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Remote Office Backup

Fast and cost-efficient system recovery and replication for remote locations.


Provide remote site flexibility and autonomy in the event of a disaster.

Customer Challenge:​

Centralization of IT resources offers benefits, but it can also present single points of failure. The retail sector is typified by having multiple physical outlets which may rely on a central resource for system recovery and inventory control. Many high-profile cyber-attacks have rendered retail outlets unable to process transactions when point of sale terminals have been reliant on a central resource. In addition, the recovery of multiple remote outlets from a central point, which may number into the thousands, can create processing and network bottlenecks impacting recovery times. To mitigate these factors, the organization required a cost-effective solution that would provide retail outlets with local recovery capabilities to maintain business operations in the event of a centralized cyber-attack. The solution would need to provide native data security and the flexibility to support local and centralized recovery options.

Cristie Solution:​

Each remote location was equipped with a mini-PC running a lightweight hypervisor supporting Cristie CloneManager and Cristie Virtual Appliance (VA) software. To minimize the required compute resources at each location CloneManager offline replication was used which periodically writes replicas of running physical machines directly to system image files stored on a local S3-based storage device. Local storage provides the fastest possible recovery time for physical to physical (P2P) machine recovery in the event of a failure. S3 Object Lock was enabled for stored images providing a write-once-read-many (WORM) model. S3 Object Lock can prevent data from being deleted or overwritten for a fixed amount of time, or indefinitely, providing add an extra layer of protection against ransomware or accidental deletion. 

Using offline replication was sufficient to meet Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) for remote locations, while the reduction in compute resources offers significant cost savings. The solution provides the flexibility to use cloud based S3 storage if required. In addition, VA clustering was enabled providing a mirrored VA instance at the central site that could be used to recover remote locations if the local VA instance was compromised. Cristie Recovery software was also deployed at each location to undertake a full weekly backup to the central data center. Each retail outlet can restore business services quickly if required without dependence on a central resource, however, the implementation provides full recovery flexibility and redundancy.

Customer Profile: Grocery wholesaling group with multiple retail outlets

A wholesale and retail business responsible for the total flow of goods from manufacturer to market covering segments including grocery retail, industrial household, and convenient stores. The organization engages with over 1200 business partners, 1000 independent retailers and upwards of 41,000 direct and associated staff members. With over 1800 grocery stores plus 900 additional supported points of sale (POS), it was determined that all remote locations should have operational autonomy with fast and secure local backup & recovery capabilities to maintain business operations in the event of any centralized outage or cyber-attack.

Retail POS

Cristie Software Benefits

  • Replicate Remote Offices Directly to S3 Cloud.

    Cristie Recovery & Replication offers a solution for remote and branch offices to replicate systems directly to S3 storage locally or in the cloud.

  • Reduce Costs with Offline Replication to Bootable Image Files.

    Offline replication can be deployed to remove the costs and overhead of maintaining live failover systems in the cloud. Offline replication maintains synchronized copies of the remote or branch office infrastructure in virtual machine disk files which can be booted within the target environment in the event of a local failure or other disaster scenario.

Elevate Your Remote Recovery Strategy with Cristie

Directly replicate to S3 Cloud or optimize expenses with offline bootable image replication. Ensure your branch offices are always protected, efficiently and cost-effectively. Reach out to dive deeper into our Advanced Recovery Solutions!

