A new survey has found that almost 60 percent of businesses experienced a malware attack caused by unlicensed software that resulted in loss of data. The report by software lobbying firm BSA and analytics company IDC involved more than 2,000 IT managers in 34 major markets.
The survey found that 43 percent of the PC software installed globally in 2013 was not properly licensed, a rate that has grown since 2011. Eighteen percent of the software used by companies in the U.S. was unlicensed. The unlicensed software installed on PCs last year cost more than $62 billion globally.
“We have often seen cases where enterprises may not even be aware that they’re using unlicensed software,” explained BSA India committee chairman Vipin Aggarwal. “With software licensing becoming increasingly complex, compounded by fast-paced cloud adoption and proliferation of devices through BYOD, organizations require a fresh approach in the way they manage licenses.”
When asked about regulations covering the licensing of software, only 35 percent of IT managers said that their organization had a policy in place to address the issue. More than half of the managers surveyed said their company had an informal policy, and 14 percent didn’t know if there were any guidelines regarding the use of licensed software.
Increasing enterprise security risks
Half of the IT managers surveyed reported not using any unlicensed software in the workplace for fear of exposing enterprise devices and networks to malware threats. Almost two-thirds of managers reported being concerned about the ability of hackers to access IT systems.
“It’s a question of deploying software asset management programs that will not only help these organizations avoid security and operational risks, but help them obtain a better view of what software has been installed in their network,” said BSA compliance programs senior director Roland Chan in an interview with Computerworld Australia.
Security threats are becoming more prevalent in all aspects of business, and companies are increasingly in need of IT professionals capable of mitigating and preventing cyber-attacks. Tech workers hoping to take advantage of the need for security professionals can gain additional knowledge of relevant programs and systems from computer learning centers. A variety of security-related training courses and certification exams are available, including Security+, CCNA security certification and many more.