Automated Solution by TCS Hardens Red Hat Servers

Aug 22, 2007

US security vendor Trusted Computer Solutions (TCS) recently presented a solution for automating server hardening.

The solution, dubbed "Security Blanket", was developed for systems with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The menu-driven system uses predefined profiles to secure servers based on industry standards. The profiles are based on the Unix Security (STIG) and specifications by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). Profiles can also be customized to match user requirements. TCS will be distributing the system for US$ 199 a license starting in September.

When a user chooses and executes a profile, there are three possible outcomes: success, error, or can't execute. In the last two cases the software produces a detailed error report and suggests modifications which you can accept or refuse.

The application is not ready to handle large data centers the vendor admits. The target group is administrators that manage a reasonable number of server systems. Raven Zachary from TCS also stated that Security Blanket might be ported to other Linux distributions, and that this should not pose too big a challenge.

Jennifer Mulligan, an analyst with Forrester Research, compares Security Blanket with the features of Bastille Linux, a Linux application with an interactive hardening script for RHEL and Suse Lnux Enterprise Server. Both offer similar features, however, the GPL'd solution requires for more background knowledge than the commercial tool.

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