Great News! Azure Marketplace now offers CIS Benchmark L1 Hardened Windows 11 and Windows 10 Base Images. Introducing CIS Benchmark and Azure Marketplace integration brings many benefits and exciting opportunities for your virtual desktop experience.
This is good news for VDI infrastructure which is hosted in Azure. So if you are using Citrix VDI or if you are using AVD (Azure virtual desktop), then this is good news for you. You will have a lot of benefits from this particular news. But this is not a FREE service from CIS.
CIS has recently launched the Intune CIS Benchmark, and there are free options to download Intune CIS Benchmark for Windows 10 or 11. The Center for Internet Security (a.k.a CIS) produces and maintains CIS benchmarks. In this post, we wanted to give you a detailed overview of CIS Benchmark core or base images for the Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
CIS Hardened Images are Virtual machine images that are preconfigured to meet the robust security recommendations of the associated CIS Benchmark. These images are a solid foundation, saving time and effort for manually configuring security settings.
- Intune Windows 11 CIS Benchmarks is Available for Download Now
- Windows 11 Azure AD Join Manual Process Windows 10
What is the CIS Benchmark?
CIS Benchmark stands for Center for Internet Security Benchmark, and it’s a set of guidelines and best practices designed to enhance the security of various software and systems.
CIS Benchmark L1 Hardened Windows 11 Windows 10 Base Images Available
This video helps you to provide a comprehensive overview of CIS Benchmark images accessible on the Azure Marketplace, empowering you to utilize them seamlessly without the need to deploy these security policies on your operating system independently.
Benefits of CIS Hardened Images
Some of the benefits highlighted by the CIS team are given below.
- Speed and security. You can deploy quickly with a pre-hardened image that’s configured for use in a container. Like all CIS Hardened Images, CIS Hardened Container Images come with a CIS-CAT Pro report so that you can see they align with the security recommendations of the CIS Benchmarks.
- Regular maintenance included. CIS will patch all CIS Hardened Images on a monthly basis, so you don’t have to.
- Affordable flat rate. CIS Hardened Container Images are $29 per month per image. This grants you unlimited instances and hours of use without paying unnecessary costs.
CIS Benchmark L1 Hardened Windows 11 Windows 10 Base Images Available
CIS has now made hardened images available for Windows 10 and Windows 11. This development comes as a game-changer for those looking to avoid the complexities of deploying CIS security policies through Intune GPOs.
CIS offers virtual machine (VM) images hardened per the CIS Benchmarks. They provide users with a secure, on-demand, and scalable computing environment. CIS Hardened images are available on major Cloud service provider marketplaces.
CIS Benchmark L1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise
The images are already hardened with CIS Benchmark policies. The convenience of deploying these images directly saves you valuable time and reduces administrative burdens. Effortlessly fortify your Windows 11 and 10 VMs in Azure without applying additional CIS policies.
CIS preconfigures this image of Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise to the recommendations in the associated CIS Benchmark. CIS Benchmarks are vendor-agnostic consensus-based security configuration guides developed and accepted by government businesses, industry, and academia. CIS Benchmarks also provide a foundation to comply with numerous cybersecurity frameworks.
- The $0.02 per hour is the cost of using this CIS Benchmark hardened core image for Windows 11 and Windows 10 VMS in Azure.
- This is apart from the infrastructure cost from the Microsoft or Azure sides.
Plan and Pricing
The window below helps you comprehensively view the pricing details and directly explore the recommended VM templates from CIS. The table also provides monthly charges along with the infrastructure cost from the Azure side. This would be very useful to calculate the impact on the cost of your service.
The cost of running this product is a combination of the selected software plan charges plus the Azure infrastructure costs for the virtual machines on which you will be running this software. Your Azure infrastructure price might vary if you have an enterprise agreement or other discounts.
|Instance||Category||Cores||RAM||Disk Space||Drive Type||Infrastructure Cost||Software Cost|
|D3||General Purpose 4||4||14GB||200GB||SSD||$0.52||$0.02|
|D2||General Purpose 2||2||7GB||100GB||SSD||$0.26||$0.02|
|D2SV3*||General Purpose 2||2||8GB||16GB||SSD||$0.188||$0.02|
MS Azure Marketplace
While accessing the Marketplace through the Azure portal, a world of possibilities is open with a wide array of CIS Benchmark images available for various operating systems. Whether it’s Linux, Windows servers, or the latest Windows 10 and 11, you will find CIS Benchmark images tailored to enhance each platform’s security.
- Let’s try to do some VM creation processes with Windows 11 CIS Benchmark image.
- You can easily see the Windows 11 CIS Benchmark L1 image.
- And click on Create button; you will be able to launch the VM creation process.
Create a Virtual Machine
Create a Virtual machine that runs Linux or Windows. Select an image from the Azure marketplace or use your own customized image. Complete the Basic tab, then Review + Create to provision a virtual machine with default parameters, or review each tab for full Customization.
- Here you need to provide the name of the VM and all the standard processes you need to follow for VM creation.
- You need to select the resource Group, and the image part is interesting over here; the image is CIS Benchmark L1 Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise.
- It is a generation 2 image with no version details in this particular image template.
|Subscription||Microsoft Azure Sponsorship|
|Virtual machine name||CISBenWindows11|
|Region||(US) East US 2|
|Availability options||No infrastructure redundancy required|
|Image||CSI Benchmark L 1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise – x64 Gen2|
CIS Benchmark L1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise Image
When accessing the Overview tab of the CIS Benchmark L1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise image, specific version details such as 23H2 or 22H2 are not visible. With the CIS Benchmark L1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise image, you can access valuable tabs that enhance your virtual machine experiences in Azure, such as Overview, Plans + Pricing, Usage Information + Support, and Rating + Review.
Plan and Pricing Tab
The Plan and Pricing tab of the CIS Benchmark L1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise image may not explicitly display version details like 23H2 or 22H2. The cost of running this product is a combination of the selected software plan plus the Azure infrastructure costs of the virtual machines on which you will be running this software.
- Your Azure infrastructure price might vary if you have enterprise agreements or other discounts.
- Costs might vary by deployment region.
|CIS Benchmark L1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise||Starting at Rupees 1.641/hour (+ Azure Infrastructure costs)||The CIS Benchmark L1 on Microsoft Windows 11 Enterprise is configured with most of the recommendations included in the associated CIS Benchmark. CIS Benchmarks are developed by consensus to be the industry’s best practice for secure configuration.|
About Author – Vidya is a computer enthusiast. She is here to share quick tips and tricks with Windows 11 or Windows 10 users. She loves writing on Windows 11 and related technologies. She is also keen to find solutions and write about day-to-day tech problems.