Fake software malware 'costs firms $114bn to fix'

Malware conceptCompanies will pay $114bn this year to fix malware caused by counterfeit software, a Microsoft-sponsored report found.

Employees installing software on their work computers is part of the problem. Workers polled by IDC for Microsoft said more than one-fifth of software they installed infected their PC with a virus, while a similar amount reported the system becoming overrun with popups.

Keeping tight control of employee computer activity could cut the problem, but malware can still enter from outside. More than 20 per cent of surveyed IT managers reported malware infections from suppliers and distributors.

IDC estimates firms will pay $114 billion to fix malware from fake software this year, but they will also face other related outlays. Data breaches, for example, are estimated to cost $350 billion to fix this year.

Microsoft last ran the survey in 2006, and looking ahead to a possible follow up in 2020 it sees an increasingly complex environment. While PC sales are slowing, mobile devices are taking share. The IDC report warns these may be even harder to keep secure in enterprise settings than PCs.

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