News Column

Installed Pirated Software in Nigeria Hits U.S. $287 Million

June 30, 2014

Emmanuel Okwuke



Global Software Survey released by BSA shows that 81 percent of software installed on personal computers (PCs) in Nigeria in 2013 was not properly licensed.

The BSA study found the commercial value of unlicensed software in Nigeria reached more than $287 million in 2013; in the Middle East and Africa the commercial value of unlicensed software was over $4.3 billion in 2013.

The survey reported that computer users cite the risk of security threats from malware as the top reason not to use unlicensed software. Among their specific concerns are intrusions by hackers and loss of data. Yet in the enterprise, only 35 percent of companies have written policies in place requiring use of properly licensed software.

"The study clearly shows how much work still has to be done," said Corporate Attorney, Digital Crimes Unit at Microsoft, one of BSA's member companies, Marius Haman . "Reducing unlicensed software use will help to stimulate Nigeria's economy, enhance businesses productivity and better avoid security risks. Security is especially important in light of the growing threat of cybercrime."

Globally, unlicensed software use continues to be a major problem with 43 percent of the software installed on PCs around the world not properly licensed. Emerging markets now account for 56 percent of all PCs in use globally -- and nearly three-quarters of all unlicensed software installations (73 percent). That trend is likely to continue.

One of the alarming trends revealed in the study is the significant gap between workers' and IT managers' awareness of company software policies. A full 42 percent of workers say their companies either do not have a policy on licensed software use or they don't know, while 86 percent of IT managers claim that their companies have either a written policy or an informal one.

It is no surprise, then, that less than half of IT managers surveyed are very confident that their company's software is properly licensed.

"Most people don't know what is installed on their systems. That needs to change," said BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel.

"There are common-sense steps managers and administrators can take to make sure their organisations are using genuine, properly licensed software."

Another concern for Nigerian businesses is accidental piracy. "As methods to manufacture and sell counterfeit software become more sophisticated, there is an urgent need for greater awareness of this critical problem.

Unsuspecting companies are at risk of downloading or purchasing counterfeit software that can expose them to spyware, malware and viruses that can lead to identity theft, loss of data, and system failures," said Haman.

"Local law enforcement is taking action to tackle unscrupulous resellers and computer shops. An effective partnership between the public and private sector is crucial to reducing unlicensed software use in Nigeria," Haman concluded.


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Source: AllAfrica


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