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JUN 05, 2018 | SINGAPORE

New BSA Survey Finds Use of Unlicensed Software at 27 Percent in Singapore with Many Still at Risk from Cyberattacks

Singapore – June 5, 2018 – Twenty-seven percent of software installed on personal computers in Singapore were unlicensed with dollars losses reaching US$235 million, leaving significant numbers of users still exposed to crippling cybersecurity attacks, according to findings from Software Management: Security Imperative, Business Opportunity, the latest 2018 Global Software Survey from BSA | The Software Alliance.

In comparison, the survey, released today, found that in Asia Pacific (AP) 57 percent of software installed on computers in 2017 was unlicensed, while the commercial value of unlicensed software in AP amounted to US$16.4 billion, the highest in the world. Globally, 37 percent of software installed on computers around the world in 2017 is not properly licensed, with losses of US$46.3 billion.

Singapore’s rate of use has dropped a modest 3 points compared to 30 percent with losses of US$289 million in the previous 2015 study. According to the survey, the rate of use in Singapore was influenced by dramatic declines in consumer personal computer (PC) shipments and the PC installed base, which since 2015 have dropped by 13 percent and 12 percent respectively. These factors aided ongoing anti-piracy and legalization efforts by the government and industry.

The survey also pointed out a clear correlation between malware and the use of unlicensed software – if enterprise software is unlicensed, organizations run a significant risk of encountering often-crippling security threats. Businesses that reduce unlicensed software use also reduce the risk of cyberattacks, while benefiting from improved end user productivity and enhanced brand reputation.

“Organizations around the world are missing out on the economic and security benefits that well-managed software provides,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “Businesses should establish software asset management (SAM) programs to evaluate and manage the software on their networks. This, in turn, helps organizations reduce the risk of debilitating cyberattacks and helps grow their revenues.”

Added Tarun Sawney, BSA’s Senior Director, Enforcement – APAC:”It is alarming that 45 percent of consumers surveyed say their organizations do not have a policy on the use of unlicensed software or that they do not know – which is worse than the 2015 survey. Furthermore, 25 percent of enterprises do not have a policy on employees who bring and install their own software, which significantly increases enterprise malware infection rates. Organizations must do more to actively adopt policies that mandate the use of legal and licensed software, especially in AP where the high rate of unlicensed software use is worrying.”

BSA’s Global Software Survey quantifies the volume and value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers in more than 110 countries and regions, and includes nearly 23,000 responses from consumers, employees, and CIOs. Its key findings include:

  • Use of unlicensed software, while down slightly, is still widespread. Unlicensed software is still used around the globe at alarming rates, accounting for 37 percent of software installed on personal computers. Asia Pacific and Central & Eastern Europe both lead the world at 57 percent.
  • CIOs report unlicensed software is increasingly risky and expensive. Malware from unlicensed software costs companies worldwide nearly US$359 billion a year. CIOs report that avoiding data hacks and other security threats from malware is the number one reason for ensuring their networks are fully licensed.
  • Improving software compliance is now an economic enabler in addition to a security imperative. When companies take pragmatic steps to enhance their software management, they can increase profits by as much as 11 percent.
  • Organizations can take meaningful steps today to improve software management. Studies show that organizations can achieve as much as 30 percent savings in annual software costs by implementing a robust SAM and software license optimization program.

Some key Asia Pacific findings in this year’s survey show that:

  • All AP economies surveyed showed a decline in the rate of unlicensed software use, but China and Vietnam registered the biggest drops, with China decreasing its rate by 4 points from 70 percent in 2015 to 66 percent in 2017, and Vietnam reducing its rate by 4 points from 78 percent in 2015 to 74 percent in 2017.
  • Bangladesh has the highest rate of unlicensed software use in AP with 84 percent, followed by Indonesia and Pakistan, both with 83 percent
  • Japan and New Zealand, both at 16 percent, and Australia with 18 percent, continue to have the lowest rates of unlicensed software use in AP. All three economies registered a 2 percent decrease, which can be partly attributed to the growing use of the cloud and software subscription services among enterprises
  • Many AP economies registered a decline in PC shipments since 2015. Besides Singapore, Hong Kong also saw a significant decrease in shipments (-22 percent) and installed base (-17 percent) which helped IP protection efforts

Through in-depth analysis, the survey shows companies can implement strong measures, including SAM programs, to improve the way they manage software, thereby increasing profits, decreasing security risks, and growing opportunity.

To explore the survey’s results, including a breakdown of country-specific data, visit www.bsa.org/globalstudy.

Media Contact:Gerard ChongRadiant Communications(t) +65-9818 3975(e) gerardccm@radiantcomms.sg

ABOUT BSA

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 30 countries, 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.

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