Host-Based Penetration Testing

With our host-based penetration testing services, NetSPI performs a deep dive review of baseline workstation and server images used to deploy systems to the corporate environment.

Improve security with host-based penetration testing by NetSPI

Standard network penetration testing engagements may not provide compressive insights into the vulnerabilities that exist in your baseline system images and Citrix deployed desktops.

During host-based penetration tests, NetSPI performs a deep dive review of baseline workstation and server images used to deploy systems to the corporate environment. The service includes testing of system drive encryption, group policy configurations, patch levels, service configurations, user and group roles, 3rd party software configurations, and more. It also includes a review of the systems and applications for common and known vulnerabilities. NetSPI supports host-based penetration testing of most Windows, Linux, z/OS, and MacOS variations. Also, testing can be conducted against physical hardware, virtual machines, or virtual desktops.

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Related Resources

Five Tips for Managing Host-Based Security

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Breaking Out! of Applications Deployed via Terminal Services, Citrix, and Kiosks

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The NetSPI Difference

NetSPI delivers industry-leading penetration testing expertise and a vulnerability
management platform that makes penetration test results actionable.
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A collaborative team with experience and expertise produces the highest
quality of work

Consistent processes with formalized quality assurance and oversight deliver consistent results
Technology allows more focus on testing and scales to large engagements and multiple ongoing projects
Actionable guidance by a trusted partner from the start of the engagement to the end of remediation

Types of Host-Based Penetration Testing Services

Host-Based Penetration Testing

During host-based penetration tests, NetSPI will conduct an assessment to evaluate the security of a standard system image. Testing is intended to identify vulnerabilities that have the potential to provide unauthorized access to systems, applications, and sensitive data.

NetSPI supports host-based pentesting of most Windows, Linux, z/OS, and MacOS variations.

Testing may include the review of physical security controls, software security controls, user and group configurations, local access control configurations, local system configurations, local patch configurations, clear text storage of passwords, and clear text storage of sensitive data.

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Virtual Desktop Penetration Testing

As the number of remote workers increases it’s become more challenging to manage physical workstations. As a result, many companies provide remote desktop access through virtualization platforms like Citrix and VMware. Those platforms can make it easy for remote employees, partners, and vendors to access what they need without as much overhead cost and management. However, with the ease of access comes additional risks that don’t have to be considered for laptops not typically accessible from the internet.

During Virtual Desktop Penetration Tests, NetSPI will identify vulnerabilities that provide unauthorized access to the operating system through desktops published via virtualization platforms like Citrix and VMware. Additionally, NetSPI will review the system configuration to identify vulnerabilities that could be used to escalate privileges, pivot into the internal environment, or exfiltrate sensitive data.

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Virtual Application Penetration Testing and Breakout Assessments

It has become common for companies to make their traditional desktop applications accessible from the internet by publishing them through virtualization platforms like Citrix or VMware. Those platforms make it easy for remote employees, partners, and vendors to access existing desktop applications without requiring the large investment that comes with rewriting legacy apps for the web. However, with the ease of access comes additional risks that don’t have to be considered for desktop applications living behind a firewall.

During Virtual Application Penetration Tests, NetSPI will identify the risks specific to applications published through virtualization platforms along with traditional application testing to help ensure that your company is staying safe while trying to adapt to evolving business needs.

During Virtual Application Breakout Assessments, NetSPI will identify vulnerabilities that provide unauthorized access to the operating system through applications published via virtualization platforms like Citrix and VMware.

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Benefits of Penetration Testing

Pentest your applications to:

Avoid breaches

Discover your vulnerabilities and exposure, before a breach occurs

Achieve compliance

Meet network security testing requirements from a third party

Improve security

Learn how to strengthen your network security program

Augment your team

Get a fresh set of eyes from penetration testing experts


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