Barclays Bank has stopped offering new customers security software from Kaspersky after the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned the UK government against using Russian cyber security products.
The NCSC said Russian-made anti-virus software should not be used in systems containing information that would harm national security if it was accessed by the Russian government.
In a letter to the UK government, Ciaran Martin, head of the NCSC, said Russia has the intent “to target UK central government and the UK’s critical national infrastructure” and there are “obvious risks around foreign ownership” of companies that produce anti-virus software.
This follows an announcement in September by the US Department of Homeland Security, which directed that all government agencies must remove any Kaspersky software from their systems within 90 days.
Barclays previously offered all its customers free Kaspersky anti-virus software to protect their online and mobile banking services. Through the agreement, which began in 2008, it became the first UK bank to offer all its online customers a complete and free internet security package.
But now, after the UK security agency’s warning, it will no longer offer new customers security software from Kaspersky.
Read more about the Russian cyber threat
- A report by Denmark’s Centre for Cyber Security reveals Danish authorities’ email accounts have been attacked by a foreign source for the past two years.
- Computer Weekly sat down with Finnish cyber security expert Mikko Hyppönen to talk about security in the Nordics, Russia and the trouble with connected devices.
- FBI director James Comey confirmed the bureau is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government and election cyber attacks such as the DNC breach.
“We have made the precautionary decision to no longer offer Kaspersky software to new users,” said Barclays in an email to customers. But the bank said there is no reason for existing customers using Kaspersky to stop doing so. “There is nothing to suggest that customers need to stop using Kaspersky,” it added.
The bank said customers do not need to do anything at this stage, but advised them to ensure they are protected. “If you have any concerns, you could consider alternative anti-virus suppliers,” it said.