Tarun Sawney, BSA Senior Director for APAC at the event launching "Clean Up to the Countdown" campaign. -- VNS Photo
HCM CITY — CEOs in Việt Nam should continue to make serious efforts to eliminate unauthorised software used at their companies, a spokesperson for the BSA|The Software Alliance (BSA) has said.
Tarun Sawney, BSA Senior Director for APAC, said that an increasing number of corporations in Việt Nam were using legal software in their operations, thanks in part to efforts by the Government to enforce compliance with copyright laws.
However, close to three-quarters of corporations in Việt Nam still use unlicensed software, putting data at risk nationwide and creating significant gaps in Việt Nam’s cybersecurity defences.
To this end, BSA launched its “Clean Up to the Countdown” campaign on Tuesday in HCM City to encourage CEOs to legalise their corporate software assets to comply with criminal law, copyright law and the 2019 Cyber Security Law before the New Years' Eve countdown at midnight on December 31.
The campaign targets 10,000 companies across Việt Nam that are thought to be at risk of using illegal software. This includes corporations in a variety of business sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, banking and finance, engineering, architecture, media, design, IT and healthcare.
Many of these companies are known users of software, but lack license agreements from software providers.
“The Vietnamese Government is doing a great job of inspecting and taking action against corporations which continue to use illegal software, and we hope they build on current efforts to legalise even more companies,” said Sawney.
“But the largest improvement should come from the companies themselves. CEOs need to proactively ensure that their companies are compliant and send the message that use of illegal software is not acceptable, and, in fact, puts themselves and their customers at serious risk.”
The solution, according to the software industry, involves both stronger enforcement of existing international copyright laws and proactive behaviour on the part of Việt Nam’s business community. Examples of intensified enforcement include expanded investigations of companies using illegal software.
Since January 2018, copyright infringement is a criminal offence in Việt Nam, with punishment of up to VNĐ3 billion or a two-year suspension of business licences for commercial entities.
“Vietnamese companies can avoid negative consequences by thoroughly and voluntarily auditing software on their computers to ensure they are all appropriately licensed,” said Sawney. “Doing so will require hands-on efforts from CEOs and C-suite leadership, who have vested interests in protecting their clients’ data, their corporate digital assets, their reputations, and their companies’ financial well-being. That is the idea behind this campaign.”
According to BSA, the Vietnamese Government has become a leader in Asia Pacific at taking steps to create a legal and safe digital environment. So far in 2019, relevant departments have conducted dozens of investigations and company inspections in pursuit of this goal, with an estimated 80 to 100 by the year-end.
The "Clean Up to the Countdown" campaign is part of the "Legalize and Protect" initiative launched earlier this year. So far, the initiative has helped thousands of companies in Việt Nam legalise their software assets and protect data from malware and hackers. VNS