Russian Software “Protecting” Government Data
As we know, Kaspersky is a Russian-based security company that provides anti-virus software for home, enterprise and government use. Years ago, Kaspersky was approved by the GSA, an administration in charge for vetting government contracts, to sell their software to government agencies. According to Buzzfeed, the first U.S. government agency to use Kaspersky’s software took place in 2008. Since, the use of Kaspersky security software, within U.S. government agencies, has grown exponentially. It has grown so much, that U.S. officials are unable to identify the extent of its use due to the Kaspersky platform being integrated into various other software programs.
The concerns with using this particular security solution are the alleged ties between the company and the Russian government. Security solutions have access to essentially everything on your computer. They have to, to keep the data secure. Knowing U.S. government agencies are using Russian based software, which potentially has access to every piece of information stored within the servers and endpoints, is concerning to say the least.
Although Kaspersky’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky adamantly denies any ties to his country’s government, U.S. officials question his honesty. A Department of Defense representative stated,
“We have seen the problems that can arise by giving contractors access to sensitive systems, I think the US government needs to think long and hard about which type of contractors it outsources work to in the cybersecurity realm.”
When General Keith Alexander, former director of the NSA, was asked if he would use Kaspersky’s security software on his devices, he said,
“I wouldn’t, you shouldn’t either.”
According to BuzzFeed, U.S. officials will be working to determine the extent of Kaspersky’s use for cyber security protection within government agencies. They will also be working toward removing the company from the list of approved government contracts.
Perhaps they should find a security company that is researched, developed and supported in the U.S…