COMPANIES are urged to use only licensed software in their businesses, as doing otherwise will have harmful effects on the economic growth of the country.

In a statement by The Software Alliance (BSA) over the weekend, the Philippines’ Optical Media Board (OMB) pushed corporations to uphold the country’s intellectual property laws by dismissing the practice of using pirated software for businesses.

“We envision an economy that is free from illegal software and where there is a level playing field for all legitimate businesses. We are also working hard to protect businesses from cyberattack and it is impossible to be safe from cyber criminals and impossible to have national security if thousands of companies are using illegal software,” OMB Chairman Anselmo B. Adriano was quoted as saying.

BSA said in March the Philippines has a 64% rate of usage of unlicensed software in 2017, which is greater than the regional average of 57% and the world average of 37%.

“The use of unlicensed or illegal software is a sign of poor judgment and unnecessary risk-taking. Equity investments are particularly not safe in companies that take such risks, as they can easily lose their values in the event of a breach. The Optical Media Board recognizes this, and has been an active partner in reducing use of illegal software among corporations in the Philippines,” BSA Senior Director Tarun Sawney was quoted as saying.

The organization noted that using pirated software makes a company vulnerable to cyber attacks, which could cost a company around $10,000 just to resolve one infected computer.

“Investors know the risks and have the power to pressure companies to keep everything legitimate. If these businesses seek to attract investment, they must first earn the trust of investors, and legalizing all software is a major part of that,” Mr. Sawney added. — Denise A. Valdez