Almost half of worldwide IT managers install unlicensed software, despite understanding of security risks

A quarter of UK IT managers pirate software

More than one in four UK enterprise IT managers have installed software without a proper license, a survey has found.

Software industry organisation The Software Alliance (BSA) found that globally, almost half (43 per cent) of software was pirated – a 42 per cent increase on 2012.

In the UK alone, over a quarter (26 per cent) of businesses admitted to having installed pirated software in 2013.

However, this figure was a slight drop from the 27 per cent of businesses who similarly pirated software in 2012.

The report additionally found that only a third (35 per cent) of companies had produced policies specifying the use of licensed software.

"Behind this mixed picture is a cross-current of two large-scale market trends," commented the BSA.

"The growing popularity of tablet computers is eating into new PC shipments, while emerging economies account for an increasing majority of the still-vast global market for desktops and laptops.

"These tectonic shifts will continue to reshape the global software landscape over time, but the importance of using genuine, properly licensed software will remain as important as ever – particularly as cybersecurity threats proliferate."

The figures come despite 64 and 59 per cent of users recognising unauthorised access by hackers and loss of data as chief concerns for those using unlicensed software, respectively.

The BSA added: "The global cybersecurity threat environment has in fact been worsening – and that trend has been exacerbated in part by vulnerabilities associated with illegitimate software.”

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