Header Authentication

The Issues

The use of the Cloud:

This particular Security threat goes back to the issue of recorded conversations, but more importantly, where they are stored.  As mentioned previously in VPA Part 4, it is widely believed that they are stored at this point in the servers of the Vendors that make and support their brand of the Virtual Personal Assistant. However, the physical location of these servers and where these conversations are stored is not known. Obviously, it would be over a period of time, a cost factor for these companies to keep these conversations stored on physical servers.  Therefore, storing them onto Virtual Servers based in the Cloud would be the next logical step.  But, here is where the possible Security risks lie. For example, whether it is stored in the Amazon Web Services, or the Microsoft Azure, or the Apple iCloud, the “murkiness” of where these conversations are stored grow even more. The end user will not have any kind of control as to how or when they want to delete their conversations with their VPA.  It will be all up to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide the Security mechanisms to safeguard the Virtual Servers in which the conversations reside upon.  Thus, there is no guarantee that these recordings won’t be hacked into, tampered with, or even accessed remotely by a malicious third party.  It is also quite likely that a recorded conversation could very well be misunderstood and even misinterpreted by an outside entity, such as a law enforcement agency, if the ISP grants them access. As a result, given how new Virtual Personal Assistants are making their way into the marketplace, there is hardly any legal precedence which has been set forth in order to protect the end user under these particular circumstances.  The Security risks with Virtual Personal Assistants will grow even more complex as it gets further intertwined into the Internet of Things (IoT).

Using your Virtual Personal Assistant to do your shopping for you:

As it has been described, the Virtual Personal Assistant is literally trying to be a part of our everyday lives, and in a way, even trying to be a “part of the family.”  Thus, in this regard, the VPA that we use (whether it be Siri or Cortana), asks us many questions when it comes to what our personal preferences are, interests, hobbies, etc. The primary purpose of this is to help ensure that we are given the most “holistic” experiences as we are travelling, or even planning a social activity.  For instance, if we are going from Point A to Point B, and if we have mentioned to Siri or Cortana where our favorite restaurant is, the VPA will make every effort to find such an establishment that is within close proximity to our travels.  This type of experience is now starting to be extended when we shop for products and services online.  As a result of this, the Vendors of the Virtual Personal Assistants are now trying to make them do the shopping for us, at a predetermined point in time established by the end user.  This simply means, gone are the days when we have to log onto Amazon.com to manually select the products we want – Siri or Cortana will do that for us.  Although this will be of great convenience no doubt, there is once again yet the flip side to this, namely the Security risks which can be involved.  For example, in order to initiate an automated shopping routine with Siri or Cortana, we will have to give them our credit card information, bank account information, or other types of financial information, such as PayPal. These will obviously be stored into the VPA so that they make the online purchases, but the question now arises-to whom will our financial information be made available, and if so, will we receive notification of this?  Or worst yet, will our financial information be stored onto the servers of the Vendor (whether it be a physical or virtual based one) without our knowledge, in a way that is very similar to the conversations that we have with Siri or Cortana?  What guarantees do we have that as the VPA completes the checkout process at the Online Store that our financial information will be only received by the authorized merchant, and by a malicious third party?  Or for that matter, how do we even know that the Siri or Cortana VPA that we are even using is authentic in the first place?  What if it is a malicious software application that has been spoofed up to look like the real thing as it conducts our online shopping?  Finally, if our financial information is indeed stored in the Cloud in order to be used for subsequent shopping trips by Siri or Cortana, what Security mechanisms will be put in place to safeguard that from any direct Cyber-attacks?  Obviously, these are questions which must be answered before society will even embrace the notion of having a VPA do our online shopping for us.


Our next blog will examine more serious security issues with the Siri and Cortana, and we will wrap up this series on the protective measures that you can take and the future implications of using VPAs.

28 thoughts on “Virtual Personal Assistants – Pt. 5

  1. Great information here about the VPA contana. Always giving out free information as the best Los Angeles Computer Company. Waiting for your next post

  2. I think assistants are needed specially more so on a Computer Company. Now virtual assistant? Well I guess but it will always require human intervention. Iron man AI are not a thing yet.

