US Prepares to Ban Kaspersky Software
US Prepares to Ban Kaspersky Software

The United States has outlawed using Kaspersky software, citing national security reasons. This, all told, speaks to a growing anxiety about what cybersecurity threats may lurk from foreign firms — in cahoots with adversarial nations or not. A Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky, has been in the spotlight for the past several years based on allegations that it is compromised and even a front for potential espionage on behalf of the Russian government. As much as Kaspersky continues to deny any wrongdoings, the U.S. government has opted to remain cautious regarding its sensitive information.

The move came after months of reviews by U.S. intelligence agencies that raised concerns about the risks posed by Kaspersky’s products. Those concerns are not entirely new, with fomenting worries turning to action in recent months in the form of restrictions on the use of Kaspersky software in several governmental agencies. The concern is that Kaspersky software could be utilized as a tool for cyber espionage, through which classified or sensitive information might be left vulnerable to malicious actors.

To this, Kaspersky Lab and its parent firm have always stated that they work with independence and stringent ethical policies. The company has endeavored to raise the bar on transparency by moving core infrastructure to Switzerland and opening transparency centers where independent review of source code can be realized. However, this was not convincing enough for U.S. officials, as skepticism of an increased risk overshadowed the potential good from this opportunity.

The ban is part of a bigger plan to decrease cybersecurity threats from abroad. Also, it has been the request of the U.S. government towards private companies and other organizations to reflect on the potential security ramifications of the use of soft and hard wares made in foreign countries. This extends beyond the scope of Kaspersky but to other firms, mainly from countries like China, that are also seen as posing potential threats in cyberspace.

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