BSA flags cybercrime risk after record settlement
Businesses across Australia are urged to be vigilant about cybercrime risks, after BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) finished 2016 with $589,000 in damages for the use of unlicensed software.
The connection between unlicensed software and cybercrime was confirmed in a recent study commissioned by BSA.
There were over 120 cases reported and investigated nationally during 2016.
Two informants received the maximum reward of $20,000 for providing information on unlicensed software usage. Material provided by one of these informants led to the record settlement of $200,000 in damages with a Sydney-based engineering firm for the unlicensed use of software programs.
"While it has been a record year in many ways, unlicensed software continues to be a challenge for businesses across the country. By using unlicensed software, businesses are compromising their cybersecurity policies and putting their customers’ data at risk,” said Gary Gan, director of compliance programs at BSA APAC.
“It can also result in financial losses for the business, as information can be intercepted and repurposed for others’ financial gain. Not to mention the impact to the reputation of the organisation, business and its employees during any legal proceedings.”
BSA encourages all businesses, across all sectors, to implement an effective software asset management (SAM) practice. This, in combination with regular checks of software licences and deployments, will ensure their business is secure and avoids legal risks.
In 2017 the BSA is continuing to offer up to $20,000 to eligible recipients who disclose accurate information regarding unlawful copying or use of BSA members’ software. Potential recipients must provide assistance and evidence to support the information, as may be required by the BSA’s legal advisers, in connection with any claim or legal proceedings initiated by the BSA members.
The BSA remains committed to its role in raising awareness of the risks to businesses when using unlicensed software and the damaging effects that software piracy has on the Australian IT industry.
Each business found to be using unlicensed software is required to purchase genuine software licences for its ongoing use, in addition to paying the copyright infringement damages.
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