Hardened Virtual Images

CIS is pleased to offer hardened virtual images in the Amazon Web ServicesTM (AWSTM) Elastic Compute CloudTM (EC2TM) environment. These templates, known as Amazon Machine ImagesTM (AMIsTM), are hardened and configured according to applicable CIS Benchmarks.

What's a virtual image? A hardened virtual image?

A virtual image is an emulation of a computer system that provides the same functionality of a physical computer, but resides in the cloud. Virtual images are flexible resources, allowing users to cost-effectively perform routine computing operations without the need to invest in local hardware and software.

Hardening is a process of limiting potential weaknesses that make systems vulnerable to cyber attacks. Examples include:

  • disabling unnecessary ports/services
  • eliminating unneeded programs and internal root accounts
  • limiting/denying visitor access

More secure than a standard image, hardened virtual images reduce system vulnerabilities to help protect against denial of service, unauthorized data access, and other cyber threats.

Where are CIS hardened virtual images available?

CIS currently offers hardened virtual images on Amazon Web services, in the IC region, and soon on AWS GovCloud. However, plans are underway to also offer CIS hardened virtual images on Microsoft's Azure platform and on Google Cloud. Check back soon to see when they become available.


AMIs are virtual images hosted on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) environment. CIS offers numerous AMIs hardened to meet the CIS Benchmarks, secure configuration standards that are collaboratively developed by our volunteer consensus community and used by  thousands worldwide.

CIS Benchmark-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. Since our consensus communities continually review and update CIS Benchmark guidelines, you can be sure CIS AMIs are securely configured.

Purchasing CIS AMIs

CIS offers over a dozen AMIs for a variety of platforms, 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 us on the Amazon Marketplace.

Arrow Purchase CIS AMIs on the Amazon Marketplace


Arrow Review available platforms


Arrow Coming Soon:
  • AWS GovCloud
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • And more!