El blog de Cristie Software

How to close the Top 5 Disaster Recovery Plan Gaps

How to close the Top 5 Disaster Recovery Plan Gaps. A disaster recovery (DR) plan is an essential part of any organization’s risk management strategy. It outlines the steps that need to be taken in order to recover from natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or any other unexpected event that could disrupt normal operations. However, even with the best intentions, many disaster recovery plans often contain gaps that can hinder the organization’s ability to effectively respond to a crisis. Here are the top five gaps commonly found in disaster recovery plans with guidance on effective ways to ensure these gaps are closed for your organization: 1. Insufficient backup procedures: Data is often an organization’s most valuable asset, yet many disaster recovery plans have insufficient data backup procedures in place. Organizations should regularly back up their data and ensure that it is stored in a secure location. Without adequate data backup procedures, an organization’s ability to recover from a disaster is severely compromised. However, data is of little value without the supporting infrastructure and systems that enable critical business applications to utilize that data. Many organizations take regular data backups but overlook the protection and recovery of the underlying systems that must be recovered before any data can be processed. It is system recovery that very often presents the biggest challenge and primary reason for downtime following any DR scenario. The recovery of physical systems is inherently more complex and likely to involve manual intervention than virtual systems. Cristie Software recovery and replication solutions can eliminate manual intervention from physical system recovery and facilitate automated recovery at scale regardless of platform type. 2. Lack of regular testing: One of the most common gaps in disaster recovery plans is the lack of regular testing. Many organizations create a plan and then never revisit it until a disaster strikes. Without regular testing, it is impossible to know if the plan will work in a real-life scenario. Regular testing helps identify weaknesses in the plan and allows for adjustments to be made before a disaster occurs. The Cristie Virtual Appliance (VA) provides the ability to schedule regular simulated recoveries of complete systems to check recovery image and recovery process integrity. Simulated recovery will also verify recovery time performance to ensure that the recovery infrastructure can support Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). In addition, simulated recoveries can be made within a Cleanroom Recovery environment using the Isolated Networks Recovery feature of the VA. This provides a secure and safe environment for system recovery testing which is vital if a cyberattack is suspected. Systems can be analysed in the cleanroom recovery environment without risk of any contaminating production systems and networks. 3. Failure to account for cyber-attacks: While many disaster recovery plans focus on natural disasters, cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common and can have a major impact on an organization’s operations. A gap in many plans is the failure to adequately address the potential for cyber-attacks and how to respond to them. The main attack vector involves encryption of vital data files and can take place rapidly once a malware payload is executed. Early detection of malicious file encryption is vital to limit damage and the spread of malware to other machines on the network. Cristie Software system recovery provides Advanced Anomaly Detection through the VA which can analyse the file structure of running systems against their last backup and detect any file structure changes which are characteristic of malicious encryption. This feature can be scheduled to run at any time and is external to the main system recovery workflow. If Advanced Anomaly Detection indicates that a system or systems have been compromised, effected systems can be restored to a cleanroom environment for cyber forensic analysis. 4. Inadequate communication protocols: Communication is key during a disaster, yet many plans fail to outline clear communication protocols. This can lead to confusion and delays in getting the appropriate information to the necessary stakeholders. Organizations should establish clear channels of communication and ensure that all employees are aware of the protocols. Identifying and understanding the various audiences that need to be reached during a DR scenario is a key aspect of developing a crisis communication strategy. This includes communicating with employees, IT staff, customers, vendors, suppliers, investors, government officials, industry regulators, and media throughout the event and recovery phases. The communication plan should outline the specific needs of each audience and designate appropriate spokespersons within the organization to effectively communicate with them. 5. Lack of stakeholder engagement: A successful disaster recovery plan requires the engagement of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and regulatory agencies. Many plans fail to adequately engage all stakeholders, leading to confusion and delays in the response to a disaster. Organizations should involve all relevant parties in the planning process and ensure that everyone understands their role in the event of a crisis. In conclusion, it is important for organizations to regularly review and update their disaster recovery plans to ensure that they are comprehensive and effective. The recovery of infrastructure and in particular physical systems is an area often overlooked and omitted from regular testing plans. By addressing these common gaps, organizations can better prepare themselves to respond to any unexpected event that may arise. Contact the Cristie Software team for more information on system recovery and replication to ensure that your organization has the best possible DR protection.

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Proactive ransomware testing with Advanced Anomaly Detection & Cleanroom Recovery

