Kaspersky to Move Data of Most Users From Russia to Switzerland

Kaspersky Lab says it is transferring its core infrastructure and operations from Russia to SwitzerlandMore

Kaspersky Lab says it is transferring its core infrastructure and operations from Russia to SwitzerlandMore

Kaspersky Lab has announced it is moving a number of its core processes out of Russian Federation and in to Switzerland as it looks to be more transparent.

Next year, it is looking to build its first transparency centre in Zurich, where it will store and process data for users based not just in Europe, but also North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Reuters first reported the plans in March, citing company documents which said Kaspersky Lab was setting up the centre in response to moves in the United States, Britain and Lithuania past year to stop using the company's products.

The Russian AV vendor has found itself at the center of a geopolitical storm after its products were banned for U.S. federal government use following reports that Russian intelligence used them to spy on targets.

The company, headquartered in Moscow, Russia, says the transition is part of the Global Transparency Initiative.

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Dutch justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus told MPs in a letter that the cabinet had chose to stop using anti-virus software produced by Kaspersky Lab, in order to guarantee national security. It all started when the United States government accused Kaspersky of working with the Russian Intelligence agencies. Kaspersky has strongly rejected the accusations and filed a lawsuit against the US ban.

The company has promised that by the end of 2019, customers based in Europe will have data stored and processed in Zurich, rather than Kaspersky's data centres in Moscow.

The bans affected Kaspersky's reputation in the private sector.

The move from Russian Federation comes months after the USA's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an order that banned Kaspersky Lab products from being used by federal agencies.

For its part, the Russian antivirus vendor is doing all it can to keep its name clean.

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The Russian firm has said it will relocate "a number of core processes" in the move, including customer data storage and processing for a number of its biggest regions, including the USA and UK.

"Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide".

In December, Barclays, one of Britain's big four banks, said it would stop distributing Kaspersky's anti-virus software for free to customers "as a precaution", after advice from the UK's MI6 intelligence agency.

"Storing [the Kaspersky Security Network data] in Switzerland under the supervision of an independent organization means that any access to this data is meticulously logged-and the logs can be reviewed at any moment should any concerns arise", Kaspersky said.

Earlier this month, the Dutch government said it would phase out the use of anti-virus software made by Kaspersky and advised companies that supplied critical services to follow suit.

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