Kaspersky Lab Secure Operating System: It Ain’t Windows 8
Kaspersky Lab is marching forward with a cyber secure operating system project. But it has nothing to do with mainstream servers and desktops, nor consumer operating systems like Windows 8. Rather, the anti-virus company wants to hire experts in Process Control Systems (PCS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Translation: Kaspersky Lab wants to help safeguard IT systems running in nuclear reactors and other types of industrial systems.
Company CEO Eugene Kaspersky dropped hints about the secure operating system project during a partner conference in May 2012. He described a worse-case IT scenario where some countries or individuals launch cyber war attacks against other countries. Kaspersky suggested that multiple power plants and electric grids could go dark during cyber wars, even if the attacker was only targeting one power plant.
To mitigate such risks, Kaspersky said industrial systems need to be protected by a redesigned, fully secure operating system foundation. Kaspersky said his company is working on such an operating system. However, he did not disclose details about projected availability.
But now, those details are emerging. The company is seeking a developer and analyst to help create an operating system that prevents untrusted items from executing on process control systems, according to Russian recruitment site, HeadHunter. The postings say the Kaspersky Lab project “is developing rapidly,” according to Chief Security Officer magazine.
A secure operating system could help Kaspersky Lab to differentiate itself in the crowded endpoint security market. Although the company is growing rapidly and working closely with channel partners, Kaspersky faces intense competition from McAfee, Sophos, Symantec and Trend Micro — each of which has been strengthening service provider licensing agreements to help VARs and MSPs drive recurring revenue.
Kaspersky, meanwhile, has built a channel partner program dream team in recent months, and hopes to achieve $1 billion in new bookings in 2014.