Mobile working threat to software license compliance

The proliferation of mobile devices is making it harder for companies to stop employees using illegal or counterfeit software.

The proliferation of mobile devices is making it harder for companies to stop employees using illegal or counterfeit software.

A survey by NOP on behalf of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), found that 55% of 500 UK business managers said mobile and remote working is making it increasingly tricky for them to see what their staff are loading on to laptops and mobile devices.

The survey also found that 67% of respondents were not concerned about the potential problem.

The BSA, which protects suppliers’ software copyright, says the survey findings shows firms could open themselves up to legal action by allowing their staff to use unauthorised software.

The BSA says IT management policies and processes that companies enforce within the office environment may not be enforced for staff working remotely or on the move.

Siobhan Carroll, BSA regional manager, said, organisations “need to keep a tight reign on exactly what their staff are putting onto their mobile devices. This research suggests that UK managers have a dangerously lax attitude to the downloading of illegal software on company devices.”

Analyst IDC recently predicted that the potential mobile workforce in the UK is forecast to rise to 15.4 million in 2005, representing just over 50% of the entire UK workforce. 

The NOP/BSA survey also found that: 

39% of bosses believe mobile working is lessening their control over company software 

48% believe that remote working makes security patching more of a problem 

74% of bosses believe allowing remote working improves staff motivation 

68% aren’t concerned about the threat of unauthorised users accessing their networks or company laptops

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