NIST maintains the National Checklist Repository, which is a publicly available resource that contains information on a variety of security configuration checklists for specific IT products or categories of IT products. A security configuration checklist (also called a lockdown, hardening guide, or benchmark) is a series of instructions or procedures for configuring an IT product to a particular operational environment, for verifying that the product has been configured properly, and/or for identifying unauthorized changes to the product. The IT product may be commercial, open source, government-off-the-shelf (GOTS), etc.
Checklists can comprise templates or automated scripts, patch information, Extensible Markup Language (XML) files, and other procedures. Checklists are intended to be tailored by each organization to meet its particular security and operational requirements. Typically, checklists are created by IT vendors for their own products; however, checklists are also created by other organizations, such as academia, consortia, and government agencies. The use of well-written, standardized checklists can markedly reduce the vulnerability exposure of IT products. Checklists can be particularly helpful to small organizations and to individuals with limited resources for securing their systems.
The repository, which is located at https://checklists.nist.gov/, contains information that describes each checklist. The repository also hosts copies of some checklists, primarily those developed by the federal government, and has links to the location of other checklists. Users can browse and search the repository to locate a particular checklist using a variety of criteria, including the product category, vendor name, and submitting organization. Having a centralized checklist repository makes it easier for organizations to find the current, authoritative versions of security checklists and to determine which ones best meet their needs.
Visit the National Checklist Program homepage.