Proactive ransomware testing with Advanced Anomaly Detection & Cleanroom Recovery Having early warning of malicious file encryption is vital to limit the damage potential from a ransomware attack. Cristie Software Advanced Anomaly Detection can identify suspicious file structure changes by comparing live systems against meta data held from the most recent backup. Any changes that resemble malware encryption are flagged through the Cristie Virtual Appliance (VA) allowing system images for both physical, virtual, or cloud-based machines to be restored within a cleanroom environment for further analysis. Advanced Anomaly Detection runs separately to ongoing system recovery and replication schedules. Isolated Network Recovery for physical, virtual and cloud system integrity verification Cristie Software provide the ability to perform cleanroom recovery for any physical, virtual, or cloud-based system to an isolated network so that testing can be performed without impacting production systems and networks. This functionality is provided through the Cristie VA which implements an intermediary virtual machine to route traffic between the production network and any VLAN networks configured on the Isolated Networks Gateway within the VA. In the unfortunate event of a suspected cyber-attack, recovering system images to an isolated network established as a cleanroom environment becomes a critical step in the cyber forensic investigation process. This isolation serves several vital purposes, ensuring the integrity of the investigation and aiding in the identification and analysis of the attack. Preventing Further Damage with Cleanroom Recovery Cyber-attacks often involve malware or other malicious code designed to spread and cause further damage. By recovering systems to an isolated network, the risk of inadvertently activating or spreading the malware is minimized. This isolation prevents any potential reinfection of the network, protecting other systems and data from further harm. Enhancing Incident Response The recovery of systems to an isolated network also plays a crucial role in the incident response process. By analyzing the recovered system images, organizations can identify the root cause of the attack, assess the extent of the damage, and develop effective remediation strategies. This information is invaluable for preventing future attacks and strengthening overall cybersecurity measures. Physical machine recovery with Dissimilar Hardware technology The recovery of physical systems following an incident is often more challenging than virtual machines due to the tight coupling with underlying hardware. Differences between source and target physical machines can present device driver discrepancies that may hinder the boot process and require manual intervention. Cristie Software recovery solves this challenge with Dissimilar Hardware technology which automates the insertion of necessary drivers eliminating manual intervention. Physical machines can also be recovered to virtual or cloud targets and vice versa providing complete flexibility. Validating Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) An additional function of isolated network recovery is the measurement of RTO for specific systems to ensure that the current recovery infrastructure and processes can meet internal or external system recovery time objectives. This form of testing is particularly important within highly regulated industries such as financial services where critical business services may have maximum permitted outage periods before penalties are incurred. Simulated recoveries for RTO confidence and recovery image integrity testing Within the Cristie VA simulated recoveries can be scheduled automatically with comprehensive reporting on recovery performance plus notification of any irregularities which may impact system recovery during a disaster recovery scenario. The Cristie VA applies machine learning algorithms to analyze recovery log files to provide automated problem resolution where possible, and resolution guidance through the VA dashboard. Non-intrusive operating system and application upgrade verification Aside from measuring recovery performance, the use of an isolated network provides a test environment to verify operating system (OS) and application patches without impacting the production environment. Conclusion Recovering systems to an isolated network is an essential practice for organizations that need to ensure RTOs for critical systems meet internal and external benchmarks. For cyber forensics it provides a cleanroom recovery environment which ensures the integrity of the investigation, prevents further damage, facilitates thorough analysis, and enhances incident response. By following this best practice, organizations can effectively meet regulatory compliance, verify system upgrades outside of the production environment, respond to cyber-attacks, and strengthen their overall cybersecurity posture. Contact the Cristie Software team for a live demo of isolated network recovery and testing.

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The Ripple Effects of System Downtime: How Industries Crumble When Technology Falters

