Facing international pressure and lost business, Kaspersky moves critical infrastructure to Switzerland
Months after the U.S. government severed ties with Kaspersky products, the Russian-based software company announced it will move most of its infrastructure to Zurich, according to a company announcement.
Kaspersky is moving its assembly line to Switzerland, including the "compilation and creation" of its products and updates. Products will be stamped by third-party Swiss supervisors before they're shipped to international customers. Additionally, the cybersecurity firm's servers responsible for its Security Network data will move to Zurich, according to the announcement.
- The Switzerland location will be home to Kaspersky's first "Transparency Center," as part of its Global Transparency Initiative announced in October. Kaspersky is "open[ing] up its source code" and updates of its software and updates to its AV databases, to be analyzed by third-party researchers and audits, said CEO Eugene Kaspersky, in a blog post. The other two Transparency Centers will be in Asia and the U.S.
Kaspersky Lab is trying to distance itself from its Russian roots following heavy backlash from the U.S. government and other customers last fall.
The Department of Homeland Security introduced a ban on Kaspersky Lab software across federal agencies in September. The FBI, among other investigators, accused the software firm of having direct connection to the Kremlin.
Fearing espionage, the U.S. government enacted a three month grace period for agencies to clean their systems of the software. The cybersecurity software has since been plagued by suspicion, though Kaspersky has denied any foul play. The software is reportedly a gateway for Russian hackers to invade a system.
However, Best Buy and Office Depot were among U.S.-based companies offering customers free exchanges for Kaspersky products following the espionage allegations. Discontinued sales of Kaspersky software for public consumption was the result of congressional recommendation, though not required.
While no universal ban across the private sector has not been implemented, it has been encouraged. Any company is susceptible to a data breach and maintaining software that could potentially make such a breach easier for hackers is not worth the risk.
Follow Samantha Ann Schwartz on Twitter