US blocks usage of Russian cyber security software

Federal agencies in the US have been banned from using security software from Russian company Kaspersky Lab.


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The US government has given agencies up to 90 days to identify, uninstall and replace the software amid concerns about the relationship between Kaspersky Lab and the Russian government.

Keeping information secure

Security software comes in different shapes and forms depending on the systems they are protecting, but they all have the same goal: keeping files and information safe from cybercriminals.

For example, endpoint security solutions, as defined by Techopedia, make sure that the endpoints, such as laptops, mobiles, or any other device trying to access a network, have the correct authorisation and administrative rights before granting them access. Often used as a component of a larger IT security strategy, this type of solution, obtained from vendors like, is commonly used to control malware threats and unauthorised access.

The concerns raised by the US government are that ties between officials at Kaspersky and the Russian government pose a risk that the Kaspersky security software could be used to open a back door through which federal information could be accessed. The Department of Homeland Security said in its statement that there was a concern that under Russian law, Russian intelligence agencies could force Kaspersky to assist them and that this would have a direct impact on US security.


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Chilly relations

Kaspersky Lab has denied any ties with the Russian government and said that the concerns about how Russian regulations might affect them are based on a misinterpretation of Russian law. Kaspersky said the law did not affect them as it applied to ISP or telecommunication companies. The company then went on to voice its concern about being considered guilty until proven innocent.

However, Mr. R. David Edelman, who works at MIT’s Internet Policy Research Initiative, said that the Departmant of Homeland Security’s decision was serious enough that it couldn’t have been made without there being some form of hard evidence of security exposure behind it. He suggested that it indicated that relations between the US and Russia have entered a chilly period. He also noted that this decision could prompt US companies to be wary of co-operating with governments and shy away from approaches made by US authorities in the future.