Is Kaspersky a Safe Cybersecurity Option?
In a recent interview with CBS News, White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce suggested that there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals keeping the country safe from cyber threats and vulnerabilities. As such, Joyce recommended that the public should avoid using products and services from Kaspersky Lab. The Moscow-based cybersecurity company offers businesses and individuals antivirus and internet security protection software. However, U.S. officials believe that Kaspersky possesses ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence. Kaspersky boasts more than 400 million users throughout the world, including many local and state governments. The U.S. government has already declared that it is no longer using Kaspersky’s products and services, and fears that anybody who uses them is unknowingly providing Russian intelligence with valuable information. Kaspersky has denied allegations about its involvement with the Kremlin. However, the company is registered with the Russian intelligence agency Federal Security Service (FSB). Further, its founder, Eugene Kaspersky, served in Russia’s Ministry of Defense and is a graduate of a Russian intelligence computer science school.
Joyce and other U.S. officials are concerned that antivirus software packages Kaspersky offers could provide the Russian government with private information on its users, instead of protecting them from malicious activity. "I worry that as a nation state Russia really hasn't done the right things for this country and they have a lot of control and latitude over the information that goes to companies in Russia,” explained Joyce. While it’s unclear whether Kaspersky Lab does engage in malicious activity on behalf of the Russian government, it’s always important for users to know the reputation of the cyber protection companies and its software. Customers should always thoroughly research and understand the software they download onto any device.