STIG Checklists – How to Comply With STIG Requirements? – All organizations connected to Department of Defense (DoD) systems must abide by STIG guidelines; however, compliance can be both complex and resource intensive.
There are various solutions that can reduce the time and effort necessary for system hardening, such as Klocwork’s static analysis solution.
What are STIGs?
DISA has developed Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs). These rules establish IT system security measures for government and defense agencies. Adherence to STIGs is key in maintaining an IT infrastructure secure; failing to comply with DISA guidelines could incur heavy fines and increased scrutiny regarding your company’s cybersecurity posture.
Simply stated, a STIG is an alternative configuration that increases application security over its default state. Used for meeting DISA cybersecurity requirements and required by organizations that connect to DoD networks.
These configuration standards are intended to secure IT systems so they cannot be exploited by hackers. Many configuration standards include specific hardware, software or network components and have different categories that identify severity of vulnerabilities – for instance a high-level vulnerability is classified as Category 1, while low-level vulnerabilities will have lesser impacts.
STIGs are typically developed with the assistance of software or hardware vendors and updated as new threats or vulnerabilities arise. Alterations may also be made so they are compatible with other technologies or to reflect version updates to the underlying hardware or software.
When it comes to compliance, one of the best ways to stay ahead of things is using an automated solution that scans your environment and verifies that all assets are configured securely. Such automated solutions tend to be more cost-effective than manually managing DISA STIGs or CIS Benchmarks compliance and can significantly cut back your workload management efforts.
One effective method for speeding up this process is Runecast Analyzer, which can assist with automated DISA STIGS and CIS benchmark compliance in minutes. Runecast will scan your IT infrastructure automatically for vulnerabilities that threaten compliance; once detected, Runecast helps quickly identify areas for improvements and take measures to remedy any weaknesses found.
Why are STIGs important?
DISA created STIGs as part of their efforts to protect government agencies and military hardware against cyberattacks. STIGs serve as configuration standards that help secure equipment that could otherwise become vulnerable to malicious hackers. Compliance with DoD security configurations is of utmost importance for DoD employees and any organization working with it, connecting to its networks or software. Cybersecurity professionals possess many tools at their disposal to combat complex threats to defend the systems under their care – STIG checklists are among them!
STIGs provide more than configuration guidelines; most also contain recommendations to address known vulnerabilities and weaknesses, including installing patches, altering software settings or taking other mitigation steps. In many instances, these requirements are organized based on severity levels so organizations can prioritize their efforts based on each vulnerability’s potential impact.
Each STIG has specific requirements that must be fulfilled to comply with it, with many requiring specific software or hardware be installed or configured in certain ways in order to be compliant. Achieving and maintaining compliance can be challenging for smaller companies without dedicated IT teams; the DoD has taken steps to ease this burden by working with software and device vendors on developing automated tools to verify STIG compliance and report back to field security operations about network assets that might have vulnerabilities that need addressing.
Maintaining compliance with STIGs may present some difficulty, but its rewards can be enormously advantageous. By hardening operating systems, system components, and network devices from attacks with hardened baseline configurations that reduce cybersecurity attacks significantly; further establishing baselines over time to mitigate cyberthreats; using STIGs as guides for assessing and implementing technology solutions can further bolster an organization’s security posture;
How do STIGs work?
Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is a support agency for IT services and infrastructure of the Department of Defense network. As part of their focus, DISA has crafted Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs), which include configuration standards to “lock down” hardware and software in order to protect it against cybersecurity vulnerabilities in DoD networks.
Each STIG (Software Testing & Implementation Guideline) outlines configuration requirements designed to increase the security of commercial off-the-shelf software, servers and devices used within government networks. Each is specific to its subject matter; updates may be necessary in order to keep pace with version releases or respond to emerging threats.
Each STIG must strike a balance between functionality and security, often necessitating multiple solutions in order to be compliant. They may be developed either entirely internally by DISA specialists or in collaboration with vendors – either way requiring skillful implementation.
Once a STIG is written, it must be carefully tested in order to verify its performance against its stated goal. Testing can either be carried out manually or automatically using tools tailored specifically towards assessing security requirements such as STIGLIT or RedSeal STIGS.
These tools provide an efficient means of testing against multiple STIGs quickly, to get a sense of whether your system can meet each requirement; though keep in mind that every STIG varies slightly and no tool can guarantee 100% compliance.
Manually managing multiple STIGs can be extremely complex, and in many cases impossible to ensure their implementation fully. Because of this, many organizations opt to utilize a tool which automates this process of checking against requirements and flagging any issues which might not comply.
There are various software packages that can help IT teams easily ensure STIG compliance, with some offering features for integration with popular cloud platforms. Runecast’s IT management platform contains an optional plugin that automatically checks against STIGs and other compliance metrics – making it much simpler for them to ensure their hardware and software meets DoD standards.
What are STIG checklists?
Security in software environments is paramount for government agencies, and DISA provides guidelines that IT teams must abide by. These requirements are known as Security Technical Implementation Guides or STIGs and help protect DoD systems against cybersecurity threats and other risks.
The Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs) are a collection of documents which detail how computers and other devices should be configured in order to increase their security. They offer detailed configuration guidelines for hardware, OSs, software applications and network devices that will lower risk associated with cyber attacks and breaches.
These guidelines are meant to make commercially available software, servers and network devices as secure as possible. Most consumer products tend to prioritize user friendliness over security; that is why STIGs exist: minimum standards when integrating new systems into DoD networks as well as guidelines ensuring they are correctly configured to reduce risks.
IT professionals need a variety of tools in order to adhere to STIGs, such as system documentation, network diagrams and communication platforms. However, identifying all resources requiring review may be challenging when working across many hardware platforms and software versions. Furthermore, some STIG items may not apply directly to some systems, making a tool which streamlines this process all the more essential.
Runecast is one such tool, helping users quickly identify components of a system which must be reviewed for compliance with STIGs. The platform features an easy to use graphical user interface accessible on desktop or mobile devices and comes equipped with a simple menu allowing them to import existing checklist files or create new ones from scratch. Once a checklist has been loaded there are five expandable sections on the left side of the screen which will be discussed further below.
Each section of the tool provides vital information about an aspect of a system to enable evaluation, such as its name, category name, description of requirements and status (Review, Not reviewed, Not applicable or Open).