Survey: 64% of PH businesses using illegal software

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More than half of corporations in the Philippines are still using unlicensed software in their business operations, according to the latest BSA Global Software Survey in 2018.

The study revealed that an estimated 64 percent of the country’s corporations use illegal software, putting data at risk nationwide and creating significant gaps in the Philippines’ cyber security defenses.

The rate is still far behind ASEAN countries like Singapore and Malaysia where the use of unlicensed software is 27% and 51%, respectively. 

The solution, according to the software industry, includes intensified enforcement of the IP Code of the Philippines (RA 8293) and Optical Media Act (RA 9239) to ensure that corporations stop using illegal software in their business operations. Examples of intensified enforcement includes conducting raids of companies using illegal software with greater frequency on a nationwide scale. 

At the same time, the solution must also include a hands-on effort from CEOs and C-suite leadership at self-policing corporate use of software. Corporate leadership who self-police their software assets protect their clients’ data, safeguard corporate digital assets, and protect their reputation and financial wellbeing.

“The fact is that the Optical Media Board is doing a great job of inspecting and raiding corporations for use of illegal software, and we hope they build on this effort to legalize even more companies to help ensure that the public’s data remain safe,” said BSA senior director Tarun Sawney.

“But CEOs in the Philippines need to do better. CEOs need to proactively ensure that their companies are compliant. Also, as CEOs are self-policing their corporations, this will protect their data from malware and hackers, leading to improved productivity and efficient management.”

According to BSA, OMB is a leader in Asia Pacific for helping to create a legal and safe cyber environment.

“In terms of activity levels, the software industry highly appreciates OMB,” said Sawney. “But what we would like to see improve is the activity levels of CEOs in the Philippines to make sure their corporations are 100 percent legal in terms of their software use. Unfortunately, today, we know that this is not the case. And I should say that we do not believe CEOs are out to violate the law. Instead we believe that most CEOs simply are not managing the copyrights of their software assets closely enough.” 

While corporations in the Philippines realize the importance of good governance and risk management, they too often forget to consider this from an information technology (IT) perspective. The result is that the public’s data privacy is at risk as malware attacks, enabled by unlicensed software, allows bad actors to steal customer’s data from companies.

“We want to partner with CEOs and provide guidance as their corporations review their software license status,” said Sawney. 

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