Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab announced recently it will start moving its ops and infrastructure to Switzerland and that, to show its integrity and transparency, the relocation will be managed by a third party.
The move follows a loss of confidence in its antivirus software by several major governments. In December 2017 the US federal government and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre banned the use of Kaspersky software in its government departments. Now the Dutch government has announced its intention to phase out the antivirus software from its own government departments in the interests of national security. The common fear is that Russian intelligence agencies have been using Kaspersky’s software to spy on computers globally.
By choosing a neutral country such as Switzerland in which to base itself, Kaspersky will have a better chance of proving its commitment to cyber security. It will also be in a better position to show its compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and avoid sanctions for non-compliance in terms of how personal data is collected, stored and shared.
Non compliance with data protection and privacy law becomes as much a reputational as a financial burden. Kaspersky’s move alone will cost the lab upwards of $12-million, but it won’t repair the trust and revenue it has lost and the scepticism of future governments, partners and clients.
Indeed the firm is in crisis, and it’s a perfect example of how damaging a breach of trust can be. Every company – small, large and medium-sized – has an obligation, not only to itself but to all its clients, to protect the data it holds and uses, and thus preserve its own reputation and, ultimately, financial health.
How secure is your business?
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