The Trump Administration has removed Kaspersky Lab from the U.S. General Services Administration's list of vendors for contracts that cover information technology services and digital photographic equipment, according to Reuters. The moves could hinder channel partners' ability to sell Kaspersky Lab's cybersecurity products in certain government deals, ChannelE2E believes.
The U.S. government speculates that Russia-based Kaspersky has ties to the Russian government, and suspects the company's software could be used for cyber espionage. Moreover, BusinessWeek claims Kaspersky Lab has worked for Russia's FSB intelligence agency. Kaspersky Lab has strongly denied the alleged ties, and CEO Eugene Kaspersky has repeatedly offered to answer any questions posed by U.S. leaders.
Kaspersky Lab and the GSA Schedule Removal
There is no law that requires a contractor to hold a GSA Schedule in order to conduct business with the U.S. federal government, according to Federal Schedules Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in government contracts. However, many agencies will only place orders through GSA Schedule Contracts. As a result, companies that conduct significant business with the federal government ultimately find it necessary to obtain a Schedule Contract, the consulting firm asserts.
Indeed, a GSA Schedule Contract can be used to solicit hundreds of federal customers, Federal Schedules Inc. says, including:
- Federal and Executive Agencies
- Department of Defense (DOD)
- Government of the District of Columbia
- Government Contractors Authorized to Spend Federal Dollars
- Certain Institutions and International Organizations
The bottom line for Kaspersky Lab: The company and its channel partners can still propose Kaspersky products as part of certain U.S. federal government contract bids. But without GSA Schedule approval, the likelihood of winning many bids appears greatly reduced.
ChannelE2E has reached out to Kaspersky Lab to see if or how the U.S. government actions are impacting the company's overall business and channel engagements. We'll update this coverage if we receive a reply.
Kaspersky Lab and MSP Software Integrations
Meanwhile, Kaspersky has also been building relationships with software companies that develop business management tools for MSPs.
Kaseya, for instance, has a longstanding relationship with Kaspersky Lab. Kaseya says it remains committed to the Kaspersky Lab relationship, but the MSP software company also has cybersecurity partnerships with Webroot and Malwarebytes.