What do ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and Kaspersky Lab Global Transparency Initiative have in common?

They might seem worlds apart, but the drive and mindset between Queen’s greatest single and the development of Kaspersky Lab’s new technology are one and the same.



I truly cannot believe how quickly time has passed; we’re approaching March which means it’s now a little over three months since our official announcement of Kaspersky Lab’s first Transparency Centre opening in Zurich, Switzerland. The official announcement was made on November 14, 2018 and we’ve received incredible feedback. To recap the announcement: yes, we are determined to assure the integrity and trustworthiness of our products. Yes, we know that Kaspersky Lab will start data processing for European users followed by Australia and other regions by 2020. And yes, we will provide governments, law enforcement and partners with important technical documentation for external evaluation in a secure environment. The cherry on the cake, however, is that we are the only vendor in the world to have a third party monitoring this centre.

Above is awesome news and makes perfect sense to folks in the Cyber Security Industry, but if you’re not involved in this industry exactly what does Global Transparency Initiative (GTI) mean for everyday Australians and exactly what is this movement all about?

I watched glimpses of The Oscars today. To better explain GTI, the movie Bohemian Rhapsody starring Academy Award Winner Rami Malek has inspired me to share the below. You might ask, what does an extraordinary lead singer such as Freddie Mercury and a leading cybersecurity firm have in common?


Risk takers

When Queen released the single, Bohemian Rhapsody, in 1975, various executives suggested that the single—timed at 5 minutes and 55 seconds—was too long and would never be a hit. Others said that the band had no hope of it ever being played on the radio. However, it only took one radio station to break the rules and the song hit number 1 in more than ten countries in a short two years.

Kaspersky is often punished for its Russian heritage, and because so many of its developers reside in Russia, this clearly makes us an easy target. It has been suggested to me a few times over the last ten months that an easy solution for Kaspersky is to move all of our business out of Russia, which would make the Russia problem go away. In my humble opinion, it’s not a solution ever worth entertaining!

I would never renounce my Swiss birthright therefore why would I support Kaspersky doing same? Kaspersky won’t do this because our developers are really good at what they do. The solution is not to relocate developers but more importantly, to be transparent in everything we do. GTI is a major financial investment for Kaspersky and part of a number of initiatives towards regaining trust of our users across the globe on the back of some pretty negative press around the geopolitical environment. So to get back on point: it took Bohemian Rhapsody two years to achieve a number 1 hit; and while we have yet to truly quantify and determine the outcome of GTI, we believe this is the right direction to follow.



Through the centuries, this single has impacted different generations. Bohemian Rhapsody stayed at the top of the UK singles chart for nine weeks. In 2002, the Guinness Book of Records also titled this song as the top British single of all time. As of 2017, this record has sold 4.4 million digital copies in the US and no doubt with the huge success of the 2018 movie, further records will be achieved.

In this digital age, time and evolution is a constant and Balkanisation is the new frontier for technology. Balkanisation simply means security can no longer be in isolation. Someone must make a decision about where the future is headed with IT and cybersecurity. A leader has to re-envision what security means and take a calculated risk in making the change. With the birth of GDPR in the EU and the Cybersecurity Bill in Singapore, Kaspersky Lab is making its mark with forming a new trend: “GTI”. Today, not only is digital trust crucial, transparency is everything.

We take this as an opportunity to evolve and become the trendsetter in cybersecurity business practices. The world is changing and trendsetters need to be ahead of the curve. And just like Bohemian Rhapsody, through the decades, others will follow.


This content was created in partnership with our friends at Kaspersky Lab!


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