Police raids of business organizations using unlicensed software grew by 20 percent in the first half of this year.
The Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) reports that 111 private sector business organizations were found using unlicensed software worth almost 200 million baht on more than 1,100 PCs. Some of these companies are reported to be publicly listed.
ECD is ramping up efforts to stop business organizations from using unlicensed software as the link between pirated software and malware attack raises concerns about threats to Thailand’s economic growth and national security.
Police report that the majority of business organizations in raid cases consists of manufacturers, constructors, and engineering and design professionals located in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces of Nonthaburi, Prathumthani, Samutprakarn and Nakronprathom. Around 86.9% of are Thai-owned businesses, and the rest includes international shareholders, namely Japanese, Chinese, Australian, American, Israeli and Swedish.
“People should be aware that raids are happening every day,” said ECD Deputy Commander, Pol. Col. Papatdet Ketphun. “The use of unlicensed software is still persistent and is threatening cybersecurity in Thailand. This problem is critical, and we need to address it through enforcement and education activities. We educate business organizations about the legal and cybersecurity risks posed by use of unlicensed software.”
Police report conducting raids every week in 2016.
Among these business organizations, a major constructionmaterials company which has the branches in Bangkok and Nakornprathom Province was found with unlicensed software installed on 45 PCs. Furthermore, ECD police raided a die-cast mold manufacturer with Thai and Japanese shareholders in Samutprakarn province for using unlicensed software on 41 PCs. Microsoft and ThaiSoftware software were used illegitimately and without licenses in these companies.
“The cybersecurity risks posed by use of unlicensed software can include financial loss, data breach, reputational damage, etc.” said Deputy Commander, Pol. Col. Papatdet Ketphun. CEOs and business leaders should take action seriously to mitigate these risks because they can be held personally liable for civil and criminal penalties.”
A critical first-step in deterring cybersecurity risks is verifying licensed and legitimate use of software.
Recently, the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD), the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) and the Association of Thai Software Industry(ATSI) launched the Safe Software, Safe Nation campaign to change the business community’s behaviour about use of software. Thailand is among the ASEAN nations making a significant reduction in unlicensed use of software.
The public is also playing a role by increasingly reporting use of unlicensed software in business organizations. Details of the informant who calls the Software Piracy Hotline at 02-714-1010 or reports online will be kept confidential. More information is available online at www.stop.in.th