A new study released through cooperation between IDC and the National University of Singapore, and sponsored by the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, emphasizes a direct relationship between pirated software and security.

Related: Microsoft Hosts the First Annual Cybercrime Enforcement Summit

Some interesting stats provided in the report:

  • Consumers will spend $25 billion and waste 1.2 billion hours in 2014 dealing with security issues created by malware on pirated software.
  • Rating their biggest fears of a security event, 60% of consumers put loss of data or personal information as the top fear; 51% placed unauthorized access or online fraud in the top three fears.
  • Enterprises will spend $127 billion in dealing with security issues and $364 billion dealing with data breaches because of malware on pirated software.
  • It is estimated that governments could lose more than $50 billion to deal with the costs associated with malware on pirated software.
  • A forensics analysis of 203 new PCs loaded with pirated software found that 61% of the PCs were pre-infected with unsafe malware, including Trojans, worms, viruses, hacktools, rootkits and adware. These PCs, purchased through resellers and PC shops in 11 markets, included more than 100 discrete threats.

The white paper is available here: The Link between Pirated Software and Cybersecurity Breaches

As part of the report release, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit is also providing a special "Play It Safe" web site, which is part of a global initiative to create greater awareness of the connection between malware and piracy.

The site is here: Play It Safe