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PEW calls for enhanced awareness on software piracy

Lahore: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday called for enhanced awareness regarding software piracy which has emerged as a threat to businesses worldwide disrupting their operations and threatening their reputation.

Governments, private sector and NGOs should turn their attention to raising awareness about rampant piracy which has become a national security threat for many countries, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

A recent global study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) has discovered that the chances of infection by unexpected malware are one in three for consumers and three in ten for businesses, he said.

The cost of dealing with the impact for enterprises is predicted to be $114 billion globally in 2013; in Asia Pacific the spending will reach $39 billion while it increases to $129 billion if the cost of data loss is added.

The study shows that consumers worldwide will spend 1.5 billion hours and 22 billion dollars identifying, repairing, and recovering from the impact of malware, Dr. Murtaza Mughal informed.

Hundreds of websites were examined while 2,077 consumers and 258 IT managers or chief information officers from Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Thailand, UK, and USA were interviewed during the study titled, “The Dangerous World of Counterfeit and Pirated Software.”

It found that 45 per cent counterfeit software is downloaded from the Internet, 78 per cent is downloaded from P2P networks in which 36 per cent contained Trojans and adware.

A separate study in Southeast Asia in February 2013 found an average malware infection rate of 69 per cent. It also found pirated copies of Windows embedded with malware spread across numerous well-known PC brands.

Respondents informed that only 12 per cent of the software they use was problem-free while 66 per cent of IT managers said that user-installed software increase security risks for their organisations.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that some people choose counterfeit to save money but ends up putting extra financial and emotional strain. The best way to ensure cyber security is to demand genuine software while buying a computer and schedule a security check.

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