Global cybersecurity firm opens first Transparency Center to better protect customer data

Recently, as part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab announced that it is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland and set up its first Transparency Center.

According to the company, the move is to adapt to the needs of an ultra-connected world in which people and organisations require greater transparency and trust. As announced in October 2017, the Global Transparency Initiative reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products.

“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 cybersecurity, and that a policy of trust will catch on across the industry as a key basic requirement,” said Mr Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab.

The company also stated in its press release that trust is essential in cybersecurity, and that it understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

To keep customer safe from existing, new and emerging threats, the company is redesigning its infrastructure and moving the location for where it stores and processes some of its data, and build new software, starting from 2018.

The relocation of data storage and processing includes customer data storage and processing for most regions such as Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility will store and process all information for users in these regions, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

The move includes software assembly and threat detection updates. Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ -- a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. By 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.

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will 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 cyberthreats.

To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. The independent third party is also based in Switzerland.  

Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity 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. The company also has plans to set up Transparency Centers in Asia and North America by 2020.

The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust.

As a leading global cybersecurity solutions provider, Kaspersky Lab has always been committed to the most trustworthy industry practices, including strong protection for transmitted data, strict internal policies for data access, ongoing security testing of its infrastructure, and more.

With this new set of measures, Kaspersky Lab aims to significantly improve the resilience of its IT infrastructure to any trust risk – even theoretical ones – and to increase its transparency to current and future clients as well as to the general public.

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