The Ripple Effects of System Downtime: How Industries Crumble When Technology Falters In today’s interconnected world, businesses rely heavily on technology for operations, transactions, and communications. When these vital systems grind to a halt, the consequences can be severe and multifaceted. The impact of system downtime ripples far beyond mere inconvenience, sending shockwaves through various industries in unique ways. Healthcare: Lives on the Line Disrupted Patient Care: Electronic health records (EHRs), medical devices, and communication systems are lifelines in healthcare. Downtime can hinder access to crucial patient data, delay diagnoses, and compromise treatment plans. Operational Chaos: From scheduling appointments to managing medication inventories, healthcare facilities rely on functional IT systems. Downtime throws a wrench in these processes, potentially leading to safety risks. Finance: Markets in Turmoil Missed Trades and Lost Opportunities: Financial markets move at lightning speed. Downtime can lead to missed trading opportunities, inaccurate financial information, and ultimately significant monetary losses. Regulatory Compliance: Industry regulators expect critical services to operate within predefined impact tolerances. Prolonged outages may infringe operational resilience directives resulting in fines. Eroded Trust: Investors and clients expect secure, round-the-clock access to their funds and portfolios. Prolonged system outages can seriously damage a financial institution’s reputation and cause customer churn. Retail and E-commerce: Vanishing Sales Lost Revenue: When online storefronts or point-of-sale (POS) systems fail, retailers miss out on precious transactions, resulting in direct financial losses and frustrated customers. Supply Chain Disruptions: Inventory management, order tracking, and shipment scheduling often rely on integrated systems. Downtime creates bottlenecks in the supply chain, leading to product shortages and delayed deliveries. Manufacturing: Production Lines Stalled Costly Delays: Manufacturers often use highly automated systems for production, assembly, and quality control. Downtime can halt assembly lines, causing costly delays and missed deadlines. Predictive Maintenance Hindered: Many modern factories leverage systems for predictive maintenance, scheduling repairs before equipment fails. Downtime disrupts these preventive measures, increasing the risk of unexpected breakdowns. Transportation: Chaos in Transit Flight Delays and Cancellations: Airlines heavily rely on computerized systems for booking, passenger check-ins, and aircraft operation. System outages can ground planes, stranding passengers and disrupting flight schedules globally. Logistics Gridlock: Logistics companies use sophisticated systems for tracking shipments, optimizing routes, and managing inventory. Downtime creates blindspots, leading to delays, misdirected shipments, and dissatisfied customers. The Domino Effect and Hidden Costs System downtime doesn’t exist in a silo. Its effects often cascade across industries, disrupting supply chains and causing ripple effects throughout the economy. Additionally, businesses face hidden costs, such as: Brand Damage: Outages can erode public trust, harming a company’s reputation. Employee Morale: Downtime can lead to frustration and decreased productivity within the workforce. Cybersecurity Vulnerability: Disaster recovery efforts can sometimes open new vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. The Imperative of Resilience System downtime is an ever-present risk for businesses across the board. Investing in reliable system recovery solutions, resilient IT infrastructure, proactive maintenance, and robust disaster recovery plans is no longer optional – it’s vital for safeguarding operations, minimizing losses, and securing a competitive edge in a digital landscape Speak to the Cristie Software team to learn more about our system recovery and replication solutions for mitigating downtime!

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Operational Resilience: System Recovery as Your Key Compliance Safeguard

Operational Resilience: System Recovery as Your Key Compliance Safeguard Operational resilience has emerged as the cornerstone of modern financial industry regulations. Firms are now required not only to prevent disruptions, but also to ensure they can rapidly recover critical functionalities when inevitable problems arise. This is where a robust system recovery strategy takes center stage. Why System Recovery Matters for Compliance Impact Tolerance: Regulators expect firms to set strict Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) for their most essential services. System recovery solutions are crucial for meeting these often-challenging timelines and minimizing data loss. System Complexity: Modern financial systems are a web of interconnected applications, platforms, and networks. Effective system recovery ensures that all critical components are restored in the correct order and dependencies are accounted for. Recovery Testing: Simply having a plan isn’t enough. Regulators insist on concrete proof that your recovery procedures work. System recovery tools with testing and simulation capabilities are imperative to demonstrate this. Third-Party Risk: Vendor reliance is a reality in the financial industry. Your system recovery strategy needs to extend to third-party providers, ensuring they can adhere to your resilience requirements. How Your System Recovery Solution Ensures Resilience Here are some key features to look for in a system recovery solution to achieve operational resilience compliance: Automation: Manual recovery processes are slow, error-prone, and simply not feasible for complex IT environments. Solutions that automate critical recovery steps ensure rapid response and reliable outcomes. Flexibility: A one-size-fits all approach won’t cut it. Look for solutions that allow you to tailor recovery processes to the specific needs of each critical service, ensuring your most important systems get priority attention. Coverage: Your recovery solution should support a wide range of platforms (physical, virtual, cloud), legacy systems, and operating systems to match your environment’s diversity. Reporting and Documentation: Detailed logs and reporting are crucial for demonstrating to regulators that you are meeting recovery objectives and proactively conducting tests. Beyond Compliance: Reclaiming Your Peace of Mind Compliance might be the driving force, but system recovery offers benefits that go beyond just ticking regulatory boxes: Minimized Downtime: The faster you recover, the sooner you’re back to serving customers, protecting your reputation, and avoiding losses. Reduced Cyber Risk: Sandbox recovery options allow you to securely verify systems after an attack, minimizing the risk of reinfection. Business Continuity: System recovery is the linchpin of your broader disaster recovery strategy. Key Takeaway: Investing in a robust system recovery solution isn’t just about complying with regulations; it’s about future-proofing your organization against disruptions of any kind. Want to learn more about aligning system recovery with your operational resilience goals? Contact us today!

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