BSA exposes cloud application license abuse

The BSA has discovered that firms are sharing log-in credentials for cloud applications between staff in a move that would violate license agreements

The BSA has revealed a form of license abuse, sharing log-on details, is widespread in a significant number of customers already.

As well as highlighting that problem the software lobby group found that the use of free cloud computing services is on the increase with users starting to use hosted applications for both personal and business use and emerging markets are potentially leap-frogging established mature market counterparts with their use of the cloud.

But it is the shared use of log-on details, with around 42% of organisations that use paid cloud services sharing sign-in details among staff, that has caused alarm.

"This is eye opening data," said BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman, who added "It doesn't necessarily mean 42% of those who say they used paid cloud services for business also say they share their login credentials inside their organisations."

"On this, there is a noteworthy split. In emerging economies, 45% of those using paid cloud services for business say they share their login-in credentials internally, compared to 30% in mature economies," he added.

But with the survey of the take-up of cloud applications indicating that emerging markets are adopting them more rapidly than mature countries the potential scope for license abuse is fairly large.

"If you live in a developing economy and use a computer, then, likely as not, you also use cloud computing services at least some of the time for email, word processing, document or photo storage, or other things," said Holleyman.

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