6 July 2022
Is unlicensed software hurting your business?
If your business uses programs like Microsoft Windows, QuickBooks, Photoshop, and more, you may use pirated software without knowing it.
Using unlicensed or pirated software for your business may seem like a cheaper or easier option than purchasing the software from a reputable company, but there are many risks associated with using unlicensed technology.
Downloading and using unlicensed software is illegal, but it is often difficult to get caught, making it hard to prevent. Using this software introduces risks beyond just the legal implications, it also poses a big threat to network safety and security.
Risks with using unlicensed software
- Malware infections. Downloading anything from a non-reputable company poses the risk of infecting your computer with malware. Malware can slow down your computer, steal your information, and damage files. Hackers can gain access to your credit card and bank account information, passwords, contact information, and more by using malware.
- Damaged computers. The unlicensed software you intended to install may not even work because it cannot be verified and checked by the manufacturer, and these pirated downloads can slow down your computer as well. Most of the time, it may work for a short while before it becomes unusable and you are prompted to purchase the software license.
- For example, in a test done by UpCounsel, when testing bootleg Windows copies they found that 2 out of the 6 copies had malware embedded in the system, and all 6 copies had the update feature disabled and made changes to the firewall rules. These changes can expose your computer to serious danger.
- Cyber attacks. Using any unlicensed software exposes your computer to malware and cyber attack risks. Without a legitimate license, your company is exposed to hackers and information theft.
- No customer support. Unlicensed software is not supported by the developer, so when they release a critical update, users of pirated software will not be able to update because their software cannot be authenticated. Most pirated software does not include features like online connection to avoid detection and are prone to bugs and glitches. Using outdated and illegal software can open up your business to the risks of malware and theft.
- Jail time. Simply put, using unlicensed software is illegal in any case. If your business or one of your employees are caught using unlicensed software, you and your business could face unlimited fines (companies can be fined whatever the court deems appropriate) and jail time. The penalties for using bootleg software are often severe.
Preventing unlicensed software at your business
Using Unlicensed Software is Hurting Your Business, put it poses a big threat to network safety and security. The risks and penalties of using unlicensed software are severe. Maintaining regular software asset management check-ins through an IT department is very important. This is where Monmouth Computer Associates can help. For businesses on our Platinum plans, we regularly monitor your computers 24/7 to check for potential license expiration dates, updates, malware risks, firewall breaches, and any unlicensed software that may have been downloaded by you or your employees. It is also important to educate your employees on the risks of using unlicensed software and what to do when they suspect a potential security issue.
To make an appointment or discuss how we can help keep your business safe and secure, call us at 732-681-2360.