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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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