Friday, May 18

Hacking Risks with Pirated Software

Pirated software increase hacking risks

Here's one more reason why pirated software should not be used.

New research from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reveals that more than a third of PCs worldwide are running pirated software. According to the research, 35 percent of computers run at least one illegal program, with computer users in China and Russia the worst offenders (with over 80 percent of computers running pirated software).

However, counterfeit software programs running on company networks can generate significant security and productivity risks. Pirated software can leave business networks open to attack as cybercriminals are provided with an additional route to infection. Running pirated software on corporate networks can also have severe repercussions on the network infrastructure, hogging valuable bandwidth and network resources.

"Putting aside the obvious legal issues, piracy can have a real impact on a company in terms of security," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "It's not enough to make sure that all PCs are running legitimate copies of Word, businesses must also control what programs their employees are downloading, installing and running. Patching against software vulnerabilities is key to any good IT security policy, but with pirated software this becomes near impossible. Pirated software downloaded from dodgy websites or bought from a man in an alleyway will not come with technical support, and may even be virus infected."

"Businesses simply cannot afford to ignore piracy," continued Cluley. "The corporate network is the backbone of any company and if you allow users to run anything they like on it, whether illegal or not, you shouldn't be surprised when it breaks."

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