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<a href="/news/malware-in-pirated-software-to-cost-businesses-491-billion-in-2014" title="Malware in Pirated Software to Cost Businesses $491 Billion in 2014">Malware in Pirated Software to Cost Businesses $491 Billion in 2014</a>
Posted on: 21 Mar 2014 

Posted By: IT Wiser

Malware in Pirated Software to Cost Businesses $491 Billion in 2014


Businesses that rely on counterfeit software for applications, knowingly or otherwise, are putting themselves at significant risk of cybercrime, which is expected to cost enterprises as much as $491 billion in 2014 alone, a new study into pirated software and cyber breaches has revealed.

The joint study, carried out by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and global marketing firm IDC showed that $364 million of the total amount would come from lost data, as well as costs to identify and repair damage and deal with identity theft.

The global study surveyed 1700 consumers, IT workers, chief information officers, and government officials from 13 countries, including the UK, and carried out analysis on PCs purchased from resellers and speciality shops, reported Computer Weekly.

Around $2 billion in pirated software is reportedly distributed around the world every year and there is a one in three chance of being infected with malware because of using it. In addition to this, the chance of encountering malware in a PC with pirated software installed is 61 per cent.

Enterprise Computers

When it comes to enterprise PC use, the problem of malware was heightened by the fact that 30 per cent of IT managers and CIOs purchased systems from non-branded suppliers and national stores, while 20 per cent of all pirated software in enterprises is installed by employees – often without the knowledge of bosses.

Twenty-six per cent of businesses were found to have no process in place for the installation of security updates.

Biplab Sikdar, professor of computer engineering at the National University of Singapore told Computer Weekly, “It is hugely concerning that brand new PCs are coming pre-infected with dangerous malware due to pirated software, making the users and companies readily vulnerable to security breaches.

“The university’s forensic tests clearly indicate how cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging the unsecure supply chain of piracy to spread malware and compromise PC security in a serious way. We would only recommend usage of genuine software for online safety and cybersecurity.”

PC Security the Best Deterrent

To help tackle counterfeit software and eliminate the problem of malware contained within, experts see genuine security software as the most meaningful deterrent.

As a business owner or IT manager, it is essential that you only purchase systems and software from genuine, trusted retailers and install Cloud Web Security to scan and prevent the threat of malware. The risk of not doing so could be financially catastrophic for the future of your business.  

The Register