In the digital era, various software is widely used to accomplish personal and enterprise tasks. Most software requires the user’s consent to access its full functionality. While you may entertain the idea of using free tools, unlicensed software can expose your organization to various security and financial risks. To enhance security and efficiency, software licensing is vital in today’s business landscape. Here are various ways licensing ensures better security.
1. Legal and Security Compliance
Using unlicensed software makes your organization vulnerable to existing and new risks. Typically, the practice is also considered piracy –the unlawful duplication, use, and distribution without consent from the owner. The copyright owner may take legal action against your company leading to fines and penalties depending on the severity of your violation.
Typically, companies running unlicensed software on their network are at a greater risk of experiencing devastating malware attacks. Software licensing lowers your overall risk surface. Every organization should have a continuous inventory of authorized and unauthorized hardware or software running on their network at any time. The practice makes it easy to identify inactive licenses to ensure legal and security compliance.
2. Reliable Protection Layer Against Cyberthreats
Installing unlicensed software increases your exposure to risks like malware by about 30%. Businesses that use unauthorized software face more cybersecurity incidents than companies that run licensed and updated software. That’s because malicious entities can embed malware in the pirated software and use it as an entry point to sabotage your network and data.
Licensed software has a built-in mechanism that can detect excessive user privileges. For instance, an audit may reveal unauthorized applications on your business computers. And since your company doesn’t sanction the application, it’s likely the end-user made the installation. Most systems are designed to resist end-user tampering, meaning the end-user has excess privileges allowing them to circumvent the security feature. This serious security issue may go unnoticed when using unlicensed software, exposing your organization to various security risks that can hurt your business.
3. Versatile Software Tracking For Modern Use
Software licensing has experienced significant advancements over the last decade. Previously, monitoring software on Windows computers was the core focus for most organizations. And while some workers were using their personal devices for work-related tasks, companies were less concerned with the software running on them.
On the contrary, modern companies rarely work from one operating system. Working from multiple operating systems is the norm in the hybrid work model. As more organizations embrace the BYOD policy, employees are at liberty to choose their favorite device to boost productivity.
While the approach minimizes your capital expenditure, it increases the threat landscape in most organizations. However, software security tracking has become a critical tool for mitigating cyber threats in a complex work model.
While many organizations look for free software and tools to cut costs, it may not be a good strategy considering the inherent risks and potential financial implications. It’s prudent to implement a software licensing policy in your business to avoid security issues and ensure business continuity.