Kaspersky partners

Kaspersky partners are heading the way, with chief executive Michael Sykes, chief marketing officer Jim Goldman and senior vice-president of global marketing Phil Chapman taking the lead.

"This is a pioneering project, and I am proud that I am part of this visionary experiment," Sykes told reporters at the global launch in Washington.

The team is headed by Sykes and his close advisor, chief science officer Rupert Mintz-Klein. They have already begun with five partners, including Baidu, Firefox, Google and Netflix.

"We need to continue to innovate and protect against malicious software as our service partners across the marketplace of online communications and online money," he said.

Campaigners fear this could jeopardise privacy and security, especially with vulnerabilities galore coming to light.

U.S. cybersecurity experts warn that Mintzen-Kline, the lead engineer behind the original Stuxnet malware, has ties to Iran and appears to be on the move toward other countries, including Russia.

Most of the initial partnerships were the first steps, but Sykes said the company has envisioned large-scale deployments of the outfit.

Further changes are likely as the technology evolves, Mr. Sykes added.

In the first wave of partners, these include a Bitwise team overseeing 20 million certificates issued by the world's largest digital wallet. Bitwise's primary operation is to facilitate digital payments, and the company said it can further improve its industry by supporting more cross-border payments.

However, the third wave, to be distributed over the next 18 months, will be based on the vision of a 'Certificate Privacy Guard' that will see users only be able to provide information about themselves to mobile providers.

Sykes said that, with the partnership, the company is aiming to "serve users in a completely new way."

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Makoto Kanemura, Microsoft's principal software engineer and Chairman of SoftBank Ventures, told the Guardian that the project is less about security and more about marketing.