Understand the risks of using pirated software and buying illegal keys for your company
Although the lowest prices, buying keys or installing any other type of pirated software are actions that can compromise your company’s computer security.
It has been observed that traditional piracy, of falsified products, keygen and cracks, has lost space for a somewhat more subtle practice. The purchase and sale of software keys by unauthorized persons is an illicit practice and can also bring harmful consequences.
First of all, it is essential to have the understanding that the purchase or possession of the activation key or serial numbers does not mean the acquisition of the license and rights of use. Often these sellers forge or steal the key, hence it is a practice of piracy.
In this article we will make known the risks of installing pirated software or buying software keys by unauthorized persons.
1 – Risk of malware infection
The installation and usage of unlicensed or pirated software can bring serious risks to the security of your organization’s IT infrastructure.
Many of these programs are outdated, or even have limitations on future upgrades, and this can be a serious problem as hackers can exploit your vulnerabilities.
In addition, these unlicensed software can often serve as bait to hide malware, and serve as a gateway to infect your company’s system.
2 – Disclosure of sensitive information
This risk is directly associated with the above, since through malware hackers may have access to confidential information stored in unlicensed software.
Once data is stolen and confidential information falls into the wrong hands, it can be offered to competitors, meaning the loss of competitive advantage.
3 – Legal risks
The utilization or commercialization of pirated software is a crime. According to ASAE, computer programs are protected by the portuguese Lei dos Direitos de Autor, therefore the creation of unauthorized copies is prohibited.
The Portuguese Cybercrime Law (Law No. 109/2009 of September 15), provides punishment with imprisonment for up to 3 years or a fine for those who illegitimately reproduce, disseminate or communicate to the public a computer program protected by law.
For the installation and use of software to be legitimate, the purchase of a license must be made, not only the single activation key.
4 – Low performance or application blockage
Hardly a counterfeit pirated software will have the same performance as the same original product, considering that it can be updated with patches that guarantee security and good functioning. As we have seen pirated software can contain malware, and this can slow down the machine where it was installed.
For those who buy the key from unauthorized vendors, according to Microsoft the risk is that “the key may not work for activation, already be in use on another PC or be blocked for use later by Microsoft when the theft is reported.
5 – Lack of technical support
Another major disadvantage of using pirated or counterfeit software is the lack of technical assistance offered by manufacturers. This means that in case of doubt or unknown errors, the user will not have specialized help or technical support.
How to protect your company
According to Microsoft, the user should be cautious of too low a prices, or when offers are found on auction site listings, online classified ads or on another page advertising product keys for sale.
The best option for those who want to ensure peace of mind, performance and assistance of applications, without having to spend much on purchasing licenses, is to use open-source software.
Eurotux is a partner and authorized reseller of large manufacturers such as Microsoft, IBM, Lenovo, Sophos, Cisco, Oracle and others. Would you like to purchase licenses in a totally legitimate and secure way, or do you need help choosing the best open-source software? Contact us by message or email.