Federal Government Bans Use of Kaspersky Antivirus

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This week spelled more bad news for the antivirus company Kaspersky. According to Reuters, President Donald Trump signed into law on Tuesday legislation that bans the use of Kaspersky Lab within the U.S. government, which finalizes the latest effort to remove the Russian-based company from federal agencies. The reason for the ban stems from concerns over the company’s vulnerability to influence from the Kremlin.

The ban is included within a broader defense policy spending bill that Trump signed this week, however, Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help a government with cyber espionage. The company has even stated that it would submit the source code of its software and future updates for inspection by independent parties to help quell the suspicion. The bill requires that agencies remove Kaspersky Lab software within 90 days. The law applies to both civilian and military networks.

The government ban on the software is also hurting the company’s consumer business. Best Buy, recently pulled the anti-virus from its shelves, and more businesses are looking elsewhere for their antivirus requirements. Security-related products are especially vulnerable to questions about legitimacy. Once the reputation of a security company becomes tarnished it is difficult for them to regain trust in the market.

Best Buy will likely just be the first in the retail market to drop the product from its stores, and it is only a matter of time before the rest will follow suit. No doubt this ban will be difficult for the company to recover from.