A recent report finds Unlicensed Software and Malware
Are Tightly Linked. Organizations may reduce the risk of cybersecurity incidents by eliminating unlicensed software on their networks
Chisinau — 2015 — A new report commissioned by BSA | The Software Alliance confirms the link between unlicensed software and malware on PCs. The analysis, conducted by global research firm IDC, finds that the higher the unlicensed PC software rate in a country, the more malware generally encountered on PCs in that country. The implication for governments, enterprises and end users is clear: eliminating unlicensed software on their networks could help reduce the risk of cybersecurity incidents.
“Malware infections can cause significant harm, and organizations are struggling with how best to protect themselves,” said Jodie Kelley, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at BSA. “This analysis shows that the link between unlicensed software use and malware is real, meaning good software management is a critical first step to reducing cybersecurity risks.”
“Preventing and combatting software piracy represents one of the main priorities of the Center for Combating Cyber Crimes because both the unlicensed software applications and the unlicensed operating systems are the most important vulnerability factors for the cybercrime prevention and for cybersecurity.” stated the Chief of Center for Combating Cyber Crimes of the National Investigation Inspectorate of the General Inspectorate of Police, Mr. Eugen Moraru.
The statistical analysis compared rates of unlicensed software installed on PCs in 81 countries, with a measure of malware encounters on PCs tracked by BSA member company, Microsoft. It finds there is a strong positive correlation (r=0.79) between rates of unlicensed software and malware incidents. Further analysis indicates that the rate of unlicensed software in a country is a strong predictor of malware encounters in that country.
The report builds on BSA’s flagship study examining global rates of unlicensed software use around the world. In 2014, the BSA Global Software Survey reported 90 percent of software installed in Moldova during the previous year was unlicensed, compared to 43 percent globally. It also found that the chief reason computer users around the world cite for not using unlicensed software is avoiding security threats fr om malware. Among the risks associated with unlicensed software, 64 percent of users globally cited unauthorized access by hackers as a top concern and 59 percent cited loss of data.
BSA and the Center for Combating Cyber Crimes encourages organizations to implement internal control procedures, such as ISO-aligned software asset management (SAM) practices, in order to reduce their exposure to cyber threats by ensuring all software installed on their systems is fully licensed.
To this end, BSA has organized in Moldova, over the past several years, awareness campaigns for the business environment, trying to draw their attention upon the security threats associated with the use of unlicensed software.
Daniel Martin, Outside Counsel to BSA in Moldova – “The IDC study confirms a perception already existing on the market – getting software from unauthorized and unsecure sources may draw a high rate of risks for the security of the PC on which the software is installed and of the network it is a part of. BSA has foreseen this reality and continues awareness campaigns for business as regards these risks.”
Mr. Eugen Moraru, Chief of the Center for Combating Cyber Crimes: “The importance of the intellectual property enforcement grew due to the signing of the European Union Association Agreement, wh ereby our country is engaged to create a functional legal framework similar to the European one.”
A full copy of the report, Unlicensed Software and Cybersecurity Threats, can be downloaded from BSA’s website at bsa.org/malware.
About the Center for Combating Cyber Crimes (CCCC)
The Center for Combating Cyber Crimes of the National Investigation Inspectorate (NII) of the General Inspectorate of Police (GIP), was founded on 5 March 2013, after the reform of the MIA, according to the Government Decision No 986 of 24 December 2012, and it is a subdivision, which performs investigative activity, especially combatting cybercrime, serious crimes, or crimes that have big social impact, with national or transboundary spreading, committed using information systems and modern technical means.
The Center for Combating Cyber Crimes
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC and operations in more than 60 countries around the world, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
Daniel Martin, BSA Outside Counsel, Moldova, email@example.com