Computer users in Thailand are still using unlicensed software at an alarming rate, despite the link between unlicensed software and cyber-attacks, according to the new Global Software Survey from BSA.

The survey, Seizing Opportunity Through License Compliance, found that in Thailand, the percent of software installed on computers that was not properly licensed was 69 percent. This represents a two-point decrease compared with BSA’s prior study in 2013.

This rate of access has been influenced in part by important trends under way in Thailand.  The overall market for PCs dropped for both commercial users and consumers but the consumer share of the installed base went up.

There was some downward impact from the “consumer effect” on the unlicensed rate, but more of the drop related to increased software copyright enforcement.

“As the report underscores, it is critically important for a company to be aware of what software is on the company network,” said BSA |The Software Alliance President and CEO Victoria A. Espinel.

“Many CIOs don’t know the full extent of software deployed on their systems or if that software is legitimate.”

The survey, which canvassed consumers, IT managers, and enterprise PC users, reinforces that use of unlicensed software is still high, and that individuals and companies are playing with fire when they use unlicensed software.

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This is due to the strong connection between cyber-attacks and the use of unlicensed software. Where unlicensed software is in use, the likelihood of encountering malware dramatically goes up.

And the cost of dealing with malware incidents can be staggering. In 2015 alone, for example, cyberattacks cost businesses over $400 billion.

Highlights in this year’s survey, by region, include:

  • The region with the highest overall rate of unlicensed software was Asia-Pacific at 61 percent, a one-point decline compared with BSA’s previous survey in 2013.
  • The next-highest unlicensed software rate was in Central and Eastern Europe with 58 percent (falling three-points from the rate registered in 2013), and then the Middle East-Africa at 57 percent (dropping two-points since 2013).
  • North America continues to have the lowest regional rate at 17 percent, although this constitutes a significant commercial value of $10 billion.
  • In Western Europe the overall rate dropped one point to 28 percent.

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