BSA calls out executives for unlicensed software

BSA calls out executives for unlicensed software

The Microsoft-backed Software Alliance (BSA) is calling on Thai chief executives to stop using unlicensed software for business operations to step up data protection.

While the BSA commends progress in Thailand on the enforcement of copyright laws and increased use of licensed software in the private sector, more than half of corporations in Thailand still use unlicensed software.

An estimated 66% of Thailand's corporations use illegal software that the BSA says could put data at risk and hurt the nation's cybersecurity efforts.

The solution, according to the software industry, includes increased enforcement of the Thai Copyright Act, such as conducting raids of companies using illegal software with greater frequency on a nationwide scale.

The BSA also wants a hands-on effort by chief executives and senior leadership to self-police use of software in Thailand.

"The Economic Crime Suppression Division [ECD] police are doing a great job of inspecting and raiding corporations for use of illegal software, and we hope they build on these efforts in more companies to help ensure the public's data remains safe," said BSA senior director Tarun Sawney. "But chief executives in Thailand need to do better. They need to ensure their companies are compliant. Chief executives can do a better job of sending the message that using illegal software is not acceptable."

The BSA said Thailand's ECD police are leaders in Asia-Pacific in creating a legal and safe cyber-environment. This year, the ECD conducted hundreds of investigations and dozens of company raids to track down illegal software use.

"In terms of activity levels, the software industry highly appreciates ECD," said Mr Sawney. "Where we would like to see improvement is the activity levels of chief executives in Thailand to make sure their corporations are 100% legal in terms of their software use. We do not believe chief executives are out to violate the law; instead they simply are not managing the copyrights of their software assets closely enough."

To be compliant with Thai laws, BSA suggests corporations should have a policy to direct all software purchases through a central purchasing or information technology department. Executives should also educate managers about software licence compliance.

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