This article shows you how to Restore content created in the Protect and Access Data Walkthrough.
SSProtect encrypts and protects host application data files and Microsoft Outlook email message content. The underlying procedures are carried out such that they are connected to other built-in or optional services.
This article assumes you have downloaded and installed the :Foundation Client as described in the article, Installing the :Foundation Client, and have worked through the STEP guidance in the article, Protect and Access Data (preferably using a Test Account with guidance in the article, Provision Test Accounts).
Looking Deeper: KODiAC and Cryptographic Offloading
SSProtect utilizes a complex series of events, highly optimized for performance and scalability, to encrypt (and protect) your content. The offloading mechanism is designed to isolate keys such that the material required to recover plaintext maintains separation.
This means an attacker (generally) has to infiltrate not only the host computer, but also KODiAC (Cloud) Services in order to acquire the materials necessary to recover plaintext content.
This also has the effect of ensuring KODiAC maintains theoretical separation from plaintext, even when resources are subjected to in-depth forensic discovery and analysis over time. Though a number of cloud service operators indicate that they cannot access your data, aligned results are generally achieved with procedural controls and operational oversight or logic, not because it's theoretically impossible. And if it's theoretically possible, an attacker can and will find a way to exploit it.
With KODiAC, your plaintext is simply not available to the Service Provider - by design, from day one, as a fundamental requirement. This means legal subpoena of DefiniSec-managed cryptographic keys is insufficient for recipients to access your data: They have to contact you before they can remotely surveil your content.
Offloading is the cornerstone of DefiniSec's patented Cryptographic Offloading, and also the foundation for platform services. This means KODiAC Audit records maintain a high degree of both accuracy and precision since they are built into transaction processing. This provides a highly-reliable view of when, where, how, and by whom content is utilized.
This also means that data backups maintain the most up-to-date information since content is updated with every stored instance: Host overwrite isn't part of an authenticated KODiAC transaction, so KODiAC Managed Data Archives can be used not only to Restore the latest version of a managed instance, but to repair corruption, sabotage - and yes Ransomware - with very little effort.
Enumerate Managed Content
If necessary, Log In to SSProtect using Refresh Login from the context menu available by right-clicking the SSProtect icon in the notification tray.
STEP 1: Use the SSProtect notification icon's context menu and select Managed Files/ Restore to display the Managed Hostlist:
This display enumerates Managed Content and associated State for the active Login Session's Account on the current host computer. If you completed the STEP guidance in the Walkthrough, Protect and Access Data, your display will match the one shown above.
The Managed Files display, or Hostlist, is your point of entry for managing SSProtect'd data. In this case, we see three files in the Protected State, and one file in the (Released) State. Further details are available in the article, Managing Host Data.
Enumerate Managed Versions
STEP 2: Select TestWorkbook.xlsx then click Versions... to display the Versionlist:
The Managed Versions display, or Versionlist, shows historical instances of the chosen file (noted at the top). This will include instances created by authorized sharing peers and Third Party Trusts, reflected in the Username column.
Take a look at the Size column, and compare that to the size of the protected file in File Explorer; they don't match. Versionlist Size is for the plaintext used to create the protected Version (correlating to the value in the Plaintext Hash column). If an instance was created without :Recover, or it was created with Optimized Offloading, the Size would display as zero (0).
Plaintext Hash is exactly as noted, here in MD5 form (which can be changed to use SHA-1 in the License and Component dialog). If Version 1 and Version 2 had the same Plaintext Hash value, you'd know that source material did not change, despite that v1 and v2 always use different keys and hold different ciphertext.
This article is most interested in the value of the right-most, "A" (Availability) column, which will show, "Y" or, "-" to indicate whether or not your Account can Restore the associated Version.
STEP 3: Select the Version 1 instance, click Restore then Open Folder to display File Explorer:
Notice the Restored file includes the suffix, -v1; The Version suffix is unique to Restore carried out from the Versionlist, and it reflects the instance that was chosen.
You can of course select more than one Version at a time, then execute Restore to obtain each instance. Further insight on the Versionlist is available in the article, Managing Archive Data.
Looking Deeper: Explorer Overlay Icon Rendering
Note from our most recent File Explorer display that the Restored file's Overlay icon is Yellow. If you followed along in previous Walkthroughs, you know that Managed Content does not include identification details tying it to any Account/ User. For the :Foundation Client to maintain proper and continuous insight into a Managed Item's state, then, it would at the very least have to maintain visibility over all related activities such as copy, move, and rename. This isn't practical, especially considering that content can move to/ from hosts with and without SSProtect.
For these, and many other reasons (performance), File Explorer Overlay Icon rendering uses stateless logic. Though you know you've Restored an instance of a file in a Version Chain that your Login Session's Account owns, unless and until you access the renamed file, it will remain in the indeterminate access state depicted by the Yellow Overlay Icon.
If (but don't do this now, it'll pollute result clarity and we'll return to it later) you were to securely access the -v1 instance, on save/ close SSProtect would execute Managed Close, automatic re-encryption of the Managed File. This would turn the Overlay Icon Red and the Hostlist would contain the new entry for the target file.* This proceeding relates to an advanced topic - Version Chaining - described in the article, Version Chain Policy and covered in the Walkthrough, Version Chains.
