According to a new report from the BSA it appears as if counterfeit software is finding itself more into small businesses than ever before, but it also points to a potential risk where these companies may be losing more than what they think they are saving.
Downloading or buying illegal software is often done in an effort to save money, with the report saying that 51% of businesses have done this at some point. However, from that number, 41% believe that their details have been used in a case of identity theft and 28% have had credit card numbers stolen as a result.
This rise in using counterfeit software is usually driven by costs, with businesses attempting to bring operating costs down, and also ignorance of what illegal goods look like, with many counterfeit products looking just as good as the original. But many know exactly what they are doing, with one in five admitting that they used some type of key generator in order to bypass registration for a piece of software, 83% using torrent sites and 67% using warez sites.
Some however end up using counterfeit software in error, with many being duped in purchasing what turns out to be illicit goods. After realising their action, the report says that 51% replaced those goods with legal copies, and 27% paying for a legit software key, whereas 10% uninstalled the software without replacing it.
One case study looked at Saws Direct, where a sales manager told the Huffington Post UK that he had tried to buy a legal copy of Windows Home Edition through eBay but quickly found out that he had been sold a fake copy. He said that even after discussing it in the office, he had believed the reduced price product on eBay looked genuine at £80, which was much lower than the new £200 price point.