Kaspersky Lab has announced that it is moving some of its core infrastructure from Russia to Switzerland.
The relocation is part of the company’s latest attempt to allay fears that the Kaspersky anti-virus company can be coerced by the Kremlin to spy on customers - fuelled by recommendations from the US, UK, and now Dutch governments that the software not be used.
The new facility in Zurich will act as a so-called “transparency centre”, allowing Kaspersky’s software and threat detection updates to be “compiled and signed in Switzerland under the supervision of a third-party organization before being distributed to customers.”
In addition, Kaspersky Security Network servers that store and process data in the cloud on behalf of Kaspersky customers in Europe, North America, and other countries, will be based in Zurich.
Building a data centre in Switzerland will cost Kaspersky millions of dollars, but it will be money well spent if it succeeds in dispelling concerns about the software.
That, of course, is a big “if”.
I can’t help but feel sorry for Kaspersky Lab. A reputation that took them over 20 years to build up is being damaged by rumours that aren’t supported by any publicly-shared evidence of wrong-doing.
I don’t know how or if Kaspersky Lab can successfully convince everyone that they can be trusted, but shifting their core infrastructure to Switzerland certainly won’t do them any harm at all.
For what it’s worth, I haven’t seen anything which makes me think that it’s any more dangerous to run Kaspersky’s security software than any other major anti-virus product.