Maybe an employee grabbed a quick download once to solve a problem and didn't want to bother you with a purchase request. Maybe it is an application that you use every day and forgot how the license works. Maybe you own a legitimate license but you are running it on 7 computers when you are the only one that is supposed to be using it. Whether you know it or not the Software Alliance (often called the BSA) would love to make an example of your business. They are currently expanding their sneaky reach including advertising for paid whistle blowers.
Back in the late 80's, Microsoft founded an agency whose sole task it was to protect the intellectual property of member companies, by finding and prosecuting as many cases as possible. Now the agency can simply take out a Facebook ad targeted to past or current employees of a company and offer a reward for up to 1 million dollars for information. Your business doesn't even need to be actively using the software; it only has to be installed. Many people will do desperate things for 1 million dollars!
How to Protect your Business
Make a zero-tolerance policy to download unapproved software. Lock down employee systems so they cannot install any software, even at their own work stations. Set your permissions so that only administration/management can install software.
Maintain your software license documentation and run annual audits. This ensures that you have records that can keep your business up during bad circumstances. Proper documentation makes sure that you do not have illegal software and if you are ever investigated you are ready to prove so.
We can help audit your netwrok for pirate software and lock down your employee systems. Give us a call at 937-660-4899.