Department of Homeland Security Files Binding Operating Directive 17-01 Leading Kaspersky to Take Action
Earlier this month, President Trump signed into law the Binding Operating Directive 17-01 (BOD). The BOD called for a ban of Kaspersky Labs products on U.S. government devices. Throughout this year, concerns have risen regarding potential ties between the Russian government and Russian-based security program.
The concerns stem from various components including:
- Company CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, attended a high school that trained Russian spies
- Company’s CEO has a history with the Soviet Army, including writing a security program for them
- Russian Communications Minister made threats against American software and hardware companies, if the U.S. Congress were to ban the security solution from government devices
- Putin began encouraging Russians to use Russian-based security solutions, due to potential security risks of using programs developed overseas
Regardless of the allegations, or suggested evidence supporting ties between Kaspersky and the KGB, the U.S. government has not released a statement or solid proof of such. Along with the lack of evidence provided, the company is also claiming they were not allowed due process. Therefore, the company is now suing the Department of Homeland Security over the BOD.
Although the U.S. government only accounts for .03% of total Kaspersky sales, there are concerns this ban will result in additional loss of sales throughout the United States.
Since these allegations have been brought to light, Office Depot and Staples have dropped Kaspersky Labs products from their product line offered in-stores and online. Beyond losing retail space, the company has also reported a significant uptake in refund requests and early termination requests.