You can now access Windows and Microsoft Office software and licences instantly, but while looking to save money, you run the risk of opting for non-compliant software that will increase the vulnerability of your computer system.
These practices are often the result of employees installing personal software on work computers. Indeed, 65% of companies allow this option and 37% of employees do so as they see fit without requesting permission. This negligence can therefore have consequences for your IT operations.
In addition to security problems, software issues can impact the performance of your business. Non-regulated software versions are not updated and cannot benefit from security patches. It should be noted that 76% of VSEs/SMEs believe that this problem makes them more vulnerable. And what’s more, the presence and use of non-compliant software exposes companies to financial and legal risks.
How can you protect yourself?
To avoid falling victim to fraudulent sellers, there are a number of warning signs:
- A very low price;
- An unconventional marketing medium (such as a USB stick);
- Licence activation via an unofficial website.
Studies show the primary cause of non-compliant software in companies is down to the employees, but monitoring downloads alone cannot guarantee complete visibility of licence compliance, as some installations may be carried out offline. A framework of practices should be put in place for installing personal software on professional computers or when using a personal computer for professional purposes.
It is therefore essential to make employees aware of the need to use legitimate software. Regular face-to-face or online training is proving to be an effective tool, but is still to be rolled out by the majority of companies.