Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Kaspersky Lab to shift United States customer data from Russian Federation to Switzerland

A visitor passes a Kaspersky Lab pavilion A visitor passes a Kaspersky Lab pavilion Krisztian Bocsi—Bloomberg via Getty Images
Theresa Hayes | 15 May, 2018, 14:17

Last October, the Moscow-headquartered company launched a worldwide transparency effort after the United States claimed that the company had given Russian security agencies backdoor access to secretive data.

The transition of systems and data will be overseen by an unnamed independent third party that is based in Switzerland.

The Transparency Center will be located in Zurich and will house servers that store data on Kaspersky customers across Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

May 15, 2018-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.

Kaspersky is required by Russian law to support the Russian security services and Russia has an offensive cyber programme which also targets the Netherlands, Grapperhaus said.

"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", Kaspersky Lab said.

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.

The Dutch government said it had chose to phase out the use of anti-virus software made by Kaspersky Labs "as a precautionary measure" and was advising companies involved in safeguarding vital services to do the same.

Kaspersky Lab plans to move core components of its infrastructure from Russian shores to Switzerland.

After announcing the relocation plans, the firm said it understands that "trust is not given" and that it "must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability". Eventually, the center will make the source code of Kaspersky products available for review by stakeholders. This supervision appears to extend beyond the move and into Kaspersky's future.

The justice minister said he's also advising companies in key sectors such as energy or telecoms to not use Kaspersky Lab siftware, as well as those subject to defence contract requirements.

With Russia rarely out the headlines for its alleged role in election meddling, Kaspersky is now looking to distance itself from its domestic troubles by moving some of its data storage and processing infrastructure to Switzerland - a country often considered to have some of the strongest data privacy regulations in the world.