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CIS-Harden your Ubuntu in Google Cloud

Hugo Huang

on 9 November 2021

CIS Benchmarks are best practices for the secure configuration of a target system. The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) is the authority backing CIS Benchmarks. Ubuntu Pro is entitled to be CIS compliant and packaged with CIS toolings from Canonical.

Let’s SSH into your Ubuntu Pro virtual machine. If you haven’t yet upgrade your Ubuntu LTS to Ubuntu Pro, please follow this tutorial. In less than One Minute, you will be able to get your Ubuntu Pro machine without losing any of your mission critical workloads. Once you SSH into your Ubuntu Pro, input:

ua status

You will see:

cisyesdisabledCenter for Internet Security Audit Tools

Let’s enable CIS for this VM:

sudo ua enable cis

You will see:

One moment, checking your subscription first
Updating package lists
Installing CIS Audit packages
CIS Audit enabled
Visit to learn how to use CIS

If you check the status:

ua status

You will see:

cisyesenabledCenter for Internet Security Audit Tools

With tooling packages installed, let’s harden your Ubuntu 16.04 Pro system with CIS Level 1 Server profile:

sudo /usr/share/ubuntu-scap-security-guides/cis-hardening/Canonic lvl1_server

In less than 3 minutes, your Ubuntu Pro will go through the whole process of hardening and you will get a CIS level-1 compliant environment with no more manual configuration. Let’s audit the system:

sudo cis-audit level1_server

The output should be similar to:

Title   Ensure mounting of cramfs filesystems is disabled
Rule    xccdf_com.ubuntu.xenial.cis_rule_CIS-
Result  pass
CIS audit scan completed. The scan results are available in /usr/share/ubuntu-scap-security-guides/cis-16.04-report.html report.

The HTML report as shown above will also present your CIS score. For comprehensive CIS hardening instructions, you can check Ubuntu CIS Compliance documentation.

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