Kaspersky's EMEA distributor Nuvias has backed the under-fire vendor after the US government ordered its departments to remove all of its products within 90 days.
Following months of speculation, the US government's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) yesterday released a statement saying the use of Kaspersky products carried "information security risks" to the government.
"The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks," the statement read.
"The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalise on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates US national security."
DHS also claimed that Russian law allows its intelligence services to "request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks".
Kaspersky has repeatedly denied any connection to the Russian government since July when Bloomberg claimed to have seen emails proving the vendor had been working with the Kremlin.
In the article, Bloomberg claimed to have seen emails between founder Eugene Kaspersky and senior Kaspersky staff, discussing a cybersecurity project that was in development for the Russian FSB intelligence agency.
In the latest denial, following the DHS announcement, Kaspersky said it was disappointed with the US government's decision.
"No credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organisation as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions, including claims about the impact of Russian regulations and policies on the company. Kaspersky Lab has always acknowledged that it provides appropriate products and services to governments," Kaspersky added.
No pushback from the UK
Ian Kilpatrick, EVP for cybersecurity at Kaspersky's UK and European distributor Nuvias, told CRN that he had experienced no reluctance from partners and customers to continue using Kaspersky products following the latest instalment of the saga.
"From my perspective, certainly across Europe, I don't see any issues whatsoever," he said.
"It's absolutely not a European thing and I don't see it as being particularly relevant in the UK either. I'm not aware of any pushback from anybody for the deals that are being processed - people buy it because it works.
"We've worked with Kaspersky for 20 years and Eugene does this as much for a passion as he does for business.
Dave Stevinson, managing director at Kaspersky partner GNR, said he expects that the US' decision is driven by political motives, rather than technological motives.
"In my opinion this is a political issue and unfortunately for Kaspersky they've been used as a pawn in Trump's game against Russia," he said.
"However, from a UK perspective, I think clients over here are wise to what he's doing and will continue to purchase Kaspersky because it offers a superior experience to many others."
Nuvias' Kilpatrick backed Stevinson's theory, adding: "Kaspersky offered to share their source code, so they can't do any more than that.
"[The US government] declining to take it, and taking this action, has the air of politics - not security."
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