The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has welcomed steps taken by the government to warn firms against cyber attacks but has called for more attention to be paid to the dangers of using unlicensed applications.
As part of a campaign by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills companies are being issued with guidance on how to avoid cyber attacks but FAST believes that not only are those using unlicensed software at risk of fines but also have weaker defences against hackers.
The government has been pushing the cyber security issue up the agenda as it looks to make more firms aware of the risks of hacking as well as protecting its own information from nation-state attacks.
But twinned with the security risks unlicensed and potentially illegal software can cause there are also risks of being fined for not paying for using applications.
Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel at FAST, said the government was taking the right steps to increase security awareness but more steps could be taken on the software front.
“The use of unlicensed software can open the pathway for cyber attacks as highlighted in a report issued by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in 2008. Now more than ever it is imperative for businesses to not cut corners and ensure that data security and software compliance remain firmly on the agenda," he said.
"Failure to do so could lead to rolling in the mud with the regulator plus dealing with reactive software compliance measures which pressurises the organisation,” he added.