Kaspersky Lab to move core infrastructure from Russia to Switzerland
Company seeks to assure customers of trustworthiness of its products amid allegations of Russian government ties
Kaspersky Lab is to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland. The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of a Transparency Centre.
To ensure transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.
The move is part of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Transparency Initiative announced in October 2017, which seeks to assure customers of integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust, the company said.
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “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.”
Late last year, the US government signed legislation that bans the use of Kaspersky Lab products within the U.S. government, amid concerns it was vulnerable to Russian government influence. The Trump administration had in September directed civilian agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab software within 90 days. The US government alleges the company’s software represent a “grave risk” to U.S. national security.
By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data centre in Zurich and in this facility will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyber threat-related data.
Kaspersky Lab will also relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ -- a set of programming tools used to assemble ready-to-use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organization, and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.
The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Centre that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year.
Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.
As a global cybersecurity solutions provider, Kaspersky Lab says it has always been committed to the most trustworthy industry practices, including strong protection for transmitted data, strict internal policies for data access, ongoing security testing of its infrastructure, and more. With this new set of measures, Kaspersky Lab aims to improve the resilience of its IT infrastructure to any trust risk – even theoretical ones – and to increase its transparency to current and future clients as well as to the general public, the company adds.