Surge in ‘Snitch Software’ Highlights Need to Keep IT Licenses Current

by Mike Hunter

The year 2020 saw the emergence of “snitch software” sneaking into auditing practices, and the International Association of IT Asset Managers, the leading authority on IT asset management, expects its use to proliferate.

How does this manifest? One example is a recent court case between a vendor and a consumer. The vendor had placed into its product a Piracy Detection and Reporting Security Software (PDRSS) that tracks and informs the vendor whenever an unlicensed software is used, including providing the IP address. Eventually, the vendor audited the consumer and explained that its software was being used incorrectly, but the consumer argued that had not been proven. This led to the vendor explaining it had implemented PDRSS, which led to a privacy and permissions dispute. 

This is just one incident of snitch software, but there will likely be more cases and implementations since audit rates are going to increase as organizations seek to financially recover from the pandemic. Knowing this, organizations should be prepared for snitch software to gain momentum, and software makers are going to put them into more products. For companies to avoid fines and embarrassment, IT asset managers will need to focus in 2021 even more than usual on ensuring that licenses are current and properly accounted for. 

Acknowledging that organizations may have viewed IAITAM as prophets of doom for its warnings of unreadiness for a radical shift into the work-from-home environment, President and CEO Dr. Barbara Rembiesa says, “We believe that our multiple efforts in 2020 to raise the alarm had a salutary effect. Many changes to the IT Asset Management industry are taking place right now and some are due to the coronavirus pandemic.” She credits IT asset managers as being unsung heroes whose efforts have allowed companies to maintain business continuity, which saved countless jobs and entire organizations.

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