Are Cloud Storage Sites Safe

Passwords can be hacked.

This doesn’t mean that passwords aren’t safe, just that they’re vulnerable to dictionary and brute force attacks. If you’re cloud storage solution relies on a password to access your data, choose a password that’s difficult to hack, using numbers, lower case letters, uppercase letters and special characters, and change your password often to reduce the chances of success from brute force attacks.

Data can be captured while being uploaded or downloaded.

Most storage services will encrypt the data while it’s traveling up or down, making it impossible to read even if someone captures the files. If your cloud storage works through a Web app, look for “https” instead of “http” in front of the URL in your browser’s address bar. The “https” indicates the form is using secure http. If you have a standalone cloud storage app installed on your computer, check to be sure that app uses some type of encryption for its Internet exchanges. Keep in mind many services such as dropbox require a third party app to encrypt the data.

People can cause their own problems when it comes to hacking.

Don’t give out your password to anyone, even someone claiming to be from technical support. Hackers will often make calls claiming to be support in one form or another in order to create a trust between the hacker and the end user that causes the end user to happily hand over personal information. Note that when you speak with the real technical support specialists, they’ll require only minimal identifying information from you, and most likely not your password.

Your data isn’t immune to seizure by local government.

In the U.S., for example, any cloud storage company could be served a subpoena requiring them to open their clients’ data for government examination. It does not matter what country the data originated from. Some cloud services such as Amazon are up front about one of your security risks. In its user agreement, Amazon Cloud Drive declares its right to access your files and disclose account information to offer support and to ensure compliance, largely to enforce copyright law.

Malicious links: Spammers change malware delivery tactics

Significant spike in malicious spam emails containing links, as attackers move away from attachments in their efforts to spread Downloader.Ponik and Downloader.Upatre.

Attackers behind malicious spam campaigns have shifted their tactics in recent months and are increasingly attempting to infect victims by luring them into clicking on links rather than sending them malicious attachments.

Since late November, Symantec Security Response has seen a spike in the number of malicious emails using this tactic. Over the last six months, there were relatively few spam emails containing malicious links. For example, in October, only seven percent of malicious spam emails contained links. That number jumped to 41 percent in November and has continued to climb in early December.

Symantec advises users to be on their guard and to adhere to the following security best practices:

  • Exercise caution when receiving unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails
  • Avoid opening attachments in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails
  • Keep security software up-to-date

Alliance Trust Company

Alliance Trust Company

On behalf of Alliance Trust Company, I am pleased to confirm our continued strong business relationship with the principals and staff of Computer Perfect, dating back to October 1999.

In 1999, we hired Mario Argento and his business partner, Richard to assist us with the purchase and installation of computers at my previous company, Valiant Trust Company. We found them to be most helpful and knowledgeable. In addition, their professionalism and integrity was impeccable. These traits, which we find most important in all our partners, remained consistent throughout the years.

In 2005, we sold Valiant Trust Company and I founded a publishing company, Zi Magazine. At  Zi Magazine, Computer Perfect was crucial to the setup of our new offices and new business. We were impressed with the high standard they continued to provide us.

In January of 2008, I founded yet another company, Alliance Trust Company. Mario and his team at Computer Perfect, were once again called upon to assist in the setup of the office, ant contracted to maintain on-going vigilance of the technology used for administering highly sensitive records of our clients, publicly listed corporations. At Alliance Trust, we disburse over a billion dollars of client funds. As such, technology is a big component of our business.

Throughout the years, I have found them to be completely dependable and reliable. We found them to be exceptionally useful during the severe rainstorms and flooding of June 2013 in Calgary, when we were required to setup alternate work space away from our flood ravaged downtown location. We were very happy that with partners like Computer Perfect, our business was able to continue with minimum of disruption.

I would highly recommend the Computer Perfect team to anyone seeking a highly knowledgeable team with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.

On Behalf of Alliance Trust Company

Zinat H. Damji

President & CEO