The problem of cybersecurity is gaining momentum every year. Not only ordinary users but also business owners and even government bodies are at risk of leakage of private information. Antiviruses are used to ensure proper protection of confidential data. There is a lot of good free antivirus in the US software market. The top 5 includes the well-known antivirus Kaspersky Lab; however, they have not developed good relations with the US government.
Donald Trump Has Banned the use of Kaspersky
Two years ago, Donald Trump issued a directive according to which all bodies of the American government should get rid of Kaspersky software. Also this year, the law began to apply, and it prohibits the use of Kaspersky Lab software for commercial contractors and IT service providers for government agencies.
The Magnitude of the Problem
Even though the first directive came into force a long time ago, nowadays, US government units and their contractors can not remove the antivirus software of this antivirus company from their computers. According to statistics and research conducted by Expanse employees, today, the Russian antivirus is used in at least two government military networks, about 7 civilian government networks, as well as 14 contractors performing military contracts.
One explanation for this problem is that government networks are too complex, and merely removing the antivirus is not enough, the residual files may remain even when the antivirus software is completely deactivated. Former CIA analyst Tim Junio (and concurrently the owner of the cybersecurity company Expanse) stated this. In his opinion, Kaspersky’s products can be embedded in other software and even equipment operating in government networks.
Therefore, two years later, this problem remains unresolved, and the US government needs to direct all efforts to complete what has been started. “As long as Kaspersky Lab software is present in government systems, they are vulnerable to foreign invasion,” said New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
What Caused Such a Policy Against Kaspersky Lab?
Such a fight began when one of the employees in the government worked on his PC with Kaspersky Anti-Virus installed. Antivirus software responded to the presence of a malicious program being tested by an employee and uploaded it to Kaspersky Security Network (KSN). Thus, the secret information was sent to the server of Kaspersky Lab.
Although the head of the company ordered to delete the received files, the incident became known to third parties. They turned out to be Israeli special services, which just at that time were able to carry out a successful attack on the company’s network using the Duqu-2 Trojan.
Just after that, US lawmakers ordered the removal of Kaspersky Lab products from government agencies in the country. The head of the company even announced his readiness to provide the source codes of his software to the American authorities for verification. In 2018, the Netherlands also abandoned Kaspersky products, and Lithuania expressed its doubts about the level of security provided.
Kaspersky Lab almost immediately responded to Trump’s actions. A trial was held in the USA, but it was not possible to prove its position. Since 2018, the company began to open “transparency centers” – organizations that were supposed to demonstrate the safety of the Kaspersky Lab software to the whole world. In the spring of 2018, the company announced the transfer of user data processing, including that received from users from North America, from Russia to neutral Switzerland. Kaspersky Lab still asserts its rights and pursues a policy to improve security.
Growth Contrary to the Ban
Despite such a big scandal between the US government and Kaspersky Lab, their share in the international market remains significantly high. According to OPSWAT, an information security company, the Russian company holds 7.34% of the global antivirus software market for Windows. Symantec Corporation has the largest market share (13.02%), while Intel McAfee and ESET have 12.67% and 12.37%, respectively. They also provide quality and free products with a high degree of protection and encryption.
While government authorities are pushing Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software out of their networks by all means, the demand among ordinary American and European users is growing.