

Act), ISO/EIC 2700, GDP (a European Standard Data Protection Standard).

Statistically half of all organizations would fail against CIS benchmarks
Extensive surveys and implementations confirm that an average company fails two third of standard compliance checks from CIS Benchmarks. A majority of these failed tests are a result of high severity, persistent threats.

How are CIS Benchmarks organized?
CIS Benchmarks are classified by profile levels, with configuration recommendations for each. The two levels are:

  • Level 1 Benchmark Profiles are intended for low-level and basic configurations. Level 1 suggests entry-level security requirements that are easily applicable and configurable on most systems.
  • Level 2 Benchmark Profiles are reserved for high-security network setups. Implementing these benchmarks with minimal disruption requires a lot of effort, coordination, and expertise. Complex security environments and protocols can reduce efficiency and hamper day-to-day business operations. These profiles are implemented with careful planning and only where necessary.

Our Methodology

Before an assessment, we make a detailed outline of the client’s needs. We proceed as follows:

  1. Declaration of In-scope, Out-scope, project limitations, and exclusions from the evaluation.
    • The official testing timeline is finalized.
    • Evaluating the requirements of the client.
    • Key IT infrastructure teams are auditioned.
    • Gathering information about the current configuration and deployment settings using authenticated scans and manually as well.
Di8it uses a systematic approach to evaluate the various configuration files and settings of the critical devices in your network infrastructure. The review starts with an evaluation of the roles of those devices. This is followed by a detailed system hardening and configuration review. It is aided by script execution and a collection of the company’s present configuration settings through a manual search. Based on the evaluation, we also review the internal structure of important network components with access to your system’s configuration. We assess several mission-critical components including firewall, IDS/IPS, enterprise AV suite, data leak prevention systems, and endpoint security solutions. This gives us an in-depth look at the latent vulnerabilities in your system that arise because of even minor misconfigurations.

Our team then evaluates the configuration files of each device using industry-standard tools and practices, as well as manufacturer guidelines. The components under review are the client’s prerogative. The systems and configurations are reviewed against known issues that Di8it has experienced before, as well as industry standards like CIS Benchmarks, and vendor guides. After this evaluation, our analysts analyze an asset’s configuration with industry-specific best-practices and standards. Through this, we are also able to assess the organization’s breach-response potential by reviewing logging and alerting capabilities. We also assess ingress and egress points, as well as the compensating controls designed to ensure business continuity. Our senior consultants review the security configuration of the following systems:

  1. Desktop and Server Builds
  2. Application Servers
  3. Firewalls and Network Devices
  4. Mobile Devices

The most important step in setting up a cybersecurity system is to establish a baseline for the infrastructure. Di8it focuses on checking the configurations of and verifying the integrity of the most critical devices on the network to establish a minimum and terminals accessing the network infrastructure. The CIS Benchmark functions as one of the most effective tools to secure any network’s infrastructure. Di8it evaluates the information collected throughout the network using the guidelines in the benchmark. Comparing it to the established baseline, we look for any discrepancies and vulnerabilities. We also assess asset configurations to implement the baseline and check for secure protocols, applied security updates, and identification of known vulnerabilities. We also review access rights. It is followed by a comparison of the script output with existing Di8it baseline settings and standards. This step revolves around the following:

  1. Data Analysis (Reviewing Configuration Settings)
  2. Identification and rating of configuration weaknesses

After compliance to a security baseline, the system requires periodic checks and continuous monitoring to ensure proper functioning. Regular checks help determine whether the system is continuously compliant with the baseline and if its deployment is effective. The frequency of these monitoring checks depends on these factors:

  1. System Criticality (Some complex systems may need weekly or monthly reviews)
  2. Data Center’s Size (A big company usually requires annual monitoring only)

When a configuration that is not a part of the security baseline is needed, configuration change management comes into play. To implement it, the new configuration is first documented as part of the change management process, and its impact is reported using another compliance scan. This helps ensure network security and integrity.

To ensure network integrity and security, organizations must adopt a continuous process of control, compliance, and monitoring. It is crucial in developing a holistic asset management process, a configuration profile for deployed systems, and a well-managed procedure for inducing modifications into the cybersecurity setup. Each step included in this process improves cyber hygiene, which is essential for compliance with the baseline and industry standards. It also helps the information security program mature and scale with the organization.

  • Brief Summary Report: We provide a Summary of Findings report that illustrates the current security posture of your network infrastructure. It maps out areas that need to be addressed, and how the system should be maintained after applying the recommended security patches.
  • Detailed Report: When the configuration review is completed, our team provides a conclusive report that highlights all our findings, establishes a risk rating, and offers recommendations for reducing the documented risks. Loopholes and vulnerabilities in the configurations of security devices are highlighted along with remedial recommendations.
  • Debriefing and Presentation: As soon as an assessment is completed and its report is generated, Di8it gives a holistic debrief about the security situation. Its purpose is to highlight the significant findings of the review and suggest remediation steps prioritized according to the severity of the risks, exposure, and vulnerabilities.

Integrate with other Assessments

While we offer System Hardening and Configuration Review Service to our clients as a standalone assessment, we recommend combining it with our offensive and defensive security assessment services. In real-world scenarios, attackers will use any means necessary to breach your security and any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Compromise Assessment

Risk Assessment