With the ease we have in finding everything on the internet, it is relatively common to find companies that choose to use unlicensed software. In some cases, the use of this alternative is punctual and aims to solve a momentary need. In others, it is really premeditated and in bad faith, however, regardless of the purpose, using pirated software is a crime and can have serious consequences for people and companies.
Using unlicensed software is not a viable option for any type of business, regardless of its size or industry. Companies that opt for such behavior are subject to fines for non-compliance with legal obligations, may suffer from instability in the use of the application and open a margin for infection of the technological park by malware embedded in the installers of these applications.
Read this blog post and learn in full the reflexes of the use of unlicensed software (pirates), in organizations.
What are the risks when using unlicensed software?
Fines and non-compliance with legal obligations
The use of illegal software violates some laws and can cause legal sanctions against companies and individuals.
Law 9,610 / 1998 provides for a fine of up to 10 times the original software value. In addition, violating the copyright of a computer program can lead to imprisonment from six months to two years. If unlicensed software is marketed, the penalty can be up to 4 years in prison and a fine.
And other administrative and legal proceedings can also be filed against the user of the non-legalized software. In fact, it is important to be aware of the type of license acquired, since there are restrictions, of use according to their characteristics. It is worth mentioning that there may be variations according to the software manufacturer, however, to exemplify the types of licensing, the case of Windows 10 operating system licensing, which can be purchased in ESD (Electronic Software Delivery) format, will be given as an example. , which allows you to use the license in a more flexible way, being able to reuse it whenever necessary (device change). And also the OEM type, which is linked to a specific hardware, and cannot be transferred if the equipment has a problem.
Instabilities and poor application performance
If you have used unlicensed software, you have probably seen some unexpected failure or improper application functioning. Illegal software is often modified to prevent updates or authenticity checks from the installed version. These changes can drastically reduce performance.
The licensed software, in addition to its stable operation, still counts on technical support and periodic updates to correct bugs and security flaws. This does not usually happen in non-legal versions.
In fact, it is through these security flaws that vulnerabilities are exploited to harm users and companies.
Infections and invasions by viruses
The use of unlicensed applications or operating systems stands out as one of the main threats to the maintenance of digital security in companies. This occurs for two primary reasons, namely:
Security vulnerabilities: As previously described, most of the time unlicensed software has limitations associated with updating. The use of outdated software, especially when it comes to security updates, poses a high risk for users and companies. Security breaches typically increase the chances of a successful attempt to break into the device and the corporate network.
Baits for activating malware: Unlicensed software, or “cracks” for activating / unlocking licenses, are also considered critical points and should receive attention from users and technology professionals. Applications, often considered harmless, are used by malicious individuals as bait to induce inattentive users to run malicious programs.
The compromise of devices, due to the lack of software updates or the attempt to install corrupted applications, can generate serious problems for the company’s network structure, allowing loss or leakage of information.
Buying only original software does not solve all problems. So, what to do?
If any employee uses unlicensed software in the corporate environment, they will be exposing the company to various risks, even if the application is running on a particular device.
In the case of companies, even if technology professionals apply policies and tools to avoid Shadow IT, which characterizes the use of applications not approved by the IT department, it is important to maintain other security measures.
In addition to obtaining original software and maintaining clear guidelines on the use of applications in the corporate environment, it is important to constantly monitor the networks. This scan should be routine and look for unknown devices or suspicious actions that could pose threats.
There are several hardware and software that can work together to ensure an extra layer of protection for corporate networks, preventing viruses and malware from circulating and causing damage to your company.
You can start protecting yourself by making a simple, practical and free diagnosis on information security, which enables the identification of the company’s digital security maturity index.
In addition, if necessary, talk to the OSTEC team of experts. Our professionals are available to answer your questionsabout the use of legal software and digital security.