There are many popular programs that might be available on a user’s home computer, but that are not available at their workplace. A popular image editing program like Photoshop, or Microsoft Office, might be too expensive for a small or medium-sized company that could opt out for more affordable, or even free, software solutions.
However, some employees are unwilling to conform to using these less popular tools, and often, they try to install pirated versions on their computer at work (that are unauthorized on their company computers). The consequence of downloading pirated versions goes far beyond the obvious legal repercussions, which can be very serious for companies. Pirated software is one of biggest entry doors for malware to enter companies.
Pirated software is one of biggest entry doors for malware to enter companies.
To prevent employees from using unlicensed software, which has the potential to compromise your company’s computers, it is essential to establish a proper software management policy (SAM).
First of all, businesses should maintain an updated inventory of all active software (i.e., a list of all licensed programs and the workers who use them). Overall, this will serve to detect the programs that are necessary for employees’ work, and which ones should resign.
It is also important to control the detailed information associated with these licensed programs: when the program was bought, when it needs to be renewed, if there are any updates or patches that have not been downloaded yet; this will prioritize our resources so we are able to control budgets and facilitate decision making.
Businesses should maintain an updated inventory of all active software in order to better manage budgets and facilitate decision making.
It is also important to educate and sensitize workers about good practices in relation to software. Unfortunately, on many occasions the company technical departments are unaware of the programs that their colleagues are installing without permission. In fact, around 30% of employees use tools that their bosses don’t know about.
The problem is bigger than it may seem. In 2015, according to a study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), 39% of software installed on computers worldwide are unlicensed. Those companies using unlicensed software programs are basically drilling holes for cybercriminals, giving them a way to enter their systems and allowing them to endanger their company with malware.
Downloading pirated software increases the likelihood of having a cyber-attack. It is important that you protect your business with advanced cyber-security solutions, like Adaptive Defense 360.