The USA’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a binding operational directive on Wednesday that could see Kaspersky Lab products banned from being used at federal agencies.

The DHS believes that Kaspersky products contain several security risks and that the broad access the software is given to systems can be exploited by “malicious cyber actors” to breach federal networks.

“The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies” said the DHS in a statement.

Russian law dictates that intelligence agencies in the country can compel companies such as Kaspersky Lab to intercept communications on Russian networks and provide assistance as regards intelligence matters.

“The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security,” added the DHS.

US intelligence agencies now have 30 days to identify any Kaspersky products on their networks. These agencies must develop a plan to remove and discontinue use of these products within 60 days and after 90 days (unless otherwise directed) Kaspersky products must be removed completely.

Kaspersky Lab has 90 days to prove its products do not pose a security risk.

Naturally the cybersecurity firm issued a response to the DHS binding operational directive.

“Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts, and it’s disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues,” said Kaspersky Lab in a statement.

The firm also said that it welcomes the opportunity to prove its software is secure adding that 85% of its revenue comes from outside of Russia and working inappropriately with any government would jeopardise its bottom line.

[Source – DHS and Kaspersky Lab][Image – CC BY 2.0 David Orban]