Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Kaspersky plans to start storing its data in Switzerland

Kaspersky to make life easier for partners with transparency plans Kaspersky to move user data to new Swiss centre by end-2019
Deanna Wagner | 16 May, 2018, 12:09

Kaspersky will move a "good part" of its infrastructure out of Russian Federation to Switzerland in a bid to fix the damage caused by its tussle with the USA government.

This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates.

Kaspersky Lab expects to have established a data centre in Zurich by the end of 2019, which will house and process all the data from users in Australia, Europe, North America, Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

The move is part of the cyber security vendor's Global Transparency Initiative announced in October 2017.

The Department of Homeland Security past year banned federal agencies from using Kaspersky software because Russia's intelligence agencies could force the company to help spy on its customers.

Although Congress mandated the software be removed in its annual defense policy bill, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had already issued a directive last September ordering civilian agencies to expunge Kaspersky products from their systems by a December deadline.

According to the agency, Russian laws allows the Kremlin to potentially lean on Kaspersky Lab to perform cyberespionage and intercept communications connected to Russian networks.

The Russia-based anti-virus company has announced the opening of a facility in Zurich to dissolve the allegations of Western governments about the company's collaboration with Russian intelligence, a claim it has repeatedly denounced as groundless.

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The Global Transparency Initiative emerged from this situation and is Kaspersky's "ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products".

Anton Shingarev, Kaspersky Lab's VP for public affairs, told the Financial Times that the company needs to "show customers we are taking them seriously".

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.

Zurich will also become home to the company's so-called "software build conveyer", a set of programming tools that can be used to create easily deployable software.

The vendor said the move will be supervised by an independent third-party based in Switzerland.

'To increase our resilience to supply-chain risks and transparency to our clients, it's important to ensure that the source code reviewed in our Transparency Centre and the code actually compiled into products that are shipped to customers is the same code.

The company has chosen Switzerland, it says, because of its history of neutrality and its strong data protection legislation. After its software was banned by U.S. government agencies, abandoned by Barclays Bank in the United Kingdom and other customers, Kaspersky's hand was forced.