The US Department of Commerce is home to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). One of the many virtuous things done by NIST is coordination of best practices for enterprise IT, especially practices dealing with ensuring both security and functionality of IT.
NIST provides configuration checklists relevant to enterprise software and hardware at their repository at: http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/ncp/repository A review of that respository will show guidance on operating systems (Including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Red Hat Linux, IBM Tivoli, Apache Web Server, and Cisco IOS, to name a few.
For Hardware, NIST provides the Security Configuration Checklist for Intel vPro Technology and Active Management Technology (AMT).
To find this on the NIST site see: http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/ncp/repository/checklistDetail?id=286
We will dive deeper into this important checklist in a coming piece.
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