* The new Version of the -v1 file would in fact be Version 3. The noted Version Chain Walkthrough will show you how this functions.
Restore the Latest Version
Our previous operation Restored a specific Version - let's return to the Hostlist and let SSProtect find the most recent instance for us:
STEP 4: Return to the Managed Files (Hostlist) by clicking Host List..., then choose TestWorkbook.xlsx before clicking Restore. Choose Replace when prompted to overwrite the existing file, then click Open Folder to see the results:
When executing Restore from the Hostlist, SSProtect will acquire the Latest Qualified Version of the target, which in this case happens to be Version 2. You can verify this by comparing TestWorkbook.xlsx and TestWorkbook.xlsx.bak using any utility you like, such as BeyondCompare - the files will be identical. However, the -v1 instance will differ:
STEP 5: Hold the Shift key and right-click TestWorkbook-v1.xlsx, then choose SSProtect Release. Double-click the now-plaintext (Released) instance and you'll see that the body of the document contains content from the Version 1 instance we first created and protected. Repeat this procedure for TestWorkbook.xlsx.bak and you will see that it contains Version 2 content.
Finally, a little housecleaning.
STEP 6: Return to the Managed Files (Hostlist) UI pane, then select TestDocument.pdf and click Remove. Confirm the operation with Yes.
You can also delete the .bak and -v1.xlsx file instances (as the subsequent screenshots won't show them).
Advanced Topics: Qualified Versions
The Latest Qualified Version, available for Restore, may not be the latest Version in the Version Chain. Determination becomes more complex when you share content with Organization Peers and Third Party Trusts, and details further depend on the Operating Mode used for each individual instance.
Looking Deeper: Non-Destructive Restore
In general SSProtect does not delete or erase information. As you can see from the Restore operation where we chose to Replace existing content, the software moved the file to TestWorkbook.xlsx.bak, ensuring we would be able to access replaced content.
In fact, if you were to execute the same Restore/ Replace operation again, from the Hostlist or any other dialog, the software would extend the operation to maintain the backup as follows:
- TestWorkbook.docx.bak would be retained
- TestWorkbook.xlsx would be moved to TestWorkbook.xlsx.bak.0
- TestWorkbook.xlsx would be written with the latest appropriate Version from the KODiAC Archive
You will find that almost all :Foundation Client activities perform similar operations to ensure content isn't permanently removed (for example with Sabotage/ Integrity Remediation and related Integrity Protection activities). In the very rare case(s) that don't keep backups, you'll find that the removed entity is readily available using simple operations.
KODiAC Managed Data Archive
KODiAC (Cloud) Services manages all :Recover content, making it available not only for Restore operation, but also for :xRecovery Disaster Recovery services and also :Respond Integrity/ Sabotage Remediation.
You can view the complete set of data items available to your Account by navigating to the Archivelist:
STEP 7: From the Managed Files (Hostlist) display, click Archive... to display the KODiAC Managed Data Archive:
In our progression, this list is nearly the same as the Managed Files list except for the one item - TestDocument.pdf. Since it had been (Released), there was no reason not to Remove it from active Hostlist enumeration. You cannot, however, remove its' presence from the Archivelist, where it remains available for Restore operation.
Over time, you will find that the set of files in the Hostlist will more dramatically diverge from those in the Archivelist. Whereas Managed Files (Hostlist) is the point of entry for active SSProtect'd content (on a given host computer), Managed Archive (Archivelist) is the point of entry for all content available in the KODiAC Managed Data Archive due to :Recover usage, for your Account. For this reason, the set of columns is slightly different from those in the Hostlist and Versionlist.
You can, of course, carry out activities from the Archivelist that are similar if not the same as those in the Hostlist. Restore, as you may have suspected, finds and acquires the Latest Qualified Version of a Managed File.
:Recover for Data Loss (Manual)
What if you sat down to your computer and found out that, for whatever reason, your data had been erased? Let's see how SSProtect helps.
STEP 8: From File Explorer, delete the whole Folder C:\TestData. Return to the Archivelist, select all (four) items then click Restore.
STEP 9: In the Archivelist, check Log Restore then click Replicate. Choose Open Folder to display the results:
As expected, we've acquired the Latest Qualified Version of each Managed Item by executing the Restore operation. We also have a new subfolder, C, which is the result of the Replicate operation.
Drilldown into the C:\TestData\C folder and you will see a, "replica" of Restored C:\TestData content, i.e. C:\TestData\C\TestData. As you will see below, this is intended to serve as a source for relocating content to, "destination" folders on the active host computer.
:Recover Replicate Operation*
Replicate restores each Managed Item in a location that mirrors the Qualified Version's path, however inside your Default Folder to ensure the intended folder structure can be created. If you have Managed Content in locations from other Volumes, they will be included as, "top level subfolders" e.g. D, E, etc.
