Featured Article from Software Licensing

Cloud Licensing Servers Important Weapon for Combatting Software Piracy

April 28, 2016

Software piracy is on the rise, with an alarming 43 percent of all software being pirated. That amounts to $62.7 billion of unlicensed commercial software, representing daunting losses for companies of all sizes. According to information from the Anti-Piracy & Content Protection Summit, 12.6 million IP addresses shared files illegally over a three-year period studied in 2013.

Fortunately, by addressing the issues associated with piracy and taking a closer look at how software may be protected through licensing, businesses can head off the piracy threat. A recent blog post from software licensing and monetization experts Flexera examines how organizations can help stop digital theft through a number of initiatives, including cloud licensing servers.

Very simply, traditional approaches to software piracy simply don’t work in the age of cloud computing, when massive amounts of data are continuously in motion and an increasing number of applications and services are being moved to the cloud. Traditional premise-based software protection includes serial numbers; dongles or hardware tokens that enable only one physical device to run software; application “hardening, including encryption, which can be vulnerable due to debugging tools; and activation, or traditional software licensing.

Cloud licensing servers essentially take activation and traditional licensing methods to the next level by moving away from serial numbers toward digital entitlements, which include licensing code. These entitlements may reside on a cloud-based license server, offering better degrees of access control and security than local servers. The cloud servers may also be used to manage digital entitlements, making application deployments more flexible while also helping to combat piracy.

The use of the cloud licensing method has become popular among video game producers as well as for applications like Microsoft (News - Alert) Office 2013 and Adobe Creative Cloud. These types of solutions regularly check and validate running applications by authenticating users and/or devices before authorizing access – from one-time usage to a 30-day period.

Cloud licensing servers also help curb losses from virtualization, which is the main culprit when it comes to accidental non-compliance. The result is that customers and end users meet usage compliance mandates and vendors have control and protection over their software and applications. It’s a win-win on both ends with the final result being massive cost savings since customers avoid non-compliance fines while companies stem losses from piracy of their intellectual property.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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