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BSA warns of dangers in using unlicensed software

Following the launch of its Legalize and Protect initiative in 2019 in Southeast Asia (SEA), BSA (Business Software Alliance) now trains its attention to engineering and design firms utilizing unlicensed software, which is illegal on all fronts.

In a media briefing, the BSA reveals that 20,000 companies in the design and engineering sectors are discovered to be using unlicensed software. The alliance estimates that there are still more than 100,000 design and engineering companies using unlicensed software in the region.

BSA is a trade group established by the Microsoft Corporation in 1988 and represents a number of the world’s largest software makers. It is a member of the International Intellectual Property Alliance.

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Apart from law violations, unlicensed software could render companies vulnerable to cyberattacks because they don’t have the blanket protection of regular updates and patching that are crucial in keeping networks secure. Aside from security, the use of legal software ensures that companies will leverage the advancements updates provide.

“If you are using licensed software or legal software, it has a lot of safety built into it,” said Tarun Sawney, senior director, BSA. “It is going to guarantee that the final products that result from the software are going to be high-quality products.”

To raise awareness and arm companies with the best practices in licensed software use, BSA started an outreach of free consultations and advisory services on conducting audits for 20,000 engineering and design firms in SEA countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

BSA is also planning to collaborate with government agencies across the region to support the campaign and further encourage the private sector to exclusively use licensed software. This includes the Optical Media Board (OMB) in the Philippines; the Ministry of Communication and Informatics in Indonesia; the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in Malaysia, and the Royal Thai Police, Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) in Thailand.

BSA advises companies to conduct internal audits to identify potential licensed gaps inside their networks.