UK Government piles on the anti-Kaspersky bandwagon

Ban on Russian anti-virus software in government

Avoid using anti-virus software linked to Russia, warns cybersecurity expert

On Friday, the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a new guidance for how the country's various ministries should closely manage their use of antivirus software supplied by a foreign nation, such as Russia's Kaspersky Lab.

Ciaran Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), described Russian Federation as a "highly capable cyber threat actor" that was prepared to use espionage and disruption against the UK.

The guidance continued: "We will be transparent about the outcome of those discussions with Kaspersky Lab and we will adjust our guidance if necessary in the light of any conclusions".

"It's also important to note that the NCSC is not encouraging consumers or businesses against using Kaspersky Lab software from this sentence: "...we see no compelling case at present to extend that advice to wider public sector, more general enterprises, or individuals".

A spokesman for Kaspersky told IBTimes UK the company was very "disappointed" that Barclays had discontinued its offer to its customers.

Prime Minister Theresa May said last month that Russian Federation was "weaponizing information" and meddling in elections to undermine the global order.

The Register has sought comment from Kaspersky Labs on the National Cyber Security Centre's decision and Barclays' actions and will update this story if we receive any information.

In September, the USA government barred federal agencies from using Kaspersky products because of concerns about the company's ties to the Kremlin and Russian spy operations.

Ciaran Martin's warning comes after the United States government banned the use of Kaspersky software on its computer systems, but the United Kingdom security director says that talks are underway with Kaspersky Lab with a view to setting up a review process for its software.

In another post, NCSC security expert Ian Levy reminded staff that while foreign hackers pose a threat, the biggest security risk remained out-of-date software, poorly configured networks, and loss of passwords.

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