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Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:18

Kaspersky to move user data to new Swiss centre by end-2019

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Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab says by the end of 2019, data from users of its software in Australia, North America, Europe, Singapore, Japan and South Korea will be stored in a data centre in Zurich, with more countries to be added to this list.

The information was provided as part of the company's announcement that it would change its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland, which it said was part of a Global Transparency Initiative. A total of 60 staff are expected to operate at the new centre where 800 data servers are to be installed.

As iTWire  reported in March, the Swiss centre is being set up in order to avoid the constant allegations of spying from Western nations.

Kaspersky Lab software has been banned from use in the US public sector since September last year. Today the Netherlands announced a similar ban, while the UK's National Cyber Security Centre has advised agencies and organisations against using the software.

In a statement, Kaspersky Lab said it would will relocate its "software build conveyer" — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software from source code — to Zurich.

kaspersky swiss3

"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. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation, and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit," it said.

The company will also make available the source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Centre that would also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year.

"This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyber threats," the company statement said.

It added that arrangements were being made for data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews.

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"Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cyber security industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join," it added.

Kaspersky Lab chief executive Eugene Kaspersky said: “In a rapidly changing industry such as ours, we have to adapt to the evolving needs of our clients, stakeholders and partners. Transparency is one such need, and that is why we’ve decided to redesign our infrastructure and move our data processing facilities to Switzerland.

"We believe such action will become a global trend for cyber security, and that a policy of trust will catch on across the industry as a key basic requirement.”

Graphics: courtesy Kaspersky Lab

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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