Yesterday my favourite part of Kaspersky Lab — which is certainly the lab itself – grew, as we have opened our first European Research Centre. It will be home to those on the frontline of the ongoing battle against cyber threats, housing UK members of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT), including myself, and the Anti-Malware Research Team. At the end of the day, this new European Research Centre will help to better protect both Europeans and our other customers worldwide. The following are five different ways our new lab will make this happen:
Reason 1. Analysing malware round the clock
Ten years ago, Kaspersky Lab analysts worked round the clock in their Moscow-based facility. They endured night shifts and other unpleasant, but necessary, duties to make sure that protection against new threats could be deployed in an hour or two. As new analyst centres emerged, those duties became redundant.
By developing additional facilities in Seattle and Beijing, the Kaspersky Lab Anti-Malware Team manages to react to new threats very quickly, without the need for night shifts. In fact, our infrastructure is almost completely automated, detecting approximately 99% of the 325,000 new threats that emerge daily, without manual human effort. However, analysts must be present and prepared at all times to address the remaining 1%, which are the most complex cases. Having a European team can greatly reduce the delayed reaction time upon discovery of local threats.
Reason 2. Making things transparent
As Alex Moiseev, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab Europe, puts it, “we have our displays turned to the public. Through a glass wall, you can see what we do – this is transparency taken quite literally. We don’t hide either our technology or our processes from customers.”
Here at Kaspersky Lab we believe that cyber threats should be addressed at a global level. Regardless of a threat’s origin, the cyber security community (of which Kaspersky Lab is a prominent representative) should swiftly research said threat and make sure everyone is informed and protected. Arguably, the most vital part of this process is international cooperation between security companies (even direct competitors), law enforcement authorities, CERTs and so on.
To increase cooperation effectiveness, Kaspersky Lab tries to place its researchers in every part of the world. Just a month ago, we took part in the grand opening of INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, and now it’s our turn to unwrap our new infrastructure that is helping to counter computer crime in Europe.
— Kaspersky Lab (@kaspersky) May 12, 2015
Reason 3. Great minds think…. together
I can’t overemphasize the importance of cooperation and information sharing in our industry— not only between companies, but also for individual researchers inside one company. That’s why it’s more productive to have researchers working together in one room, rather than having them chat online or over the phone.
Of course, in the absence of any other option, electronic communication can still be beneficial. However, in person, analysts tend to gather around one workstation in order to attack the abovementioned complex cases together. We believe it’s good to have a special place for that.
Reason 4. Spread the knowledge
Researchers at Kaspersky Lab do many things — we’re not just limited to malware analysis. Other important parts of our job include threat intelligence and education in the cybersecurity field. We analyse what’s going on in the cyber battlefield, try to forecast what’s next – and make sure everyone is prepared.
That’s why our customers are always welcome at the European Research Centre, where they can discuss their doubts and problems directly with an expert. We discovered just how relevant this resource is for our customers, when one of our experts, Marta Janus, fielded a storm of technical questions for an hour during our grand opening night.
Reason 5. Additional security and privacy
Our experts are highly skilled when it comes to preventing criminals from messing with our research processes. Still, extra layers of security are essential when dealing with malware. So, our dedicated research facility is equipped with several physical security measures — such as access control and a server rack for running very special software on virtual infrastructure — that are tremendously important for our success.
Because yesterday was our very first day in our new home, it still doesn’t feel customized quite yet. However, there are a few personal touches already in place that I am curious to see if you’re able to spot in our photos. The first reader to provide the best answers to the four questions in our small quiz below will win a prize from our Social Media Team. Just leave your answers in the comments section — we’ll publish the correct answers and name the winner in a couple of days.
Question 1. What decoration is already in place?
Question 2. What book do we have handy for our researchers?
Question 3. What are the dogs doing in our office reception? How are they related to our Research Center?
Question 4. What software is running on our analyst’s four-monitor workstation?
If you want to know how and why the research dogs came to life, check out the ‘making of’ blog post here.