BRUNEI DARUSSALAM – Enterprises in Asia-Pacific (APAC) are expected to spend nearly $230 billion in 2014 to deal with issues caused by malware deliberately loaded onto pirated software – $59 billion dealing with security issues and $170 billion dealing with data breaches – according to a new joint study conducted by IDC and the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2013 (graph below).
APAC consumers, on the other hand, are expected to spend $11 billion this year because of security threats and costly computer fixes stemming from malware on pirated software.
The study, entitled “The Link between Pirated Software and Cybersecurity Breaches”, also reveals that 65 per cent of APAC consumers surveyed say their greatest fear from infected software is the loss of data, files or personal information, followed by unauthorised Internet transactions (48 per cent) and potential identity theft (47 percent). However, 41 per cent of those same respondents do not install security updates, leaving their computers open to attack by cybercriminals.
Government officials expressed concern about the potential impact of cybersecurity threats to their nations. According to the survey, APAC governments are most worried about the unauthorised access to confidential government information (57 per cent), the impact of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure (56 per cent), and the loss of business trade secrets or competitive information (55 per cent). It is estimated that governments worldwide could lose more than $50 billion to deal with the costs associated with malware on pirated software.
“The effect of cybercrime is financially devastating for consumers, companies, and goverments alike,” said Jeff Bullwinkel, Associate General Counsel and Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Asia Pacific and Japan. “Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to break into computer networks to take your money, steal your identity, and passwords for financial gain. The Microsoft Cybercrime Centre is committed to putting an end to these acts to keep personal and financial data safe and secure.”
The study was released around March 2014 this year as part of Microsoft’s “Play It Safe” campaign, a global initiative to create greater awareness of the connection between malware and piracy.
Additional highlights from the survey include the following: The world’s highest enterprise losses will come from APAC ($138 billion) and will be at the hands of organized criminals. In Asia-Pacific 32 per cent of the pirated software in enterprises is installed by employees. 29 per cent of APAC enterprise respondents reported security breaches causing network, computer or website outages occurring every few months or more; 66 percent of those outages involved malware on end-user computers.Infection rates are higher in emerging markets, where more consumers and enterprises acquire software and PCs from suspect sources – small specialty shops, street markets, consultants etc. China and Thailand had the highest rate of PC infections and of infections of software bundled with PCs. Only 40 per cent of all PCs are used in Asia Pacific but IDC estimates that the region will account for 47 per cent of the world’s pirated software in 2014.
Despite lower labour costs to deal with pirated software in Asia-Pacific, the region’s higher rate of infection and higher number of pirated software units are responsible for extensive recovery costs. – Courtesy Concepts Computer