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Lithuania Bans Kaspersky Lab Software in Critical Infrastructure

Lithuania's government has requested the removal of Kaspersky Lab antivirus software from computers that control critical infrastructure, according to Reuters. The ban comes after Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) earlier this month issued a memo to warn government agencies not to use Russia-based cybersecurity products like Kaspersky Lab on classified networks.

The Lithuanian government views Kaspersky Lab as a "potential threat" to national security, according to a prepared statement. It reviewed information from intelligence and partner sources before issuing the ban, a government spokesperson said, and concluded that information from computers using Kaspersky Lab software can leak into other countries.

Lithuania's ban on Kaspersky Lab software applies to computers used to manage energy, finance and other critical infrastructure, Reuters reported. The country's government agencies can continue to use Kaspersky Lab software if their computers are not deemed sensitive.

Kaspersky Lab disagrees with Lithuania's decision to ban its software, the company told Reuters. It also is considering options to challenge the decision.

Kaspersky Lab Appeals Homeland Security Ban

Kaspersky Lab this week appealed a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision that bans the use of the company’s products in federal agencies. The company asserts the DHS ban is "unconstitutional and relied on subjective, non-technical public sources" and claims DHS "failed to provide adequate due process to rebut the unsubstantiated allegations."

DHS banned Kaspersky Lab software on federal systems in September. Since that time, Best BuyOffice Depot and Staples removed the software company’s antivirus products from their store shelves.

Kaspersky Lab in October launched a global transparency initiative in response to the DHS ban. The initiative emphasizes the use of independent reviews of Kaspersky Lab source code and internal processes, development of transparency centers around the globe and rewards for vulnerabilities found in the company's products.

Despite the Lithuania and U.S. government bans, Kaspersky Lab's worldwide sales are projected to increase 9 percent year over year and reach $700 million in 2017, CEO Eugene Kaspersky told Reuters. Comparatively, Kaspersky Lab's U.S. sales are expected to decline "less than 10 percent" this year, Kaspersky indicated.

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.