MANILA, Philippines – Russian cybsecurity software developer Kaspersky Lab is moving a number of its core processes from Russia to Switzerland in an effort to earn trust among the cybersecurity community.
In a statement on Thursday, June 21, Kaspersky said the move would include "customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates."
The process would also be overseen by an independent third-party from Switzerland.
The Global Transparency Initiative
The move is part of Kaspersky's Global Transparency Initiative which came about in 2017. Kaspersky said the 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 move will include the establishment of a Zurich data center by the end of 2019. The facility "will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow."
Additionally, Kaspersky said it will relocate its "software build conveyer" to Zurich. This conveyer is a set of programming tools for the creation of ready-to-use software from source code. Moving it to Zurich means that before the end of the year, Kaspersky's products and antivirus databases will begin to be built and signed with a digital signature from Switzerland, to be verified by an independent organization.
The company acknowledged trust was essential in cybersecurity and that such trust is earned through appropriate actions that foster it.
As such, Kaspersky Lab added the source code of its products, and updates would be available for review through a dedicated transparency center in Switzerland, in addition to independent supervision of company actions by an independent third party that does technical software reviews.
In a statement, Anton Shingarev, Vice President for Public Affairs and Head of the CEO Office at Kaspersky Lab, said the cyber world was going through difficult times due to protectionism and balkanization, with cybercriminals benefiting from the chaos. "We believe that we need to address this new reality, and that is why we have announced the Global Transparency Initiative," he added.
“At this point in the history of cybersecurity, openness is crucial in forging transparent relationships and helping establish policies that would benefit each and all to be safe from cyber threats,” Shingarev went on to say.
The company is working toward this move as a means of regaining trust on the global stage. The US government banned the purchase of Kaspersky software due to reported ties with Russian intelligence firms.
The Wall Street Journal, in a report, said Russia exploited Kaspersky software in a National Security Agency contractor's computer to steal top secret materials from it.
Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.