May 21, 2018

Kaspersky Lab shifts customer data out of Russian Federation

15 May 2018, 04:45 | Melvin Schneider

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Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab has confirmed plans to build a data centre in Switzerland in an effort to allay Western national security concerns about its anti-virus software.

"The data of our customers from the U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Australia will henceforth be stored and processed in Switzerland".

This move is a part of a larger plan that the company had announced in October 2017, called the Global Transparency Initiative.

The move from Russian Federation comes months after the USA's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an order that banned Kaspersky Lab products from being used by federal agencies.

In a statement, Kaspersky Lab said it would will relocate its "software build conveyer" - a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software from source code - to Zurich.

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russian Federation to Switzerland.

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Kaspersky Lab hoping to have the transition completed by the end of next year. Through this initiative, the company promised to allow third parties to review the its source code and conduct independent reviews of its internal processes, as well as creating a trio of brick-and-mortar "transparency centers" to facilitate these reviews.

The idea had first been mooted in March this year, and the Swiss facility The facility is to be one of a series of "transparency centres" located around the world, and will be used to collect and analyse files identified as suspicious from the computers of tens of millions of Kaspersky customers based in the United States and European Union. The Transparency Center will showcase the history of Kaspersky Lab products and, by extension, the company's commitment to protection.

Opening the Swiss data centre is the latest effort by Kaspersky, a global leader in anti-virus software, to parry accusations by the US government and others that it spies on customers at the behest of Russian intelligence.

In addition, companies which work with the defence ministry and other vital services are also being advised to stop using the software, the minister said.

"In a rapidly changing industry such as ours we have to adapt to the evolving needs of our clients, stakeholders and partners", said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab. 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. "We believe these two qualities make Switzerland the flawless place to move part of our sensitive infrastructure".

"We believe such action will become a global trend for cyber security, and that a policy of trust will catch on across the industry as a key basic requirement".

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