Cybersecurity has become a top priority in the digital age in which we live. Organizations in every industry face increasingly sophisticated threats to protect their data and systems from malicious attacks.
In addition, the increasingly rapid evolution of technologies, as well as new capabilities and paradigms, requires an equally continuous evolution of our security policies.

Just think of how the IT landscape has changed in the last few years: Azure, AWS, Containers, and SaaS solutions have joined or replaced classic Windows Server-centric infrastructures, and there is no shortage of developments on this front as well.
I mean, let’s face it, it’s not feaseable easy to keep up with them while maintaining the best security standards is it?
That’s why today we’re going to explore what exactly CIS Benchmarks are and how they can help you maximize the security of your IT environment.

What are CIS Benchmarks?

CIS Benchmarks are a collection of best practices for secure configuration of IT systems, software, networks, and cloud infrastructure.
They are published by the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and developed through a consensus-based process involving communities of IT security professionals and experts around the world, each of whom continuously identifies, refines and validates security best practices within their areas of interest.

Why use CIS Benchmarks?

Simply put: because they come from REAL experts and you are not at these levels if you read these pages 😊

Default secure configurations

One of the key features of CIS Benchmarks is the provision of default secure configurations for operating systems, applications, and network devices.

Established best practices

The guidelines provided not only offer specific configurations, but also established cybersecurity best practices based on the experience of security experts who have analyzed a wide range of attack scenarios and vulnerabilities.
Implementing these best practices will help you mitigate known risks and protect against new threats.

Regular updates

Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving challenge; threats and vulnerabilities are constantly changing, making it necessary to continually update.
Benchmarks are updated regularly, implementing and following these new versions will allow you to stay abreast of the latest best practices and adapt to emerging threats.

Regulatory Compliance

Organizations often need to meet certain security standards to comply with industry laws and regulations.
CIS Benchmarks provide detailed guidance and a compliance reference for many security regulations, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR and many others.
By implementing them, you will be able to demonstrate your compliance with these regulations and keep your data and systems secure.

What types of IT systems do the CIS benchmarks cover?

CIS has published over 100(!) benchmarks covering a wide range of commonly used IT systems, let’s see them grouped by macro categories.

Operating Systems

They cover the security configurations of major operating systems, such as Windows, Linux and macOS. These guidelines cover different versions and editions of these operating systems, providing detailed recommendations for secure configuration of system settings, security policies, and local and remote access restrictions.

Server Software

Cover security configurations of widely used server software, including Microsoft Windows Server, SQL Server, VMWare, Docker, and Kubernetes. They cover aspects such as remote access, user account management, network communication security, and data protection.

Desktop Software

Cover most desktop software used by enterprises. Guidelines include best practices for managing the functionality of desktop software, such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office, Google Chrome.

Infrastructure and Cloud Services

They provide security standards that we can use to securely configure cloud environments, such as those provided by AWS, Azure, GCP. These guidelines cover various aspects of cloud security, including platform access, identity management, resource protection, and data encryption.

Mobile Devices

Deal with mobile device operating systems, including iOS and Android, and focus on areas such as developer options and settings, operating system privacy configurations, browser settings, and application permissions.

Network Devices

Provide general and specific security configuration guidelines for network devices and hardware from Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, and others.

Multifunction Printing Devices

Cover network devices such as multifunction printers, scanners, and copiers by providing best practices for secure configuration of file sharing, access restrictions, and firmware updates.


Impressive right? Today we have only seen what CIS Benchmarks are and what they cover and already too many irons in the fire!
If you want to go deeper you can find the official link below so you can poke around! What will you start with?

“CIS Benchmarks”