BSA Gives Back

posted by in Uncategorized June 20, 2016
Jun 20

On Friday, BSA kicked off our inaugural Global Day of Service – a day for the BSA team around the world to donate some time as a group to public service. It was gratifying on many levels, including seeing the great ideas and wonderful generosity of spirit from our global team.

In DC, I joined many of my colleagues near the FDR memorial on the National Mall to pick up trash and haul driftwood from along the shore of the Potomac River. We spent several hours filling many, many bags of trash and 2 tons of driftwood.

IMG_20160617_112439

Singapore added beauty to our great outdoors with the Singapore National Park Service.

IMG_8103

London volunteered at The Passage, a homeless shelter in Westminster, preparing and serving lunch.

WP_20160617_10_55_25_Pro

Brussels got into the giving spirit by providing pro-bono advice to educational NGO start-ups on communication strategy, partnerships, and grants.

BSA Brussels

Warsaw worked with a non-profit, Your Case Association, that combats negative ads aimed at children.

BSA Poland

 

BSA’s Global Day of Service enables us all to do something good “together,” even if we’re spread out across the world. Thanks to all who participated!

The $1 Trillion Economic Impact of Software

posted by in Industry June 15, 2016
Jun 15

cover-techpost-275Today, I’ll be at New America talking about the impact software has on the economy. Software is at the forefront of American innovation — laying the groundwork for advances that promise to make businesses more efficient, jobs more plentiful, opportunities more pervasive, and the economy even more prosperous.

BSA | The Software Alliance has released “The $1 Trillion Economic Impact of Software,” a first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to quantify software’s impact on the US economy.

Here are a few key findings:

  • Software supports nearly 10 million jobs nationwide.
  • Software drives economic gains in all 50 states.
  • The average annual wage for a software developer is $108,760. That salary, along with big career prospects and satisfying work is why Glassdoor named “data scientist” as the best job for 2016 and CNN named “software architect” as the number one job for 2015.

Software jobs are interesting high paying jobs — but we need more engineers and coders.

Our industry has more jobs than we can fill. The Department of Labor projects that by 2020, US universities will only be able to fill less than one-third of 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. We need to encourage more young people to pursue science careers, including computer science.

I will be discussing the study’s findings, as well as the need to expand the pipeline of software talent, at a New America event today called “Software’s Economic Impact + The Drive for Talent.” I will be joined by Ryan Burke, Senior Policy Advisor, National Economic Council, The White House; Mark Doms, PhD, Former Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Department of Commerce; Lisa Guernsey, Director of New America’s Learning Technologies Project; Melissa Moritz, Deputy Director of STEM, Department of Education; and Cameron Wilson, COO and VP, Government Relations, Code.org.

The full study, along with detailed summaries of the findings, is available at www.bsa.org/softwareimpact.

Encryption: Securing Our Data, Securing Our Lives

posted by in Cybersecurity, Data June 1, 2016
Jun 01

Encryption impacts our daily lives from the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we fall asleep. When we log into work from home, use a credit card to pay for lunch, or just text a friend, encryption is keeping our data secure. Encryption is also keeping us safe by protecting critical infrastructure and the information that moves across national security networks.

There is an important debate going on around the country — and around the world — about the importance of strong cybersecurity, which relies on encryption, and the legitimate needs of law enforcement to access encrypted data. The conversation has, at times, been heated. When discussions get heated, facts often get left behind.

At BSA |The Software Alliance, we recognize that there are legitimate security interests on all sides of the debate. As part of our effort to support a fact-based, thoughtful, and deliberative dialogue on this issue, we put together Encryption: Securing Our Data, Securing Our Lives. This primer on encryption explains how it works and how it is used. I encourage you to read the primer and participate in the debate so all voices are heard.

Learn more at www.bsa.org/EncryptionMatters.

New BSA Survey: Organizations Can Combat Cyberattacks by Avoiding Unlicensed Software

May 25

BSA GSS 2016Organizations worried by the ever-increasing threat of cyberattacks should start by looking inward. One of the first, critical steps an organization needs to take is to ensure that all of the software running on its own network is legitimate and fully licensed.

Doing so matters, as highlighted in Seizing Opportunity Through License Compliance, this year’s Global Software Survey from BSA | The Software Alliance. As that study demonstrates, use of unlicensed software is strongly linked to the introduction of malware and all of its dangers.  And once into a network, cybercriminals and malicious hacking can do significant harm.

In 2015 alone, cyberattacks cost businesses more than $400 billion. And it’s not just the immediate fallout that’s an issue. Breaches to a company’s security can have a powerful ripple effect. Enterprises can suffer damage to their reputation, and irreparable harm to hard-earned customer confidence. Even one successful cyberattack “can do serious harm to a company’s reputation and credibility,” notes the 2016 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report.

