Counterfeit software leaves bitter taste
A major study by IDC has revealed the true cost of using counterfeit and pirated software for enterprises and consumers, pointing to dramatically heightened risks of malware infection, security breaches and financial loss.
IDC surveyed 2,077 consumers and 258 CIO/IT manager respondents to investigate the prevalence of the risks consumers and businesses face when they acquire and install counterfeit software, and tested counterfeit software from hundreds of websites/P2P networks and CDs/DVDs across 10 countries. Based on their research, the analyst house predicts that in 2013:
- One in three enterprise PCs with counterfeit software installed will be infected by malware.
- Enterprises will spend $114 billion dollars tackling security issues caused by the use of pirated software.
- Globally, the costs to enterprises dealing with infected counterfeit software will reach $349 billion.
The findings go to demonstrate some of the risks that businesses face when they opt for counterfeit software. Aside from the obvious legal and compliance issues, users of counterfeit software are often left in a vulnerable position, with no access to support, and their cybersecurity provisions heavily compromised.
It’s clear that there are no gains to be made for businesses engaging in the use of illegal software – only potentially ruinous financial and reputational damage. Unless businesses can maintain the integrity of their IT estates, they will face the consequences. At the end of the day, it’s far cheaper and easier to keep control of your IT estate and software licensing arrangements at the very beginning rather than to cut corners and get caught out, either by viruses and malware, a whistle-blower report, or by an inevitable licence audit!