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Woburn, MA – October 24, 2022 — Insights from Kaspersky’s latest report reveals 15% of companies in the U.S. with 50 to 999 employees are ready to use pirated alternatives of business software to decrease IT spending. Among small businesses (less than 50 employees), only 5% are ready to take this step. Taking such measures would be detrimental to corporate cyber safety, as adversaries actively distribute malicious files under the guise of most used software.

As a cybersecurity solution provider, it is important to explore which crisis management tactics business leaders find most successful, and how some steps can seriously affect a company’s cyber resilience. Safe measures such as seeking lower-cost contractors and adopting free alternatives of usual software are most popular (34%), but 18% of surveyed business leaders would replace their software with a pirated version to cut costs.

As for the type of programs, respondents believe they could replace them with hacked copies, the majority chose project management, marketing and sales software, with 33% even agreeing to use a pirated cybersecurity software.

“A lack of resources is a common situation for small and medium businesses, but use of a pirated or hacked software should be completely excluded if an organization values its safety, reputation and income,” said Alexander Shlychkov, product marketing lead at Kaspersky. “Pirated copies of software usually come with Trojans and miners and do not contain the fixes or patches released by developers to close vulnerabilities that might be exploited by cybercriminals. Official free alternatives are much better options for those who need to save money on IT.”

To avoid data leakage and financial losses caused by infected software installation, implement the following Kaspersky’s recommendations:

  • Make sure your employees use standard accounts without admin rights. That will prevent them from accidentally installing a Trojan mistaken for productivity software.
  • Use free security solutions. They usually have less functions than paid products but still might be very helpful. Choose a solution based on the independent tests’ results, and download it directly from the developer's site.
  • To avoid paying a hidden miner electricity bills, try to constantly monitor your devices efficiency. If your gadget is slowing down, overheats and makes a lot of noise even when no one is using it, someone might have installed a miner on the device which is overloading the processor and video card. Use a security solution that detects not only malicious programs, but also potentially unwanted installments.
  • Update your operating system, security software, browser and all the programs you work with as soon as a new update comes out.
  • Implement regular backups of important files in a cloud service and on alternative hardware. That will allow you to have a copy even if ransomware encrypts your data. A security solution with remediation feature will let you roll back actions performed by malware in the operating system, delivering protection against cryptolockers.

More recommendations on how to protect your business with a limited budget are available on Kaspersky’s dedicated Low Budget Hub.

The full report and more insights on small and medium businesses crisis tactics are available via the report.

About Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at

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Cassandra Faro




Kaspersky finds medium-size business decision makers consider using pirated software to cut costs

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