FEB 23, 2015 | UNITED KINGDOM
Report Finds Unlicensed Software and Malware Are Tightly Linked
Organizations may reduce the risk of cybersecurity incidents by eliminating unlicensed software on their networks
London, UK — February 24, 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.”
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 that 43 percent of the software installed on PCs around the world was unlicensed. It also found that the chief reason computer users around the world cite for not using unlicensed software is avoiding security threats from 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 encourages organizations to implement internal controls, 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.
“The findings from this report should serve as a wake-up call for a lot of UK businesses,” said Warren Weertman, Senior Counsel – EMEA, BSA | The Software Alliance. “Nearly 1 in 4 pieces of software installed in the UK are unlicensed which may very well be leaving both consumers and businesses open to security breaches through malware. We encourage all companies to make sure they safeguard themselves against these risks by implementing software asset management processes and ensuring they have the right number of licenses for the software they are using.”
A full copy of the report, Unlicensed Software and Cybersecurity Threats, can be downloaded from BSA’s website at bsa.org/malware.
BSA |“软件联盟”(www.bsa.org) 是全球软件行业的主要倡导者，旨在代表该行业，向政府和国际市场发声。其成员包括全球最具创新力的公司，这些公司制定的软件解决方案，不但能够刺激经济，还能提升现代生活的品质。
BSA 的总部位于华盛顿特区，其营运机构遍布 30 多个国家。BSA 凭借这些机构，率先涉足合规项目，以期促进使用合法软件、倡导制定公共政策，并以此培养技术创新能力，以及推动发展数字经济。