Kaspersky Lab tries to claw back trust with transparency initiative

The Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab wants to win back public trust that has been eroding amid fears that its popular software spies on USA interests for the Kremlin.

The US government suspects Kaspersky Lab of working with the Russian spy agency and in September the Department of Homeland Security ordered US agencies using Kaspersky products to remove and replace them.

With this initiative, Kaspersky Lab will engage the broader information security community and other stakeholders in validating and verifying the trustworthiness of its products, internal processes, and business operations, as well as introducing additional accountability mechanisms by which the company can further demonstrate that it addresses any security issues promptly and thoroughly. A separate independent assessment of Kaspersky Lab's secure development lifecycle processes and its software and supply chain risk mitigation strategies will take place in parallel. The report alleged the files were identified through the firm's antivirus software. The behaviour of the software can be and needs to be altered by updates.

The company also promised three "transparency centers" in the U.S., Europe and Asia, to allow clients and governments to review its code and the rules it uses to detect threats. More than that, Kaspersky (the company) says it will boost its bug bounty program payouts dramatically, from $5,000 up to $100,000.

Now Kaspersky Lab is hitting back with what it calls a "comprehensive transparency initiative", created to win back people's trust.

The Trump administration decision represented a sharp response to what USA intelligence agencies have described as a national security threat posed by Russian Federation in cyberspace, following a U.S. election year marred by allegations that Moscow weaponised the internet in an attempt to influence its outcome.

Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab has issued a statement concerning the recent allegations made by the USA government, accusing the company of espionage.

"Kaspersky Lab is announcing the launch of its Global Transparency Initiative as part of its ongoing commitment to protecting customers from cyberthreats, regardless of their origin or goal". We've nothing to hide.

Industry reaction has been mixed.

Kaspersky Lab's Global Transparency Initiative is a reaffirmation of the company's commitment to earning and maintaining the trust of the company's customers and partners every day.

"This is particularly relevant to security companies whose software often runs with high privileges".

Kaspersky is calling this a "global transparency initiative", although it hasn't yet named the outside reviewers that it will employ.

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