WannaCry ransomware attack illustrates risk of using unlicensed software

The WannaCry international ransomware attack has highlighted the risks of relying on unpatched software. The scale of the outbreak has been blamed in part on the widespread use of unlicensed software. Pirated software is often insecure as it does not benefit from manufacturers’ updates to fix vulnerabilities.

Several of the countries reported by cyber security companies to be worst affected are also amongst the countries where unlicensed software is most widely used.

This incident illustrates that while using unlicensed software might be seen as a way of saving money in the short term, it can put cyber security at serious risk and may potentially lead to losses far outweighing any savings.

The NCSC's guidance on protecting your organisation from ransomware can be found here. Further guidance for home users and small businesses as well as enterprise administrators is also available.

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