This is helpful when working on multiple host computers that use different Volume mappings for mass storage, when working with data using temporary Volume mappings associated with removable media, and also with real working data that is stored in a variety of disparate target locations that might not be available on all (relevant) host computers.
Additional information is offered in the article, Restoring and Replicating.
* Do not confuse :Foundation Client Replicate operations with KODiAC Replication, a way for you to control global :Recover content access and distribution.
:Recover Replicate to Source Data
In general, you should use Replicated content as the reliable source and starting point for relocating Managed Items to, "permanent" target working locations. If instead you access content inside a replica instance, you will create new Hostlist entries for those specific locations - for example, C:\TestData\C\TestData\Test.txt. Subsequent Replicate operation would then add yet another layer of, "indirection".
Use Replicate results as a means of acquiring content, and be sure to relocate items before enagaging Managed Access operations.
:Recover Details in the Host Debug Log
In STEP 9, we guided you to check, Log Restore before executing Replicate. This forced an entry in your Host Debug Log for each individual Restore operation. This can be helpful when verifying and troubleshooting details.
STEP 10: Click Show Log* to display the Host Debug Log then uncheck Log Restore (else it remains checked for future operations).
This opens Notepad with activities specific to your Account's operation on the active host during the current day. Scroll to the bottom to find and review Replicate operation details, which should look similar to the following:
00003884 - [2020/09/22-16:15:40.654] -INFO- FileConfig ===:Recover Rebuild=== Attempting to Rebuild 4 files
00003884 - [2020/09/22-16:15:41.365] -INFO- FileConfig == Rebuilt with Success: C:\TestData\C\TestData\Test.txt
00003884 - [2020/09/22-16:15:41.539] -INFO- FileConfig == Rebuilt with Success: C:\TestData\C\TestData\TestDocument.pdf
00003884 - [2020/09/22-16:15:41.712] -INFO- FileConfig == Rebuilt with Success: C:\TestData\C\TestData\TestDocument.docx
00003884 - [2020/09/22-16:15:41.904] -INFO- FileConfig == Rebuilt with Success: C:\TestData\C\TestData\TestWorkbook.xlsx
00003884 - [2020/09/22-16:15:41.904] -INFO- FileConfig ===:Recover Rebuild=== Operation Complete
Use these entries when you need to verify Restore/ Replicate operation, in detail, and/ or troubleshoot individual problems.
Finally, note that the setting, Log Restore, is, "sticky" for your host computer in that it retains its' last setting even if you Exit the :Foundation Client then restart and Log In to another Profile. As such, if you don't want to record individual results for every Restore operation (and endure the overhead, which isn't insignificant with large numbers of very small files), be sure to remove the check before dismissing the dialog.
* You can access your Account's Host Debug Log using Display Logfile in the context menu.
Looking Deeper: Critical Role of :Recover
SSProtect Conversion is an all or nothing proposition, and patented cryptographic offloading includes built-in :Recover primitives. As a result, unlike traditional Backup/ Restore, content is updated with each committed change to Managed Content while remaining Highly Available to maintain business continuity in the most challenging network and host dynamics.
:Foundation Client Protect operations utilize KODiAC-specific commit procedures that require :Recover content to be verified in multiple storage destinations before endpoint (host) Conversion completes with success. Added latency is absorbed independent from end-user activities, very seldom limiting forward operation. Even then, the cost burden is extraordinarily low. Subsequent 2nd-stage KODiAC :Recover processing migrates data to intermediate- and long-term storage based on KODiAC Replication Policies defined by Privileged Organization Users. Policy determines regional storage requirements and remote regional access capabilities, all carried out with very specific attention to details that ensure KODiAC (Cloud) Service operators (MSPs) cannot access end-user plaintext at any time - even when malicious insiders monitor and obtain all associated KODiAC (Cloud) Services resources over the lifetime of a Managed Item.
In fact, under the covers, access to KODiAC Managed Data purposely utilizes the same logic and routines that are invoked when carrying out Managed Access operations (from the :Foundation Client or :Expand API). This ensures that KODiAC-stored :Recover content is available only in protected form, requiring SSProtect authentication and authorization implemented with :Access MFA and :Confidential cryptographic offloading. All transactions include native KODiAC (Cloud) Service :Assess Auditing for a precise, reliable, and secured record of operations used for tracking, reporting, and analysis.
:Recover is the sole source for :xRecovery Disaster Recovery services, offering secure, offline access to all Managed Content in an Organization. :Recover serves a different purpose when delivering assured integrity for :Respond Remediation, repairing Sabotaged and Ransomware'd data with minimal disruption.
SSProtect , with its' integrated suite of Data Protection and Management facilities, delivers a practical, scalable, robust and secure platform that reduces the scope and impact of malicious intent aimed at sensitive, confidential and Intellectual Property data. Whether attacked by malicious insiders, ex-employees, determined high-end hackers for hire, and/ or well-funded nation-state APTs, SSProtect gives you the facilities to maintain operational continuity and the tools necessary to investigate, track, and prosecute those responsible for what would otherwise be catastrophic intrusions and data breach incidents.
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This article was updated w/ v10.7.1 of the :Foundation Client