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BSA urges Bangladeshi C-suite leaders to clean up use of unlicensed, unsecure software in business organizations

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In a concerted effort to improve cyber security and promote the use of licensed software across Bangladesh, BSA | The Software Alliance is intensifying its call for organizations to prioritize software legalization. With the country’s ICT sector rapidly expanding and unlicensed software use still rampant, the need for compliance has never been more urgent, according to BSA executives.

Mr. Tarun Sawney, Senior Director at BSA, said using unlicensed software compromises data security, making businesses susceptible to cyber attacks, data breaches, and malware infections. These incidents can damage the trust and confidence of clients, partners, and stakeholders.

Using unlicensed software also exposes organizations to a variety of legal and reputational risks, Mr. Sawney said, emphasizing that using unlicensed software could subject organizations to potential lawsuits, fines, and legal penalties.

“BSA calls on chief executives and business leaders in Bangladesh to proactively manage the software assets at their companies,” said Mr. Sawney. “Far too many companies are using unlicensed software in business operations, including operations linked to the development of construction and infrastructure. It is the role of the CEOs in Bangladesh to ensure their companies are using safe, secure software—and compliant with the law.”

BSA data indicates that companies in a variety of sectors in Bangladesh are using unlicensed software, including but not limited to manufacturing and production, retail and trading, construction and real estate, consumer goods, banking, financial services, and architecture and engineering, among others.

The repercussions of using unlicensed software were highlighted recently when Bangladesh’s National Data Center encountered multiple issues, including loss of storage capacity, firewall damage, and the inability to install updates. These problems were attributed to the use of unlicensed software supplied by external sources, highlighting the grave consequences of non-compliance.

“The damages from using unlicensed software extend beyond financial losses; they pose significant security risks and hinder technological innovation,” said Mr. Sawney. “It’s imperative for business owners, shareholders, and C-suite executives in Bangladesh to take proactive steps in managing software assets, ensuring that their teams prioritize investment in licensed software and the implementation of robust cyber security measures within their organizations.”

BSA is in discussions with government agencies such as the National Cyber Security Agency, part of Bangladesh’s ICT Ministry, to support efforts to legalize greater volumes of the software used in the Bangladesh business community.

“The government in Bangladesh can play a key role in helping to ensure that business leaders use licensed software as a way to keep all of Bangladesh safer from cyber attacks,” said Mr. Sawney.

The Director General of the National Cyber Security Agency of Bangladesh, Mr. Abu Sayed Md. Kamruzzamanndc, highlighted the risks associated with unlicensed software, stating, “Unlicensed software heightens the risks of cyber threats. Organizations should prioritize the use of legitimate software, not only to mitigate risks but also to ensure a safe and secure cyber environment.”

He further added, “The Government is committed to resolving this issue. We continuously recommend organizations to utilize legitimate software and regularly renew licenses. Collaborating with organizations like BSA can amplify awareness and enforcement efforts. These initiatives will contribute to reducing cyber security threats effectively.”

BSA remains steadfast in its commitment to increasing software compliance. Since 2019, the organization spearheaded the regional campaign “Legalize and Protect,” assisting businesses in installing legitimate and secure software on nearly 1 million PCs. With illegal software use still prevalent, BSA’s work to educate organizations and promote software compliance will continue both regionally and globally.

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