The year 2020 has been a whirlwind of adaptation and change, prompting the phrase “business as usual” to take on a whole new meaning. The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS) has become a leader in supporting both public and private organizations in the COVID era, when many are shifting more of their workforce remote and more of their workloads to the cloud.

2020 also marks a milestone for the Center for Internet Security, as CIS is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. Amidst a small group of cybersecurity leaders at the legendary Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. in the year 2000, a vision emerged: that of an independent, mission-driven nonprofit organization that would gather the best practitioners from across the cybersecurity ecosystem. This organization would serve as a community leader focused on practical action, building through an open, collaborative process.

"I am intensely proud of what CIS has accomplished," said CIS co-founder, Frank Reeder. " I am thrilled with where it stands today."

CIS harnesses the power of collaboration from a global community of cybersecurity experts to safeguard public and private organizations against cyber threats. And, in the span of just 20 years, CIS has had a significant impact on cybersecurity globally.

Trusted consensus best practices provide organizations of all sizes practical, effective, prescriptive, and actionable guidance to enhance their cyber defenses. In 2018, CIS celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the CIS Controls, which have been downloaded more than 270,000 times since their inception. The CIS Benchmarks , another globally recognized cybersecurity best practice, have yielded over 900,000 public downloads and over 300,000 downloads from the CIS WorkBench just this year.

CIS has continued to evolve with its members into cloud security with CIS Hardened images, virtual machine images that are securely configured based on the recommendations of the CIS Benchmarks. To date, cloud customers have used more than 900 million hardened image compute hours, with 383 million hours being leveraged from January 2020 to October of this year on major cloud marketplaces including: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace, Microsoft Azure Marketplace, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Marketplace, and Oracle Cloud Marketplace.

CIS best practices are complemented by threat intelligence from the CIS Security Operations Center (SOC), the operational heart of the CIS mission, which supports the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (MS-ISAC®) and the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC). The MS-ISAC reached the 10,000-member milestone this year. The EI-ISAC was created in 2018 to secure future elections from cyber threats, including the recent 2020 presidential elections. Intelligence and expertise from the CIS SOC help inform CIS best practices, including the CIS Controls and CIS Benchmarks, benefitting the cyber hygiene of all organizations.

“At our 20-year mark, we celebrate our founders’ vision, which was grand in scope and aspiration but practical," said CIS President and CEO, John Gilligan. "And, while CIS is proud of our mission and our accomplishments over the first 20 years, our focus now is how we continue to ensure Confidence in the Connected World in the next 20 years.” CIS will continue to pursue its mission: to make the connected world a safer place for the next 20 years and beyond.