Having been banned from use by US government agencies and facing possible sanctions against their products in the country, Kaspersky has been in a titanic fight to assert its neutrality. In their latest move towards doing so, the cybersecurity giant has adapted its infrastructure to move several core processes from Russia to Switzerland.
First announced by the company in late 2017, Kaspersky’s Global Transparency Initiative has been intended to reflect its commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. Despite facing resistance most strongly in the US market, Kaspersky believes that the issue runs deeper and must be addressed.
In a statement released recently, Kaspersky said that the move reflects the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. It further stated that trust is essential in cybersecurity, and that it understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.
“In a rapidly changing industry such as ours we have to adapt to the evolving needs of our clients, stakeholders and partners. Transparency is one such need, and that is why we’ve decided to redesign our infrastructure and move our data processing facilities to Switzerland. We believe such action will become a global trend for cybersecurity, and that a policy of trust will catch on across the industry as a key basic requirement,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab.
The move towards Switzerland involves core processes including customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.
The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for several regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Centre.
- By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data centre in Zurich to store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow.
- The company will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code.
- By end 2018, Kaspersky products and threat detection rule databases will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland.
- A dedicated Transparency Centre that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year to allow access to the source code of Kaspersky products.
- Data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code will be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews
To date, despite the moves by the US government, no firm evidence has been produced on allegations of Kaspersky ties to the Kremlin. In fact, going by history Kaspersky has showing integrity in its attitude towards Malware as a whole.
However, the company was notably successful in detecting several Malware thought to have originated from within the US including Stuxnet and Flame, both of which have been attributed to US governmental agencies.