How to Setup Seamless Premium Content Delivery for Compliance Audits and Remediation

Chef Premium Content delivers curated content for compliance audits and remediation based on the Center for Internet Security (CIS) certified benchmarks and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs). Chef offers premium content for operating systems, databases, web server applications, cloud and container systems, and other applications.

In this blog, we explain: 

  • How to run an audit on a target node
  • How to run remediation on a target node
  • Accessibility of audit and remediation content  

Setting up the Environment

Install Chef Workstation

A collection of developer tools enables devices in your fleet to interact securely with your Chef Server. This includes Chef Knife, Chef InSpec, Cookstyle, Chef Habitat, and Test Kitchen. Ruby and other dependencies are also included, so you don’t have to install anything else to start with all the Chef tools.

Prerequisites

Set-up 

Steps for running an audit on a target node

To audit a raw node by specifying and scanning a profile, select a benchmark from the listed profiles under the Compliance tab. In this example, you have an Ubuntu raw node, so filter and select Ubuntu from profiles based on its version.

Selecting Ubuntu Raw Mode in Chef Automate


Once you have selected the profile based on the operating system, you can add and scan the node. To do this, under the Nodes added section, fill in the remote node IP address with an optional name for your node. Next, select the credential file to validate and click on add node.

Add node


In a few seconds, you will see whether this node is in a reachable or un-reachable state. The client node will be unreachable if the wrong credential file is selected and sent across server. 

Reachable or un-reachable node

Next, scan the node with the selected profile. Give specific naming conventions for the generated reports and click on Save. When the status changes to "completed," you can view detailed information under "Failed and Passed Controls." 

Scanning the node


Information about the node will be available in the Report section under the Compliance tab, report section. In addition, you can view the detailed report under "Failed and Passed Controls." Information about the node IP, platform details, Scan details, etc., is also available.

Information about the node


After the scan, note the control that has failed and passed. These are the results from the scan using the Center for Internet Security (CIS) or Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) audit profiles. 

Steps for running remediation on a target node

Content remediation is the systematic and strategic process of updating and remediating your node with minimal manual intervention while working with failed controls.   

If you are entitled to premium content, you'll receive an auto-generated email with multiple audits and remediation content that you can use. Entitled users will have access to the premium content via email every month. The downloadable links the are available for seven days. 

Download the remediation content based on your machine information. In this example, you will have to download Ubuntu remediation content since it is an Ubuntu a raw node.

Download Ubuntu Remediation


Once downloaded, unzip the file, copy the content inside the folder, and paste it into the cookbooks folder in Chef Workstation. 

Upload the cookbooks to Chef Server through this command from workstation

“Knife cookbook upload remediation_cis_ubuntu20_v_1_0_0”

Bootstrap the node (target) from Chef WorkStation

knife bootstrap 18.212.213.148 -N awsubuntu -U ubuntu --sudo -
i ~/Desktop/akshay.pem

Example of how to bootstrap the node from Chef WorkStation


Here, “18.212.213.148” is the client node IP address, “awsubuntu” is the naming convention given to the node, and ubuntu is the machine name.

In the screenshot below we can see the added node under the infrastructure tab.

Node under Infrastructure Tab in Chef Automate


You can search for the added node using the command knife node list. You can also verify the nodes by looking at the Automate dashboard.

Add the run-list “Cookbook name” to the node with the command

knife node run_list add <node_name> ‘recipe[<cookbook name>]’

Uploaded cookbook successfully – From Workstation to Server

Once the cookbook has been uploaded to the server, login to a remote client and run

sudo chef-client

ssh -i "akshay.pem" ubuntu@ec2-172-31-56-
155.compute.1.amazonaws.com

Login to a remote client example


When the chef-client execution is completed, perform an audit scan again on the remote node with the same profile but with a different naming convention. This will make it easier to differentiate the two scans when analyzing the result of the remediation.

After the scan, you'll see a drastic fall in error rates under failed controls and an increase in the number of passed controls. This is because the remediation cookbook has fixed the controls failing in the initial scan.

Before executing remediation, cookbook there were 86 failed Controls.

View in Chef before executing remediation cookbook


After executing remediation cookbook, the number of failed controls fall to 48.  

We were able to automate the remediation of 38 controls using a remediation cookbook. 

View in Chef after executing remediation cookbook

Conclusion

Chef has made it easier to access premium content, we now deliver the content you need through monthly emails. The email will have links to the premium content so you can directly download the relevant remediation cookbooks. In this blog, we have explained how to run an audit scan from Automate and how to remediate failed controls using remediation profiles.

Learn more about Chef Premium Content

Enterprise customers can reach out to their respective customer success managers, customer architects or technical support team for any clarifications. 
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Akshay Parvatikar

Akshay Parvatikar is a Senior Technical Product Marketing Specialist at Progress. With a career of over seven years and a bachelor's degree in Engineering, Akshay has worked in various roles such as solution engineering, customer consulting, and business development in web performance for Telecom and the e-commerce industry

Lokesh Kannaiyan

Lokesh Kannaiyan is a Senior Product Manager at Progress for the Chef Compliance product. He has diverse PM experience in building world-class products in Security, Networking and DevOps domains. He enjoys playing cricket in his free time. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Technology and a Master's in Business Administration.

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