CIS Controls v8 Implementation Group 1 - AWS Audit Manager

CIS Controls v8 Implementation Group 1

AWS Audit Manager provides a prebuilt standard framework that supports the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Controls v8 Implementation Group 1.


For information about CIS Controls v7.1 IG1 and the AWS Audit Manager framework that supports this standard, see CIS Controls v7.1 Implementation Group 1.

What are CIS Controls?

The CIS Critical Security Controls (CIS Controls) are a prioritized set of safeguards to mitigate the most prevalent cyberattacks against systems and networks. They are mapped to and referenced by multiple legal, regulatory, and policy frameworks. CIS Controls v8 has been enhanced to keep up with modern systems and software. Movement to cloud-based computing, virtualization, mobility, outsourcing, work-from-home, and changing attacker tactics prompted the update. This update supports the security of enterprises as they move to both fully cloud and hybrid environments.

Difference between CIS Controls and CIS Benchmarks

The CIS Controls are foundational best practice guidelines that an organization can follow to have protection from known cyberattack vectors. The CIS Benchmarks are security best practice guidelines specific to vendor products. Ranging from operating systems to cloud services and network devices, the settings that are applied from a Benchmark protect the systems that are being used.

  • CIS Benchmarks are prescriptive. They typically reference a specific setting that can be reviewed and set in the vendor product.

    • Example: CIS Amazon Web Services Foundations Benchmark v1.2.0 - 1.13 Ensure MFA is enabled for the "root user" account.

    • This recommendation provides prescriptive guidance on how to check for this and how to set this on the root account for the AWS environment.

  • CIS Controls are for your organization as a whole and aren't specific to only one vendor product.

    • Example: CIS Controls v7.1 - Sub-Control 4.5 Use Multi-Factor Authentication for All Administrative Access

    • This control describes what's expected to be applied within your organization. However, it doesn't tell you how you should apply it for the systems and workloads that you're running (regardless of where they are).

Using this framework to support your audit preparation

You can use the CIS Controls v8 IG1 framework to help you prepare for audits. This framework includes a prebuilt collection of controls with descriptions and testing procedures. These controls are grouped into control sets according to CIS requirements. You can also customize this framework and its controls to support internal audits with specific requirements.

Using the framework as a starting point, you can create an Audit Manager assessment and start collecting evidence that’s relevant for your audit. After you create an assessment, Audit Manager starts to assess your AWS resources. It does this based on the controls that are defined in the CIS Controls v8 framework. When it's time for an audit, you—or a delegate of your choice—can review the evidence that Audit Manager collected. Either, you can browse the evidence folders in your assessment and choose which evidence you want to include in your assessment report. Or, if you enabled evidence finder, you can search for specific evidence and export it in CSV format, or create an assessment report from your search results. Either way, you can use this assessment report to show that your controls are working as intended.

The CIS Controls v8 framework details are as follows:

Framework name in AWS Audit Manager Number of automated controls Number of manual controls Number of control sets AWS services in scope
CIS Controls v8 IG1




  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

  • AWS Config

  • AWS Identity and Access Management

  • AWS License Manager


To review the AWS Config rules that are used as data source mappings in this standard framework, download the file.

The controls in this framework aren't intended to verify if your systems are compliant with CIS Controls. Moreover, they can't guarantee that you'll pass a CIS audit. AWS Audit Manager doesn't automatically check procedural controls that require manual evidence collection.

You can find this framework under the Standard frameworks tab of the Framework library in Audit Manager.

For instructions on how to create an assessment using this framework, see Creating an assessment.

When you use the Audit Manager console to create an assessment from this standard framework, the list of AWS services in scope is selected by default and can’t be edited. This is because Audit Manager automatically maps and selects the data sources and services for you. This selection is made according to the requirements of the CIS Controls. If you need to edit the list of services in scope for this framework, you can do so by using the CreateAssessment or UpdateAssessment API operations. Alternatively, you can customize the standard framework and then create an assessment from the custom framework.

For instructions on how to customize this framework to support your specific requirements, see Customizing an existing framework and Customizing an existing control.

More CIS resources