Operating systems and software products are shipped with defaults that fit the majority of their user base. This is not the case for organizations where the security is paramount. Systems Hardening is the process of rigorous feature lock-down in order to reduce the attack surface.
For frameworks like PCI-DSS v4.0 (Req: 2.2.1 on SAQ-D) system hardening is mandatory. On a scale of 1-∞ automation plays important role to enforce security controls, especially when you have to prove to an auditor that you have an established process of of enforcing and maintain system hardening.
If you don’t have something it can’t get hacked and you achieve significantly lower attack-surface.
Only the necessary services and programs run.
Because you demonstrate dedication on enforcing security controls.
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