Perhaps you’ve weighed up the benefits and seen that it’s much cheaper. It looks genuine – and you think to yourself:

How bad could it be?

There is far more risk to your IT systems with use of unlicensed, pirated software rather than trusted products from trusted suppliers. Research shows that downloading illegitimate software can increase the likelihood of a cyberattack by a third! A cyberattack can jeopardise the future of a small to medium-sized business, so now it’s time to ask yourself:

Is it worth risking our livelihood?

As well as being illegal, there is a significant degree of danger when downloading pirated or unknown software. This software can leave you vulnerable to – or even carry within it – a variety of cyberthreats, such as malware, spyware, phishing scams, ransomware, hackers and adware. All of which can disrupt, damage and gain unauthorised access to your computer systems and this is often costly to rectify –  it may even prove too expensive to save the business.

Software purchased from reputable and legitimate suppliers can be much more beneficial. This is primarily because software manufacturers constantly update their products, addressing vulnerabilities and fighting against the latest cyber threats. These updates also often include more up-to-date features – ultimately making them safer and more functional.

What should we do?

At Microtrading, we recommend the following preventative measures to reduce the risk:

  • Downloading products from authorised dealers only
  • Use trial versions to determine whether a programme is right for you, before purchasing the full product
  • Have security systems in place to eliminate risk and prevent users from visiting malicious websites with hidden malware
  • Remove administrative accounts and stop staff from installing unnecessary software programmes on their devices
  • Have an acceptable use policy that explains what staff can and can’t do when using company IT equipment
  • Control and manage BYOD (bring-your-own-device) and ensure they meet company guidelines before granting access to your systems.

We can help protect your business and ensure you have the necessary security systems in place. Our managed security service includes anti-virus and web protection and is monitored 24/7 365 days a year. We’ll make sure you’re up-to-date and protected from current malware threats and viruses. Web traffic is monitored and scanned for malware, and access to non-work related websites e.g. gambling sites, pornography or torrent services can be restricted to increase productivity and reduce liability.

Don’t take the risk. Follow our tips to ensure you keep your business safe. By doing so, you can benefit from the most up-to-date software and not worry about having to spend valuable time and resources dealing with a virus outbreak or ransomware attack.

If you are looking for IT support in Birmingham or would like to discuss any requirements for managed security services, and the benefits of licensed products, please contact Microtrading IT support on 0121 784 0077 or click here.