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SLTMobitel reinvents the wheel with “Eazy Storage”

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Speaking of “Personal Cloud Storage” services while there are many around the globe with Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive leading from the front I don’t see anything wrong with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) the Self-declared National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider and the leading broadband and backbone infrastructure services provider of Sri Lanka, introducing their own Personal Cloud Storage Service. The issue arises when a service provider, primarily owned by the government of Sri Lanka, introduces a service that falls far short of what other industry competitors offer, let alone being able to compete with them. I call it “reinventing the wheel” because Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel have essentially rendered their cloud storage service, “Eazy Storage” redundant (if not obsolete) by not adhering to user requirements. Keep on reading to learn more.

Defective Signup Process

Nothing screams “disaster” when signing up for an online service when the signup process is defective. This is the first problem with Eazy Storage by SLTMobitel that I want to reveal. After signing up for the service I entered my payment card details and the card was rejected. I tried another which indicated the transaction was successful but later indicated the payment couldn’t be processed [screenshot]. I received an SMS alert from the card issuing bank informing the transaction was canceled. I decided to forget about it and closed the browser. Shortly afterward I received another alert saying the transaction was successful. I tried to log in and it worked. While I was looking around I received another SMS alert saying the transaction was cancelled [screenshot]. If the signup process is so defective I can imagine the quality of the service and the security of the data customers upload to the cloud.

PayHere Payment Gateway

The PayHere Online Payment Gateway became known around the world when it was hacked and Have I Been Pwned reported it although PayHere itself downplayed the incident and wasn’t transparent enough about the attack [details here]. There are many online payment gateway service providers in Sri Lanka whose services are much more reliable and secure. Such as Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank whose websites are hosted by SLTMobitel Cloud Services itself. Then why do you want to use a Payment Gateway from PayHere? Maybe it’s because Online Payment Gateways Provided by these banks don’t support automated recurring payments. Nevertheless, using a payment gateway service provider who downplayed a security breach and was not transparent enough about the incident cannot be excused.

Eazy Storage lacks 2FA

When providing sensitive online services such as cloud storage, it’s crucial to tackle security concerns from both the server and client perspectives. On the server side, this entails aspects like implementing network firewalls, while on the client side, it involves incorporating security measures like Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). In the current landscape of digital threats, 2FA plays a critical role in safeguarding information stored in the cloud against client-side attacks, including social engineering, phishing attempts, and brute-force attacks. It’s worth highlighting that the absence of 2FA in “Eazy Storage” exposes data at rest to potential vulnerabilities. The SLTMobitel Network has been compromised before and it’s not clear whether or not the data at rest is encrypted either. (I did not receive a clear answer although I inquired sometime back). Not supporting a basic security feature such as 2FA is a sure sign of a substandard service.

Primitive User Interface

I place an immense emphasis on the significance of a user interface (UI) personally. Thus, upon my initial encounter with my freshly acquired Eazy Storage Account, my astonishment was palpable. Having previously engaged with renowned personal cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and iCloud, the Eazy Storage service’s UI struck me as profoundly lacking. Its presentation harkened back to the aesthetics of the early 1990s, exuding a strikingly dull and unprofessional aura, to put it mildly [screenshot]. In stark contrast to the sleek, contemporary designs and intuitive layouts of its competitors, Eazy Storage’s user interface presented a jarring juxtaposition. Its dated appearance not only failed to engage but also raised questions about the platform’s commitment to keeping pace with modern user expectations.

Ignoring the Competition

It’s common knowledge that Sri Lankans were already onboard with personal cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and iCloud long before SLTMobitel introduced Eazy Storage. The engineers of SLTMobitel could have drawn inspiration from such services into account when they planned Eazy Storage a half-baked personal cloud storage service. Will you believe me if I tell you the user interface is even using poor English? [screenshot] Eazy Storage was known as SLT Storage before SLTMobitel rebranded it in the year 2021. The establishment had told local and foreign media that; “the enhanced service is in response to the immense potential in the cloud space and will be offering customers the ultimate cloud solution with a robust and cutting-edge user interface for cloud applications.” However, nothing has changed except the brand.

Wrap Up

The Eazy Storage service has desktop clients as well as apps for Android and iOS that users can take advantage of to synchronize files between the cloud and their local devices. However, I didn’t even bother to test them because the initial expression of the web app left a very poor impression on me. If I speak candidly I don’t even know why SLTMobitel is still keeping this so-called cloud storage service alive. Unlike other well-known cloud storage services that allow us to cancel the subscription in one click, I had to call the SLTMobitel Help Desk and wait for more than 15 minutes to cancel my subscription to Eazy Storage. This was owing to a bug in the PayHere Payment Gateway which did not allow me to disable automatic renewal! [screenshot] Additionally, I cannot cancel the initial test account I created because the system claims my username doesn’t exist. However, it also tells me I can’t use that same username to create a new account because it already exists.

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