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How to Conduct System Hardening Using the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) “Gold Disk”

Published by SPK Blog Post
on December 6, 2011

Holes in your IT infrastructure can make for some awkward situations. Whether you’re dealing with sensitive customer information, upcoming product designs, or simply just don’t want people messing with your stuff, maintaining system integrity can be difficult. Symantec is great, but what do you do when the integrity of your system directly relates to national security? Where do you turn when the boss says you gotta keep those centrifuges spinning or heads will roll?

The DoD has developed a process, called DIACAP, for certifying that an Information System (IS) is compliant with DoD security standards. DIACAP stands for DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process and you can find additional information about it here and here.

The DISA (an agency within the DoD) has developed a tool, called “Gold Disk”, to help identify and mitigate security holes according to DIACAP standards. It scans your machine and produces a detailed outline of all the Category 1, 2, and 3 vulnerabilities it finds, depending on the applicable Mission Assurance Level. It even goes as far as to suggest the appropriate means of resolving the issue, point out relevant Microsoft Security Bulletins, and offer to fix things for you.

Keep reading for my step-by-step walk-through on how to use DISA’s “Gold Disk”, a handy tool!

David Hubbell
SPK Software Engineer

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