Even as number of data breaches and cyberattacks rises, piracy level in India still remains at 60 percent with a whopping $2.9 billion worth of unlicensed software being installed in 2013, a non-profit organisation BSA today said. Also Read - Downloaded WhatsApp Pink virus by mistake? Here's what you can do to fix your phone
According to BSA, India second only to China (over $8.7 billion) in the Asia Pacific region in terms of commercial value of unlicensed software sold in 2013. China reported piracy level of 74 percent in 2013, lower than 77 percent that was registered in 2011. India also saw a decline in piracy level to 60 percent in 2013 from 63 percent in 2011. Also Read - Mobile cyberattacks on Indian firms up by 854% in 2021: Report
Globally, 43 percent of software installations were unlicensed at a commercial value of $62.7 billion. While the piracy level has gone up marginally (from 42 percent in 2011), the commercial value has declined slightly from $63.5 billion in 2011. The Asia Pacific region reported the highest level of installation of unlicensed software at 62 percent (worth $21 billion). “Computer users cited risk of security threats from malware as the top reason not to use unlicensed software. Among their specific concerns are intrusions by hackers and loss of data,” BSA Senior Director Compliance Programs Asia Pacific Roland Chan said on a concall. Also Read - Android app offering free Netflix may steal your WhatsApp data
Yet a striking 60 percent of the software installed on personal computers in India in 2013 was not properly licensed, he added. Only 33 percent of companies (respondents) in India have written policies in place requiring use of properly licensed software, he said. “While rates in most countries are declining slowly, the global average still rising because the PC market is growing fastest in emerging markets where the rates of unlicensed software use are highest,” IDC VP Asia Pacific Consulting Operations Victor Lim said.
Chan said unlicensed software use is an organisational governance issue and the study shows there is a clear need for improvement. “There are basic steps any company can take to ensure it is fully compliant, like establishing a formal policy on licensed software use and maintaining careful records.” Companies also should consider implementing more robust software asset management (SAM) programs as these help in avoiding security and operational risks and ensure companies have the right number of licenses for their users, she added.
“There are often cases where enterprises may not even be aware that they are using unlicensed software. With software licensing becoming increasingly complex, and add to that cloud and BYOD, organisations require a fresh approach in the way they manage licenses,” Chan said. BSA, in partnership with research firm IDC, polled PC users in 34 markets including nearly 22,000 consumer and business PC users and more than 2,000 IT managers.