Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Creating a Gold Image SCAP Template for Windows

Posted March 21, 2013    Bill Tillson

One of the challenges of Benchmark Configuration management is creating or modifying SCAP OVAL content to match your business policies and requirements. The following procedure is recommended to create custom Windows benchmarks for the Retina Network Security Scanner and Retina CS via local system policy, Local GPO, and Microsoft Security and Compliance Manager.

For starters, Retina CS provides the ability to import new benchmarks for configuration scanning:


Since many Microsoft system configuration settings are controlled via local group policy or domain group policy, you can easily create a hardened policy and export those setting utilizing the tools within the Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) which can then allow you to leverage these settings as a new benchmark within Retina CS.  You can download the SCM leveraging the “Download Editor” component on the Benchmark Management page within Retina CS.  Once this has been downloaded and installed in your environment, you’ll also want to run an additional MSI called LocalGPO.msi. This is  located in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Security Compliance Manager\LGPO directory if you accepted the default directory path.  This installs a command line tool that can be used to export the  local group policy to a backup file which can then be imported into SCM.

Once you have modified the local system policy to match your preferred configuration settings, execute the Local GPO application to back this up to a folder by entering the command:

cscript LocalGPO.wsf /Path:C:\GPObackups /Export


Next, launch SCM and select Import GPO Backup (folder) and select the backup file created from Local GPO. (In this example it was under C:\GPObackups) Please enter a name so SCM can reference it.


Now, from within SCM, a user can make any modifications to the policy or  export this out to SCAP v1.0(.cab) for import into Retina CS.


As a part of the export, an operating system or application  association is required. This is a requirement that is coded into the SCAP content.  In this example, a selection of Windows 2008 R2 SP1 Server was used and associated with the SCAP CAB file and saved to the file system with a similar name.


Finally, please navigate back to Retina CS, and import that benchmark which has your own custom checks that were created from your  local system GPO:


After the import is complete, the new benchmark is located in the Benchmark Management list.


It can then be selected from Benchmark scanning under the Report Templates for Assessments.



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Additional articles


Scottrade Breach: Identified by Federal Officials

Posted October 5, 2015    Morey Haber

Late afternoon on October 2nd, news leaked out of another large security breach, now at Scottrade. The identity count of records, in the millions again (4.6 million is the latest). This breach comes on the second day of national CyberSecurity month, the first being Experian/T-Mobile breach.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.


Who Moved My Front Door? (What is Privileged Account Management?)

Posted October 1, 2015    Nigel Hedges

Not too long ago, I was sitting in a room with a very fluffy sales guy. In between words such as “we’ll make this happen” and “leave it with me, I’ll get it sorted” he asked the question “What is Privileged Account Management”?