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Baseline configuration

(also reference configuration)

Baseline configuration definition

Baseline configuration, or reference configuration, is a set of defined parameters, settings, and functional characteristics of a system, network, or device against which subsequent changes are evaluated and measured. It provides a standard or benchmark, ensuring the system's optimal functionality, security, and performance.

See also: internet security, network security protocols

Baseline configuration examples

  • Network configuration: Establishing a baseline configuration for a network can help quickly identify any alterations that might result in performance degradation or security vulnerabilities.
  • System software configuration: A baseline configuration for a software system or application ensures it operates consistently under predetermined conditions.

Pros and cons of baseline configurations


  • Consistency: Baseline configurations ensure that systems behave uniformly, which simplifies troubleshooting and standardizes operations.
  • Security: Configurations can help identify unauthorized changes, potentially flagging security threats.


  • Time-consuming: Establishing a baseline configuration can be a complex process, requiring time and resources.
  • Change management: Any changes to the system necessitate an update to the baseline configuration, which requires proper control and documentation.

Using baseline configurations

  • When setting a baseline configuration, aim for a balance between security, performance, and usability.
  • Regularly review and update the baseline configuration to match the evolving needs and threats.