It’s tempting. Rather than pay full price for your Mathcad software, you’ve managed to get hold of a pirated copy at a fraction of the cost, and you’re using that instead.
It’s understandable, especially if you’re a small engineering firm operating on tight margins. Anything you can do to save a little on your costs is worth doing, right?
Unfortunately, using a cracked copy of Mathcad (or any other piece of software, for that matter) can have severe consequences for your business. In this article, we’ll explain why this is a problem.
How ransomware works
Ransomware is a piece of code that, when it finds its way somehow on to your network, can lead to dramatic consequences. Once activated, it encrypts every file on your system, rendering them inaccessible. Then, it sends you a message telling you that unless you pay them a substantial amount of money, you’ll lose access to all your files.
Can you imagine? All your emails, documents, designs, financial spreadsheets, maybe even your family photos - gone, just like that. And guess how this little piece of ransomware code got into your system? Often, they’re embedded in pirated copies of software like Mathcad, placed there by cybercriminals to extort money from business owners just like you.
Ransomware attacks are happening more and more often. In 2020, the number of attacks increased by 130%. Plus, while there have been some high-profile ransomware attacks, such as the one on the NHS, most examples of ransomware happen at small-to-midsize businesses. The amount of money cybercriminals demand has increased too, often reaching seven or eight figures.
Consequences of ransomware
Ransomware is more than a minor inconvenience. It can have grave consequences for your business.
Firstly, it can have a substantial financial impact. You could choose to pay the cybercriminals what they demand. However, just because you pay, that’s no guarantee they’ll free up your files and leave you alone. A survey found that only 8% of ransomware victims managed to recover all of their files.
Next, you lose valuable time. You have better things to do than deal with cybercriminals. It could also take months, even years, to recreate your essential files. In many cases, the information on those files is irreplaceable. It could mean downtime for your entire company. There could also be reputational damage if your customers and suppliers find out what happened, as well as cybersecurity ramifications for the future.
Finally, if a software company finds out that you have been using pirated copies of their software, they could take you to court, leaving you open to fines and even prison.
The easiest way to avoid letting ransomware into your company network is by using authorised software. You can purchase the correct versions of your software from approved partners.
As well as protecting yourself from ransomware, there’s a raft of other benefits to using official software, including:
- Regular updates with great new features
- Tech support when you need a little help
- Automatic security patches that keep you one step ahead of cybercriminals
When you buy an authorised copy of Mathcad for your business, you get all these benefits and more. You’ll be able to sleep easy knowing your favourite engineering software is not endangering your business.