Advice on the use of Russian technology products and services

Published date:

Cyber Warning image

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has changed the world order, and the increased risk and uncertainty aren't going away any time soon. However, the best thing to do is to make plans, ensure your systems are as resilient as practical and have good recovery plans.

Citizens may have concerns on their home devices that use IT software products, in particular anti-virus or IT security products, from Russia.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has provided the following recommendations:

Individuals using Kaspersky Anti-Virus
Kapersky is a Russian-owned company and for this reason many people are worried about their home IT and the use of Kaspersky Anti-Virus. It almost certainly remains the case that nearly all individuals in the UK (and many enterprises) are not going to be targeted by a Russian cyber-attack, regardless of whether they use Russian products and services.

If your personal laptop uses Kaspersky AV (or other products):

  • It is highly unlikely to be directly targeted.
  • It is safe to turn on and use at the moment.
  • However, you may need to move to a new AV product if Kaspersky itself becomes subject to sanctions, since the AV product would likely stop getting updates (and AV software is only effective if it's updated regularly).

Applying security updates promptly will help protect your devices and accounts from cyber criminals.

You should apply updates to your apps and your device's software including the Operating System (OS) and Anti-virus (AV) as soon as they are available. Updates include protection from viruses and other kinds of malware, and will often include improvements and new features.

If you receive a prompt to update your device (or apps), don’t ignore it. Applying these updates is one of the most important (and quickest) things you can do to keep yourself safe online.

You should also turn on 'automatic updates' in your device's settings, if available. This will mean you do not have to remember to apply updates.

For further details on updating mobile phones, computers and smart devices please refer to the NCSC's Top tips for staying secure online.