May 27, 2018

Kaspersky Lab to Open Swiss Datacenter in Bid to Rebuild Trust

15 May 2018, 04:37 | Lucia Cruz

Kaspersky to move user data to new Swiss centre by end-2019

Kaspersky to make life easier for partners with transparency plans

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab plans to open a data centre in Switzerland by the end of next year to help address Western government concerns that Russian Federation exploits its anti-virus software to spy on customers.

Kaspersky announced today that it is moving most of its customers' user data and the software development process to the "Transparency Center" in Switzerland.

Kaspersky Lab was quoted as saying by Reuters that part of the new facility would be based in Zurich, and the company had chosen Switzerland for its "policy of neutrality" and strong data protection laws.

Chief executive Eugene Kaspersky said: "In a rapidly changing industry such as ours we have to adapt to the evolving needs of our clients, stakeholders and partners".

The Department of Homeland Security a year ago banned federal agencies from using Kaspersky software because Russia's intelligence agencies could force the company to help spy on its customers. "We believe these two qualities make Switzerland the flawless place to move part of our sensitive infrastructure".

In it he warned the Russian Federation has an active offensive cyber programme focused on Dutch interests and pointed out that Kaspersky is a Russian company, headquartered in Russia and so subject to Russian legislation.

The information will instead now be stored on Kaspersky Lab's new data centre in Zurich, which was revealed back in March.

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The so-called Transparency Center will house servers which contain the data on Kaspersky customers from Europe, Australia, South Korea, North America, Japan, and Singapore.

Western security officials say Russia's FSB Federal Security Service, successor to the Soviet-era KGB, exerts influence over Kaspersky management decisions, though the company has repeatedly denied those allegations.

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its "software build conveyer" - a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code.

As part of the move, the company's products and anti-virus threat detection rule databases will be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide.

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.

In September 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also demanded US state agencies and departments to stop using Kaspersky Lab products due to their potential threat to US cybersecurity. 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.

Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab said on Tuesday it was moving its core infrastructure and operations to Switzerland after being accused by Western authorities of helping the Russian government to spy on its users.

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