Founded in 1997, Kaspersky provide a range of cyber-security software including anti-viruses, VPNs, ad-blocking, anti-phishing and more. The Russian-owned company has allegedly been in communications with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), and is responsible for providing them with real-time data collected from customers’ computers. Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) recently issued a warning against Russian cyber-security firm, Kaspersky, to halt purchases amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They advised users to switch to alternatives over fears that the firm could launch cyberattacks under the instructions of the Russian government.
"A Russian IT manufacturer can carry out offensive operations itself, be forced against its will to attack target systems, or be spied on as a victim of a cyber operation without its knowledge or as a tool for attacks against its own customers," the warning from the BSI stated.
Suspicions are also arising within the Italian government, due to fears that the Russian Government makes use of Kaspersky to hack websites and gain valuable data.
These concerns have not appeared out of nowhere. In September 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security banned Kaspersky Lab products from federal systems, claiming that the company had collaborated on secret projects with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). These previous sanctions on Kaspersky have had a significant impact on how we view Kaspersky’s products and may fuel other countries’ governments to start looking for alternative cyber-security products.
However, despite Kaspersky CEO Eugene Kaspersky's attempts to sway the media and European governments from seeking alternatives, his efforts may have been futile. This is due to one of his tweets, which drew criticism from fellow Twitter users for his choice of wording in relation to recent events. He tweeted out; "We welcome the start of negotiations to resolve the current situation in Ukraine and hope that they will lead to a cessation of hostilities and a compromise. We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument for resolving conflicts. War isn't good for anyone." Many Twitter users thought him referring to the invasion as a ‘current situation’ was a way to minimise the effects of Russia’s invasion. This caused people to question not only his stance on the war but also his company's philosophy.
With these concerns heightening over Europe, the question of; If Russia chooses to launch a cyber-attack, would you be comfortable with having Kaspersky as your cyber security provider?
How can Edmondson’s IT Services help?
With the possibility of Kaspersky's products posing a threat to consumers' computers, you may be looking for alternatives to keep you safe and secure. At Edmondson’s IT Services, we’ve partnered up with Symantec to provide you with one of the best anti-virus products on the market, Endpoint Protection. The powerful anti-virus software protects all of your devices and is continuously updating, allowing it to deal with any threats as soon as they arise. To find out more about Endpoint Protection, or to switch your anti-virus provider, contact us today!