  3. Nice post on VPA, Be Structured Technology. It will be all up to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide the Security mechanisms to safeguard the Virtual Servers in which the conversations reside upon. For the best ISP, you need the service of Los Angeles MSP

  4. The Virtual Personal Assistant sounds interesting..You guys are not only giving IT Service but information.. but truth be told,I can’t trust the VPA with my personal information.. I’d rather do the shopping myself

  5. It’s really good that the Los Angeles IT Service community has come together in the release of these new Virtual Private Assistants and detail what it can do for them in the long run. It really is a very convenient new technology to have around.

  6. We can only understand the role played by virtual personal assistant by reading write-ups like this from the experts. This is a valuable one Los Angeles IT Support team. This is very informative.

  7. Way to go the only Los Angeles MSP provider that can give all the information we need to know about virtual personal assistant. I have learned a lot here.

  8. Well I do not do shopping at all. Unless you count online? However, I am not that busy that I need an assistant to do so. That said,I think IT Service & Support already takes that role. I am not exactly in charge of a company so yeah.

  9. It good to have a virtual personal assistant, even shopping can be done in no time too. To know about this one can partner with this Los Angeles IT Service company and get everything to straighten out.

  10. As it has been described BeStructured Technology Group and Los Angeles Computer Company, the Virtual Personal Assistant is literally trying to be a part of our everyday lives, and in a way, even trying to be a “part of the family”, which shows we are covered 100%. VPA is as good as we are still alive. Thanks for this great post.

  11. Virtual Personal Assistants as an IT Service are still prone to a lot of security risks as laid out in this write-up. They should be made more secure and trustworthy.

  12. A company that adopts use of VPAs should have their IT Service and Support teams work hard to ensure maximum security and privacy. The cyber attackers have gotten very sophisticated in the modern world.

  13. VPAs can be extremely useful especially to a Computer Company that is looking to make its operations more fluid and efficient. However, caution should be practiced when using them as the security concerns are still too many.

  14. For the less tech savvy, it is wise to do some IT Consulting before incorporating the use of VPAs. This can help one make an informed decision as to whether they need a VPA or not given the associated security and privacy risks.

  15. If you want to be equipped better before the use of VPA then use this Los Angeles Computer Company. It will aid you all the way to know all you need to know about VPA

  16. I agree not everyone is tech savvy so IT Outsourcing is a must. Think of it as a second opinion to prevent further issues. May it be VPA or otherwise. After all we are not use to this feature yet.

  17. The ideal of Virtual Personal Assistant is pretty cool and good. Any IT Outsourcing in Los Angeles not in compliance with this, is missing out stuffs. Thanks for this post Los Angeles Managed Service Provider.

  18. Virtual personal assistants are really fascinating and the job pays well. I wanted to be one but I don’t where and how to start. I’ve read the whole article and learned so much from it. You need to have an idea at least especially when you are a virtual assistant for an IT Services person.

  19. Obviously there are pros and cons to having a virtual personal assistant. Having reliable IT Outsourcing is a good way to manage this technology safely and efficiently for online services and practical use.

  20. Given the huge security risks associated with use of VPAs, IT Consulting is necessary before starting to use them. This can help fully inform you on everything you need to know before using VPAs.

  21. The IT Service and Support teams in an organization should always be aware of the latest changes and security concerns with regards to VPAs. This way they can be an asset to their company and provide much needed advice.

  22. The privacy concerns should be an issue to any Computer Company that considers the use of a VPA. The security of VPAs is still wanting as it is.

  23. Part of the IT Services that should be provided in a company that uses VPAs is regular and consistent security checks and upgrades. It’s the best way of ensuring that their systems are always secure and safe from cyber attackers.

  24. A Los Angeles Managed Service Provider like Be Structured is well suited to help a company or individuals on the best way to go about the privacy and security issues associated with Virtual Personal Assistants. Yo can never go wrong with the professionals.

  25. IT services must always be a top priority. The cloud is one of the most important thing. It mainly has everything a computer company has.

  26. I can definitely see a future with this but just not now. For one IT Service & Support are still handled by human hands so going virtual might be a stretch. Give it a 100 years more and you may have a point but now no!!!

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