The good news is many companies do recognize the threat. In fact, this year’s survey found:

  • Some 49 percent of CIOs identified security threats from malware as a major threat posed by unlicensed software.
  • In a survey of workers, 60 percent cited the security risk associated with unlicensed software as a critical reason to use legitimate software.

But the bad news is that knowing about the threat is not the same as effectively working to prevent it. The global business community may be aware of the dangers of unlicensed software, but companies continue to allow it onto their networks at an alarming rate.

On this front, this year’s Global Software Survey from BSA found:

  • Thirty-nine percent of software installed on computers around the world in 2015 was not properly licensed.  This represents only a modest decrease from 43 percent in BSA’s previous global survey in 2013.
  • Even in certain critical industries, where much tighter control of the digital environment would be expected, unlicensed use was surprisingly high. The survey found the worldwide rate is 25 percent – a full one in four – for the banking, insurance and securities industries.
  • CIOs estimate that 15 percent of their employees load software on the network without their company’s knowledge, but nearly double the percentage of workers say they are loading software on the network that their company doesn’t know about.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are four concrete steps organizations can take to curtail the use of unlicensed software and avert a host of associated cyber dangers.

The first step is to gather and maintain reliable and consistent data to assess whether the software running in your network is legitimate and fully licensed. Ensure that your biggest problem isn’t already sitting in your systems.

Next, consider your current and future business needs and align them to the right software and the right licensing model. Ensure you are getting the appropriate value for your expenditure.

Third, establish and implement policies and procedures to manage the lifecycle of your software — from procurement, to deployment, and retirement. Effective software asset management (SAM) practices need to support the business and in turn management needs to support the SAM process.

And fourth, integrate SAM practice into your organization’s internal control environment across the entire business. This includes educating employees on the proper use of software and the legal, financial, and reputational impact their software related actions can have on the organization.

Effective SAM practices are particularly powerful tools because they help organizations keep an ongoing inventory of what software is on their network and guard against unlicensed software use. SAM practices can also result in significant savings by driving out hidden inefficiencies from over-licensing applications or unused software.  In fact, studies have shown that properly managing software can lead to cost savings as high as 25 percent.

To read BSA’s full Global Software Survey, including estimated rates and commercial values of the unlicensed PC software installed last year in more than 100 countries around the world, visit www.bsa.org/globalstudy.

BSA Heads to the Hill

posted by in Industry May 20, 2016
May 20

On this past Wednesday, BSA | The Software Alliance hosted its annual fly-in. Board members from BSA spent the day on Capitol Hill meeting with Members of Congress to talk about policy priorities like ECPA reform, international data flows, TPP, and computer science education. Our delegation included representatives from Bentley, CA Technologies, Datastax, IBM, SAS Institute, Siemens, Splunk, Workday, and Dell.

Fly-ins help us share our industry advocacy priorities with Members of Congress and educate them about what our member companies do. Our fly-in was also a valuable way to thank lawmakers for their leadership on issues like the Judicial Redress Act, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and patent legislation. On Wednesday, we met with 5 House Members and 9 Senators. Meetings with leadership included Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry.

Here are just a few highlights of our very busy day on Capitol Hill:

  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was a key focus of many of our meetings. We met with several advocates for ECPA reform, including the lead sponsors and cosponsors of the bill. We thanked Chairman Grassley for putting ECPA on the Judiciary Committee’s markup agenda, we thanked Senators Leahy and Lee for steering the effort as lead sponsors of the bill, and we thanked Senators Cornyn and Coons for their support. BSA is advocating for the passage of ECPA reform without amendment, and our conversations on Wednesday were a positive step in that direction. We thanked Chairman Goodlatte and Members of the House for moving ECPA reform legislation through the House on a 419-0 vote.
  • We also talked about the importance of the free movement of data across borders, the significant TPP provisions related to cross border data flows, and the importance of a strong Privacy Shield agreement with the EU. Board members shared compelling stories about how their companies move data around the world every day, illustrating the importance of ensuring that data can continue to move freely across borders.
  • Lawmakers were very interested in our thoughts about the importance of STEM education. BSA is a member of the Computer Science Education Coalition, a coalition of businesses and NGOs working to expand access to computer science education in K-12 classrooms across America. The Coalition is urging Congress to provide $250 million in federal funding for K-12 computer science education this fiscal year.

In each meeting, we talked about the importance of the software industry to our economy—always a topic of great interest to Members of Congress! We’ll continue to engage with these lawmakers and many others, and we look forward to promoting BSA’s data agenda throughout the rest of the year.

Is It Time to Pop the Champagne for ECPA?

posted by in Cybersecurity, Data, Privacy April 26, 2016
Apr 26

It generally isn’t a good idea to celebrate before a vote in Congress. But it also isn’t generally the case that the House is voting on a measure that is sponsored by nearly three-quarters of its Members. That is the situation this week, with a vote coming on the Email Privacy Act — a bill sponsored by a staggering 314 Representatives.

