Software alliance targets 5,000 PH firms

Published July 22, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

New public sector investments in national infrastructure call for the private sector to commit to design with licensed, cyber secure software – and shed decades old habit of using unlicensed software products.

BSA The Software Alliance (BSA) is planning to conduct outreach to 20,000 engineering and design firms across the Southeast Asia region, including 5,000 private sector engineering and design firms in the Philippines as part of its campaign to fight the use of unlicensed software in the private sector.

Working with software company Autodesk, Inc., BSA is also targeting 5,000 firms in Indonesia, 5,000 firms in Malaysia and 5,000 firms in Thailand. While the firms are primarily engineering and design firms, there are also other companies on the list, including manufacturing companies and animation


BSA estimates that there are still more than 100,000 design and engineering companies using unlicensed software in Southeast Asia.

Nearly every week in Southeast Asia, a private sector engineering, architecture or design firm is fined and penalized for using unlicensed software. As such, the BSA campaign is designed to inform business leaders about the risks of unlicensed software and the benefits of using legal design software.

BSA also planning to collaborate with government agencies across the region to support the campaign and further encourage the private sector to exclusively use licensed software. This includes the Optical Media Board (OMB) in the Philippines; the Ministry of Communication and Informatics in Indonesia; the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in Malaysia, and the Royal Thai Police, Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) in Thailand.

With billions of dollars budgeted for national infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia, BSA urged engineering and design firms to commit to using only licensed software in the development of roads, bridges, ports, and communications infrastructure planned for the years ahead as governments seek strategies to boost national competitiveness.

The campaign is a continuation of BSA’s successful regional Legalize and Protect initiative launched since 2019.The campaign has helped businesses across Southeast Asia to install licensed, cyber secure software on nearly 1 million PCs.

“It would be a tremendous sign of strength to have the next generation of infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia built with software that is fully enabled, highly productive, secure and licensed,” said Tarun Sawney, Senior Director, BSA during a virtual briefing Wednesday, July 21. “BSA wants to help the ASEAN region’s leading design and engineering firms to make the transition away from the risks of unlicensed software to fully licensed software that can actually unlock potential of the region’s leading designers,” said Sawney.

“It’s clear that Southeast Asia’s leading engineers and designers want to use fully licensed design software because it makes them more productive and keeps their PCs secure from attack,” said Sawney. “The challenge is that not enough business leaders at these firms are willing to make the necessary investment.”

The BSA outreach will include free consultations and advisory services on conducting audits for private sector enterprises that seek counsel on the software licensing process. The outreach will take place from July 21, 2021 in the form of direct communications from BSA to the 20,000 firms. For companies that would like to learn more about software licensing, BSA encourages executives to conduct internal audits to identify potential licensed gaps inside their companies.

“Licensed software is our first line of defense against cyber attacks, and we need the private sector to prioritize use of licensed software and be proactive in ensuring that the habit of using unlicensed software is stopped,” said Atty. Cyrus Paul S. Valenzuela, Chief, Legal Division of the Optical Media Board.

“The country’s unlicensed software use is an indicator of how exposed we are to cyberattacks, data theft, ransomware, and network attacks. This remains a concern in the Philippines, and it has to be fixed. BSA’s effort to help companies on their journey to following national laws is crucial and we strongly support BSA to make our national cyber space more secure,” he added.