I can’t say I am surprised to hear this. The US Government is banning Kaspersky. I was at a conference last month in Orlando with other managed service providers, and there was a whisper among my peers that Kaspersky had ties to the Russian Government. I’m not sure who believed it or who didn’t, but this move by the Department of Homeland Security is not a shocker to me. Could Kaspersky have ties? Maybe. Why not be safe than sorry?
First off, I am surprised that the US Government even used Kaspersky! I thought they would have used Sophos, or something similar. The US Government believes the company the Russian based company could be influenced by the Russian Government. This is because the laws in Russia that would allow spy agencies to compel Kaspersky to provide them with access to confidential information.
This is not something that has just been decided. For many months, there have been concerns about Kaspersky. Of course they escalated with the accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Last week, Best Buy pulled Kaspersky’s cyber security products from its shelves. I think this is just the beginning for Kaspersky.
Eugene Kaspersky is a mathematical engineer who attended a school sponsored by the Russian KGB. He also worked for the Russian Ministry of Defense. He has vehemently denied any ties to the Russian Government and is very disappointed in the DHS decision. He claims the allegations are unfounded. He is quoted as saying “Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will it help any government with cyberespoinage, or offensive cyber efforts” He also states that no evidence has been found linking Kaspersky to any security crimes.
What To Do
Well, it’s really up to the practice, or individual if you want to use Kaspersky. It’s really a great product, but if you feel like you are at risk. Simply remove it, and use something else. There are plenty to choose from.