When was the last time you conducted an audit of your company’s computers to check for unlicensed software? Having pirated software is not only a huge financial risk, but it can also open up your network to viruses and security threats. Companies must manage their software just as carefully as they would any other aspect of their business.
Unauthorized file-sharing of copyrighted work consumes system resources and violates federal law. The liability and risk involved with using pirated software now reach far beyond copyright infringement, and can now result in Sarbanes-Oxley violations – which can mean millions in fines and as much as 20 years in prison for executives.
The foremost tenet of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is accuracy of financial records. Fast becoming the accounting standard for all business, SOX requires companies’ officers to certify the integrity of their financial records, information disclosure controls and internal controls. But how can CEOs and CFOs certify the accuracy of their financial records without being certain that the software used to gather the information is trustworthy? Or that the network where the data is stored is secure?
A basic software asset management (SAM) program that includes a software audit can ultimately protect your organization from the risks associated with using pirated software, penalties, and ethics problems, while maintaining accuracy, security and SOX compliance.
BSA is interested in helping all software users ensure that they use only fully licensed software and are educated about the ethical and digital security risks associated with unlicensed software use. A basic SAM program begins with making sure that every computer in a company has been loaded only with licensed software, and that the software has been registered properly with the manufacturer.
Please take a moment to browse the free tools and resources listed at the right of this page and then appraise your software assets by:
- Conducting a self-audit of your software licenses;
- Acquiring any licenses needed for full compliance; and
- Using the tools and resources available on this site to help you ensure software compliance.
- Tools for Everyone
Software piracy is not only illegal, it can also destroy computers and data. Below are a variety of information resources and tools designed to protect users from the dangers of illegal software and ensure software compliance:
- Tools for Employers
Software Asset Management (SAM) allows for significant cost savings in direct expenditure on software and related process and infrastructure costs. It enables strategic infrastructure planning, prevents over-licensing and under-licensing, and identifies over-deployment of hardware and its associated costs. It also allows the IT department to control exactly what software an employee can access and significantly reduces the opportunity for users to introduce unlicensed software on to networks.
- Tools for Government
BSA’s Employer Tools and IT Manager Tools can be equally helpful for government agencies. We also offer resources for government CIOs and IT managers on our BSA Government website.