By the time your software hits the market, your security measures are already out of date. For many popular software programs it can take a matter of weeks, days, and, in a few cases, even hours before your software protection is cracked.
How do unlicensed users circumvent security measures?
Software companies work hard to maintain control of their licenses and their intellectual property. However, unlicensed users employ a variety of sophisticated tactics to circumvent security measures:
- Using computers that aren’t connected to the internet so they can bypass software call-backs to the licensing company’s servers
- Buying one license and using it on multiple computers/platforms, i.e. overusing of legal licenses
- Reusing educational licenses for commercial purposes
- Using anonymous machines
Protecting licensed software is a challenge for all companies. Virtually every license manager available has been circumvented in one way or another. And sometimes, people crack them just for fun.
Just as people who have experienced a home invasion tend to increase home security, software companies often try to increase security measures in response to a compliance breach. But using multiple security methods and making people jump through hoops to unlock your licenses isn’t a particularly user-friendly way to improve software security.
If you’re overzealous with your software security, you can alienate legitimate licensed users, which can have a negative impact on your revenue streams. It’s like having the police show up at your house after incorrectly disarming your security system.
Protecting your intellectual property
So, what can you do to protect against software piracy?
First and foremost, ensure you’re using the latest software protection programs. Although they’re not infallible – a determined hacker will crack them eventually, it’s a matter of if not when – it’s better to have some form of protection than none at all. It also strengthens your case if you decide to report a compliance breach and bring the perpetrator to court.
You can also use a software compliance tool to monitor your users. Who are they? Where are the licenses being used? Are there any signs of misuse? Monitoring this data continuously will help you clamp down on illegal distribution and recover more revenue.
Need help with your compliance program? Contact us.