The Kaspersky booth is seen on June 28, 2021, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (Eugene Kaspersky, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Italy's public sector must replace antivirus software by Russian-based Kaspersky, the Reuters news service reported Friday.

The country's data regulator plans to investigate privacy risks associated with Kaspersky products over concerns regarding potential cyberattacks. The regulator asked Kaspersky to provide the number and nature of its customers in Italy and to clarify whether its tools are made available to foreign governments, Reuters reported.

Similar to its statement regarding a warning from German regulators cautioning Kaspersky users to look for alternatives, the software company told Reuters it had no ties to the Russian government and that concerns were based on geopolitics regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine rather than technical concerns.

As noted by MSSP Alert, a CyberRisk Alliance partner site, Kaspersky has consistently denied allegations it has ties with Russia's government, even going so far as to maintain a Transparency Center for partners and customers to review its code, software updates, and other technical and business processes.