DISA STIG/NSA Security Configuration Guides Compliance Checklist Auditing and Monitoring

The NNT STIG Solution - Non-Stop STIG Compliance

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As an OVAL Adopter, NNT Change Tracker can ingest SCAP and OVAL XCCDF content to produce both reporting and monitoring templates for all STIGs and SCGs, as well as any other SCAP or OVAL checklist, for example, CIS Benchmark Checklists.

Compliance audit reports based on the STIG can be generated immediately using either locally installed Change Tracker Agents on the device or using a remote, agentless approach.

Crucially though, in addition to delivering a snapshot STIG scan, a non-stop monitoring template can be created from the STIG compliance report checklist. This approach provides continuous, real-time monitoring of STIG compliance, reporting any drift within seconds of changes occurring. System-wide file integrity monitoring can also be operated continuously with changes reported in real-time to maximize breach detection awareness.

DISA STIG Backgrounder

In accordance with DOD directives regarding IA-enabled IT devices (such as DoDD 8500.1), DISA and the NSA - via the Defense IA program - provide security configuration guidelines known as Security Technical Implementation Guides or STIGs.

The intent of DoDD 8500.1 is as follows

"All DoD information systems shall maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality, integrity, authentication, non-repudiation, and availability that reflect a balance among the importance and sensitivity of the information and information assets; documented threats and vulnerabilities; the trustworthiness of users and interconnecting systems; the impact of impairment or destruction to the DoD information system; and cost effectiveness"

In other words, all Information Assurance systems must be hardened.

The breadth and depth of STIG content provide comprehensive guidance to prevent security breaches through vulnerability mitigation. STIG checklists are provided in SCAP format and a full list of STIGs is available from the Information Assurance Support Environment here

Various vulnerability scanners can be used to assess compliance with a STIG, including the SCAP Compliance Checker (SCC) developed by the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic. However, all scanning solutions suffer from the same limitations in that scan results are only valid at the time of scanning.To detect any drift from the STIG requires a new full scan of all settings which is both time and resource intensive.

Furthermore, scanning for compliance with a STIG gives only one measure of security - changes to system files requires a more widespread file integrity monitoring operation which is an even more time and resource extensive function for a scanner to perform (even though most STIG scanning solutions do not even provide the option for this type of FIM test).

Did you know? In May of 2012, the Commander of the US Cyber Command and Director of NSA announced that he believed adoption of the CIS Critical Controls was a good foundation for effective cybersecurity, and that they are an excellent example of how public and private sector organizations can voluntarily come together to improve security. His endorsement was the result of NSAs investment over the period of a year of some of its top talent vetting the CIS Critical Controls to be certain they reflected the actual risks faced by industrial and government systems.


For each STIG Benchmark we provide the official manual STIG which gives detailed guidance for manually auditing and assessing a system for compliance with published STIG configuration settings, together with an example output of an automated NNT Change Tracker Gen 7 assessment. To register for a free trial system now, including a huge range of automated CIS Benchmark and STIG reports, click here

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