Kazakhstan freezes cybersecurity project it started with Russia

The contract cost $39.1 million

Kazakhstan has frozen a joint Kazakhstani-Russian project by Transtelecom and Russian company BI.ZONE. The two sides signed a contract in 2019 with an expectation of six years of cooperation, the Russian business edition Kommersant reported.

According to the website of BI.ZONE, the company intended to assist Transtelecom in the deployment of SOC and MSSP services as well as expert models to detect various types of cyberattacks.

Russian experts believe that the decision on the Kazakhstani side is linked to the geopolitical situation, namely to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

BI.ZONE is a partner of Sber, the largest Russian commercial bank. The company was established in 2016 as a subsidiary of the bank. The goal of the company at the time was the protection of the bank from cyber threats. In 2021, BI.ZONE reported $44 million in revenue, including $1.5 million in net revenue. 

On September 21, 2021, Sber and the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan agreed to create a new digital platform as an alternative to the current eGov system.

However, in April this year, the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry of Kazakhstan announced that it is going to update its e-government system on its own with no support from Sber.

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