Thales Blog

Deadbolts & Security Cameras: How to Halt Software Revenue Robbery

August 4, 2021

Dave DiMillo Dave DiMillo | VP, Global Solution Sales at Thales More About This Author >

Increase monetization opportunities and decrease revenue leaks by combining software licensing with detection and identification of software misuse.

It’s easier than ever to create and buy software solutions. Yet somehow, translating a software offering into consistent revenue remains a real challenge for many companies. In fact, in today’s digital economy, software vendors often find themselves at a loss as to how to segment, monetize, and protect their software so they can prevent intentional and unintentional software misuse, and ultimately boost revenue.

Software licensing done well and anti-piracy solutions from a provider such as our partner Cylynt combine to create a monetization infrastructure that protects you on two fronts: ensuring that authorized users can easily access your software while reliably detecting and keeping out unauthorized intruders. Both mechanisms work together, addressing different issues to protect your software and helping increase profits.

It’s easy to understand how these synergistic solutions work together when you think of your software—your intellectual property— in the same terms as your home—your physical property. You don’t want unauthorized people entering either type of property, so you utilize security mechanisms. This blog will look at three angles for approaching the security of your software: the deadbolt on your front door, locks on the inner rooms of your home, and surveillance cameras.

Just like those physical blockers for your home, the various security methods for your software have different use cases and can be used individually, or combined for maximum security. The right choice for you depends on your needs, your risks, and what and how your customers want from your software. There is no single definitive way to set up software licensing and protection, but the correct combination of software licensing and anti-piracy protection adds enormous value for almost every organization.

Keyholder-Only Access

Just like putting a physical deadbolt on your front door stops intruders who might try to enter, the principal method of protecting your software from unwanted intruders is software licensing. When your software has effective licensing, only those who have a “key” can enter. The software key usually comes in the form of user identification or a software verification code that the software vendor provides when a license is legally purchased. Whether your software is downloadable or accessible in the cloud, creating licensing for your software means users can only gain access when they have agreed to your license terms, including paying for the license.

Keep Certain Rooms (or Features) Off-Limits

If the deadbolt on your front door authorizes central access to your house, locking specific internal doors signals that specific areas are off-limits. Similarly, a licensing platform doesn’t just create software licensing keys; it enables segmentation within your offering, often with a feature-based catalog.

A feature-based catalog partitions access to your software so you can implement modern feature-focused business models. Your software offering might be one unit, but partitioning creates countless opportunities for tiered offerings, and pricing, as well. Tiered pricing lets you limit or expand your offering for different types of customers or varying price points, so that you can construct a diverse product offering with numerous options for customers.

Security Cameras Provide Security, Even When You’re Away

Imagine going out to dinner knowing that when you’re away no one’s watching your house. Now imagine going out to dinner, confident that even while you’re away, you’ve put the right tools in place to keep your valuables safe. The third layer of protection for your software is most similar to installing a security camera for your home. When you’re away—at dinner, on vacation, or even just asleep upstairs--your camera tracks footage of any suspicious activity and warns you of intrusions.

Cylynt’s anti-piracy technology monitors the usage of your software just like a surveillance camera monitors the activity around your house. It provides video details that help the police track down and arrest the thieves, and help you identify your monetary losses for an insurance claim or lawsuit.

In the same way a surveillance camera monitors your house, Cylynt’s tamper detection technology monitors the copies of your software installed on every computer and sounds the alarm when the deadbolt lock of the house has been breached. In addition, the software reports back details such as when, where, and how often your stolen software is being used. You’ll know the IP address of the infringing computer(s), their geolocation, and the details of the use on each computer.

Why are these details important? Often companies with worldwide offices and/or remote workers do not know that their employees are illegally downloading copies of your software or making and sharing illegal copies amongst themselves. Cylynt usage details provide telemetry data that enables you to contact the infringers, make them aware of the situation, and transform them into paying customers. Deliberate misusers of your software can be contacted to negotiate a settlement that enables you to recover some or all of the value that was stolen. These details are also concrete evidence that can be used in court to prosecute pirates who refuse to negotiate.

In addition to the revenue that can be recovered from piracy with Cylynt’s “surveillance camera” usage data, it can also be leveraged with Cylynt usage analytics to uncover alternative revenue generation opportunities for existing and potential customers through optimized trial evaluations, support issues and needed features and functionality, and negotiation of enterprise license agreements.

Together, the synergistic “deadbolt, locks, and surveillance” approaches can help you protect and monetize your software IP, regardless of your business, industry, or use case.

My thanks go to Ted Miracco, Co-Founder and CEO at Cylynt, for his valuable contribution to this post.