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terminology / host - based

Posted on 2009-05-12
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I am doing a risk assessment and some techie keeps hitting me with terminology that I need some clarity on. Basically I am going through all my web apps and running a standard set of tests against them. I keep getting told that "host based" systems are also at risk, which yes fair enough any type of app is but I am not 100% sure what people mean when they say host based system. Am i right in thinking that host based means its a system that is hosted on a non public server (with a private IP) and that is only accessible to a limited population of users, i.e. ip range being our private ip addresses inside our LAN? Am I right in assuming this? No links please experts..
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Question by:pma111
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Bembi earned 250 total points
ID: 24363429
This can have several meanings, so it is a good idea to ask them, I assume that they may have a special application in mind. Also this term is used in different context, so it may be a hint, who said this.

A host is - in general - a container for an application. Each application is running on a host, whatever this is. Under windows, it is usually a server, but can also be every client or any virtual machine. I.e. VMWare acts as host for subsequent operation systems. If you run a software on a client, it may be that this client is listening on a TCP/IP port, therefore it hosts an application or service, which is accessable from the network. So it may be, that they seperate "host based" and "server based", which means dedicated services on servers or any applications on non servers. Also keep in mind, that there may be additinal devices as printers or storage systems, which can have an  accessable web interface.

A second seperation on windows may be related to authentication. You can run application and services under a domain account or under a local account. This may also be a seperation between "host based" and "domain based".

The term "host" is also used in combination of older unix or mainframe servers.
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by:pma111
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Thanks Bembi
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