There were a record number of cases of unlicensed software settled in 2017, a figure that doubled from the previous year, BSA said on Thursday.\nIn 2017, BSA settled over $AU347,000 worth in damages across 28 cases for the use of unlicensed software from businesses around Australia and is warning businesses to be vigilant about data safety.\nThe largest settlement involved a Western Australia-based energy company which was found to be using unlicensed software and settled for over AU$40,000. Each business caught using unlicensed software was required to purchase genuine software licenses for its ongoing use, in addition to paying the copyright infringement damages.\nOn the back of this record year and with the federal government\u2019s Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) legislation recently enacted, the BSA is concerned that businesses aren\u2019t doing all they can to protect their customers\u2019 data. \nAt the same time, BSA is urging businesses to consider the safety of their customers\u2019 data before installing invalid licenses, and reminding businesses of increased cybersecurity risks associated with unlicensed software. \n\u201cBusinesses need to remember that unlicensed software, or software downloaded from an unknown source, may contain malware which puts an organisation and its customers at significant risk of becoming the victim of a data breach,\u201d BSA APAC director of compliance programs, Gary Gan, said in a statement. \n\u201cAnd without properly licensed software, organisations don\u2019t receive patch updates which strengthen the software\u2019s security and address vulnerabilities, which otherwise would leave the business exposed.\u201d\nThe new NDB legislation requires that an organisation with an annual turnover of $AU3M or more declare if it has been the victim of a data breach. \nThe organisation is required to notify individuals whose personal information is involved in a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm, as well as notify the Australian Information Commissioner.\n\u201cIt\u2019s especially important that organisations are ensuring they\u2019re doing all they can to protect their data given the recent introduction of NDB legislation. In order to stay on top of their software licensing, businesses should consider investing in SAM tools. The potential consequences faced by businesses that are found to be using unlicensed software far outweighs the cost of investment into SAM, something that all businesses should be considering,\u201d Gan said.