Microsoft: Pirated Software to Cost Businesses $491 Billion in 2014
Developers aren't the only ones stung by pirated software. Businesses also risk getting burned by running software that may have been tweaked by cyber-criminals.Microsoft has released a new study from IDC and the National University of Singapore (NUS) that warns businesses of the risks of running unlicensed software. The study is based on a survey of 1,700 IT professionals, government workers and consumers in 15 markets. The study, sponsored by Microsoft, "revealed that enterprises are particularly hard hit by malware introduced via pirated software," David Finn, associate general counsel and executive director of Microsoft's Cybercrime Center, wrote in a blog post. This year, IDC forecasts that "businesses will spend $127 billion dealing with security issues and $364 billion dealing with data breaches." In total, businesses will spend nearly half a trillion dollars ($491 billion) cleaning up after pirated software in 2014. Finn added that "almost two-thirds of these losses, or $315 billion, will be the result of organized crime—malware launched by financially motivated criminals." Last year, in a similar study also conducted by IDC, the companies predicted that enterprises would spend $114 billion in 2013 to eliminate malware from counterfeit software.
At the same time, governments stand to lose more than $50 billion recovering from malware-ridden pirated software. Government officials polled by IDC are most concerned about "the loss of business trade secrets or competitive information (59 percent), followed by unauthorized access to confidential government information (55 percent) and the impact of cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure (55 percent)," wrote Finn.