And those circumstances are why this time perhaps it’s worth celebrating — just a bit — this big step for privacy even before votes are cast.

It shouldn’t be surprising that so many have signed on in support of the Email Privacy Act. The bill makes a significant improvement in privacy protections for technology users. At its core, the legislation updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to ensure that law enforcement get a warrant in order to obtain the content of users’ email and other files that are stored online.

That change makes sense as more and more of our communications and files move from our desk drawers to our virtual cabinets in the cloud. In our homes, Americans have an expectation of privacy in their “papers and effects [ ] against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Yet, based on an arbitrary distinction written into a law that was drafted 1986 — at the dawn of the Internet Age — that expectation has not been guaranteed online. By eliminating that distinction, the Email Privacy Act will ensure digital files receive an appropriate level of protection.

So, even before the vote, there is much to celebrate about the progress made on ECPA reform this year. Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) deserve tremendous praise for driving the strong support for the bill. Building on their work, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte should be applauded for driving a compromise proposal that the core goal of ECPA reform. Many of those involved in this debate also have pledged that they will continue to work to address other ECPA concerns. These include the rules around government access to location data and the pressing need to create a framework for law enforcement access to data held overseas.

The one thing putting a damper on this celebration? Uncertainty in the Senate. With the limited number of legislative days this year, it will be a challenge to finalize ECPA reform in the current Congress. That’s unfortunate, and the wide-ranging coalition of ECPA supporters will now turn their efforts to ensure Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley hears the calls for further votes for privacy — and further celebrations.

More Effort Needed to Pave Way for Cloud Computing Benefits

posted by in Cloud Computing, Data, Industry April 26, 2016
Apr 26

Much has been written about the benefits of cloud computing. It’s providing consumers, businesses, and governments quick, efficient and affordable access to technology that was previously available only to large organizations. And that access is rapidly expanding opportunities in established markets and emerging economies alike.

Less attention has been paid, however, to what cloud providers need to ensure those consumers, businesses and governments can access the cloud: the right mix of national laws and regulations.

Focusing attention on that element the cloud is the purpose of a new study from BSA | The Software Alliance. That study, the 2016 Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, reveals that while many countries have made healthy improvements in their policy environments in recent years, a patchwork of inadequate laws and regulations around the globe threatens to stunt the unprecedented societal benefits and economic growth fueled by cloud computing.

This year’s Scorecard updates BSA’s rating of the cloud-related polices of 24 countries that account for 80 percent of the world’s IT markets. Launched in 2012, this series of reports is the only one of its kind to track ongoing change in global policies landscape for cloud computing. The results show an uneven picture with some countries ready to seize the technological opportunity and others trailing behind.

(more…)

A Bipartisan, Consensus Approach to Innovation Policy

posted by in Intellectual Property March 29, 2016
Mar 29

In encouraging news given today’s climate, Congress is making progress on legislation that will promote innovation.  Even more encouraging?  The legislation and process involved in this progress are both bipartisan and bicameral.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act, introduced in the Senate by Senators Hatch and Coons, and in the House by Representatives Collins, Nadler, and Jeffries, shows tremendous promise when it comes to bolstering software innovation – so important to our daily lives, and to the health of our national economy as a whole.

(more…)

Progress in Building Trust in Trans-Atlantic Data Flows

posted by in Data, Global Markets, Privacy February 11, 2016
Feb 11

Last night, the US House passed the Senate-amended version of the Judicial Redress Act, now headed to President Obama for signature. Progress on this front matters. This needed legislation will form a critical part of a stable and trustworthy structure for free flow of data across borders – so essential for economic growth in our digital economy.

Following last week’s agreement between the United States and European Union on the Privacy Shield, a successor to the Safe Harbor Framework as a mechanism for protecting the flow of personal information in the commercial context, enactment of the Judicial Redress Act will further harmonize US and European privacy protections as well.

(more…)

How the Software Revolution Is Changing Our World

posted by in Industry January 19, 2016
Jan 19

Software will dramatically change our lives and our society. We are in the midst of dramatic societal changes driven by software — a revolution propelled by software innovation.

As chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on the Future of Software and Society, I work with experts from business, academia, and development backgrounds to identify and analyze how today’s advancements in software are shaping the world around us. Our Council has released a new report, “Deep Shift: 21 Ways Software Will Transform Global Society.” The report describes software innovation and highlights predictions about the many ways in which software will change our lives and our world. So much of what we do is enabled by software: From building smarter cities by analyzing traffic patterns, to providing rural farmers from Indiana to India with real-time mobile data to improve their harvests, the software revolution is transforming the way we live.

(more…)