As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.
This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. Kaspersky Lab is also arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.
The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, is Kaspersky Lab's response to U.S. alegations that the company has been using its popular products in order to collect critical data.
The United States last year ordered civilian government agencies to remove Kaspersky software from their networks. Kaspersky has strongly rejected the accusations and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. ban.
Western security officials say Russia's FSB Federal Security Service, successor to the Soviet-era KGB, exerts influence over Kaspersky management decisions, though the company has repeatedly denied those allegations.
The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the company's first Transparency Center.
By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and this facility will store and process all information for users in North America, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), a cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.
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. 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 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.
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. Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organization to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.
Commenting on the process move and transparency center opening, Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, 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 cybersecurity, and that a policy of trust will catch on across the industry as a key basic requirement."
Kaspersky Lab said it also plans to open similar centers in North America and Asia by 2020, but declined to provide any further details.