Content, Channel partners

Kaspersky Lab Appeals Homeland Security Ban of Antivirus Software

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky
Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab, the Russian antivirus and internet security software provider, is appealing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision that bans the use of the company's products in federal agencies.

In an appeal filed under the Administrative Procedure Act, Kaspersky Lab asserts the DHS ban is "unconstitutional and relied on subjective, non-technical public sources," according to a prepared statement. DHS also "failed to provide adequate due process to rebut the unsubstantiated allegations" or evidence of wrongdoing, the company said.

The company sent a letter to DHS in mid-July and offered to provide information about the company, its operations or its products, the business indicated.

DHS confirmed receipt of the company's letter in mid-August, the company noted, and expressed interest in future communications with the business regarding the matter.

However, the next communication from DHS to Kaspersky Lab was notification regarding the issuance of Binding Operational Directive 17-01 on September 13 to ban the company's software from federal systems, the business stated.

How Has the DHS Ban Affected Kaspersky Lab?

The DHS ban has affected the company's brand reputation and led the company to revamp its North America operations.

Best BuyOffice Depot and Staples have removed the software company's antivirus products from their store shelves following the DHS ban. Furthermore, Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) this month began urging government agencies to stop using Russia-based cybersecurity products like Kaspersky Lab on classified networks.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Wood, Kaspersky Lab’s head of corporate communications, has left the company. Kaspersky Lab also added former Microsoft executive Don Kaye as executive vice president of regional development in North America and channel veteran Jason Stein as VP of North America channel sales.

Kaspersky Lab's U.S. sales are expected to fall "less than 10 percent" in the aftermath of the DHS ban, CEO Eugene Kaspersky told Reuters in October. Conversely, the company is on pace to record $700 million in sales worldwide this year, which would represent a 9 percent year-over-year increase.

Introducing the Kaspersky Lab Global Transparency Initiative

Kaspersky Lab in October launched a global transparency initiative as part of its commitment to safeguard customers against cyberattacks. The initiative includes the following phases:

  • Perform an independent source code review starting in the first quarter of next year.
  • Conduct an independent review of Kaspersky Lab internal processes to verify the integrity of its solutions and operations.
  • Develop transparency centers across the globe. The first center will open next year, and three centers will be in place by 2020; these centers will be established in the United States, Europe and Asia.
  • Offer up to $100,000 for each vulnerability that is discovered in the company's products.

Kaspersky Lab provides security software for businesses, consumers, critical infrastructure and government agencies. Today, the company's products protect more than 400 million end users worldwide.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.