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Last updated: Friday, November 16, 2018

 

Non-proprietary Software: Risky and Costly

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Malware unleashed from unlicensed software cause nearly US$359 billion of damages to enterprises a year worldwide. CIOs said that data theft and other security threats from malware are the No. 1 reason to use all licensed software in the computer network of each company.

On June 12, 2018, the Software Alliance (BSA) launched its 2018 Global Software Survey: Software Management - Security Imperative, Business Opportunity. The survey was jointly conducted by the BSA and research firm IDC to count the number and value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers in more than 110 economies and territories, and collected nearly 23,000 feedback comments from consumers, workers and CIOs in all fields.

Use of non-proprietary software at an alarming rate
In the world, organisations use software to reduce costs, increase profits, access new markets, and utilise competitive advantages. These efforts, however, have been hampered by the widespread use of non-proprietary software, resulting in serious cybersecurity breaches.

According to the BSA Survey, despite a considerable drop in the last two years, the rate of non-proprietary software remains at an alarming rate, accounting for 37 per cent of software installed on personal computers globally.

The overall commercial value of non-proprietary software has also shrunk but the survey showed that non-proprietary software still accounts for 50 per cent onwards in most countries. This high rate not only stalled local economies due to their lag in the rapidly evolving technology era but also hindered profit growth of companies and caused unprecedented security risks.

In Vietnam, non-proprietary software accounts for 74 per cent of software installed in personal computers, four percentage points lower than the BSA Survey 2016.

Despite a 4-percentage point drop, Vietnam’s software piracy is still high in Southeast Asia. (e.g. Indonesia, 83 per cent; Thailand, 66 per cent; the Philippines, 64 per cent; Brunei, 64 per cent; Malaysia, 51 per cent; and Singapore, 27 per cent.)

This rate is partly affected by great ongoing trends in Vietnam. PC sales fell sharply but the consumer installed base nevertheless grew a result of shipments in previous years, Ms Shery Lee, Counsel of BSA Asia - Pacific, said, the root of software piracy starts from the awareness of enterprises.

What solutions for individuals and businesses?
With respect to losses caused by non-proprietary software, the BSA Survey pointed out that CIOs gradually find that it is increasingly costly and risky to use unlicensed software. At present, the malware risk exposed to organisations in receiving or installing a non-proprietary software package or purchasing a pre-installed non-proprietary software is a third. On average, each malware attack may cost a company US$2.4 million and take up to 50 days to fix. A malware infection may cause the company to stop operations or lose business data and its brand name and reputation will be severely affected.

Besides, the cost of dealing with malware related to non-proprietary software is on the rise. Now, a company may spend more than US$10,000 on every computer infected with malware and companies around the world may spend up to nearly US$359 billion a year in total.

According to the BSA, raising the sense of compliance with software rules is key to boosting economic and security needs. With rising malware costs, business leaders are gradually moving to use fully licensed software that patches security vulnerabilities with updates to build a firewall against malware intrusion, data leakage and other security risks.

More and more leaders realise that improving software compliance across the organisation is now a powerful economic enabler that helps them reduce downtime and dramatically increase profits. In fact, IDC estimated that when companies take pragmatic steps to enhance their software management, they can increase profits by as much as 11 per cent.

Speaking at the Survey announcing event, Mr Pham Cao Thai, Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the rate of software piracy of Vietnam decreased four percentage points just in a brief period of two years, from 2016 to 2018. This is a milestone for the good enforcement of laws on intellectual property and anti-piracy software.

Although four percentage points is big, it represents the result of efforts and coordination of authorities. The drop in software piracy rate shows that Vietnam is executing its commitments to international trade agreements and has great effect on international integration process of Vietnam.

Ms Shery Lee, Counsel of BSA Asia - Pacific, said, there is a need for coordination among authorities in raising the awareness among the business community to address this issue. Particularly, there is a need for consistency across individuals and business leaders in understanding the impact of non-proprietary software.

Thu Ha








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