CIS Hardened Virtual Images

CIS is pleased to offer hardened virtual images in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) environment. These templates, known as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), are hardened and configured according to applicable CIS Security Benchmarks.

Visit the CIS AMIs Page on AWS

WHAT’S A VIRTUAL IMAGE?

A virtual machine (VM) is an emulation of a computer system. Virtual machines are based on computer architectures and provide functionality of a physical computer. Virtual images reside in the cloud and allow users to cost-effectively perform routine computing operations without the need to invest in local hardware and software.

WHAT’S A HARDENED VIRTUAL IMAGE?

Hardening is a process of limiting potential weaknesses that make systems vulnerable to cyberattacks. Examples of hardening include shutting off unnecessary server ports, disabling unnecessary services/options, eliminating unneeded programs and internal root accounts, and limiting/denying visitor access. A hardened virtual server image is much more secure than an original standard image. Hardened virtual server images help protect against denial of service, insufficient authorization, and overlapping trust boundaries threats.

WHAT’S AN AMI, AND WHY DO YOU NEED CIS-HARDENED AMIs?

AMIs are Amazon virtual machine images that are hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) environment. CIS offers numerous AMIs hardened to meet the CIS Security Benchmarks best practices for the secure configuration of target systems that are collaboratively developed by our volunteer consensus community. CIS Security Benchmark-hardened AMIs offer numerous benefits:

  • CIS-hardened AMIs are a safe, secure way to save money on hardware purchasing and maintenance, allowing you to adjust on-the-fly as CPU, memory, and storage needs shift
  • You can be confident that CIS AMIs align with Security Benchmark recommendations
  • Since the CIS global Security Benchmarks community is continually updating and improving these AMIs, you know your AMIs will be as secure as possible.

HOW TO PURCHASE

CIS offers over a dozen AMIs for a variety of platforms and needs, with new coverage being added regularly. To see the full list of CIS AMIs, including Amazon Linux, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, CentOS Linux, RHEL, and more, visit the Amazon Marketplace.