Kaspersky launches initiative to build trust
Global Transparency Initiative to address concerns about close relations with Russian intelligence
Kaspersky Lab has announced an independent review of its source code and other initiatives to build trust to combat claims of close links with Russian intelligence agency the FSB.
In July, unnamed US government sources, said that the Trump administration was considering removing Kaspersky from approved government purchasing lists, over fears that Russian intelligence could use Kaspersky products to spy on users. Kaspersky denied the claims.
In response, Kaspersky has launched a Global Transparency Initiative, which it says will "engage the broader information security community and other stakeholders in validating and verifying the trustworthiness of its products, internal processes, and business operation".
The initiative will include an independent review of Kaspersky product source code; independent assessment of the company's secure development lifecycle processes, and its software and supply chain risk mitigation; more controls over the company's data processing practices; and the increase of bug bounty rewards to encourage engagement with independent security researchers.
Kaspersky will also open three ‘Transparency Centres', planned for Europe, Asia and the US, where customers, trusted partners and government stakeholders will be able to access reviews on the company's code, software updates, and threat detection rules to address any issues with the products.
The company will also work with stakeholders to determine the nature of the second phase of the initiative, starting in first half of next year.
Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: "Internet balkanization benefits no one except cybercriminals. Reduced cooperation among countries helps the bad guys in their operations, and public-private partnerships don't work like they should. The internet was created to unite people and share knowledge. Cybersecurity has no borders, but attempts to introduce national boundaries in cyberspace is counterproductive and must be stopped.
"We need to re-establish trust in relationships between companies, governments and citizens. That's why we're launching this Global Transparency Initiative: we want to show how we're completely open and transparent. We've nothing to hide. And I believe that with these actions we'll be able to overcome mistrust and support our commitment to protecting people in any country on our planet."