Adobe is terminating licenses for customers of its product in Venezuela on Oct 29. No parley. At first Adobe wasn’t issuing refunds, claiming sanctions prevented payment, but now the company will.
Logically, these sanctions could impact your enterprise IT operations.
U.S. Technology Vendors
If your company buys products from U.S. vendors, it’s worth considering what position you might be in if a political decision is made to sanction your country or countries that you operate in.
For example, if you buy networking products that operate with a license, such as switches, routers, or SD-WAN platforms in the cloud, and you get sanctioned, your licenses can be rescinded. If your data center uses Cisco for data center orchestration, or VMware NSX/ESX for hypervisors, your license is constantly verified over the Internet.
Losing access to support doesn’t prevent you from doing business straight away. Losing your router licenses and having your products downgrade to basic licenses could take out substantial chunks of your infrastructure. For instance, what happens if Microsoft rescinds your server and desktop licenses?
Its gets more interesting if you have offices in a sanctioned country. You might find those devices just stop working because geographic lockdown is now easy to do. Vendors run very deep analytics on location, usage, and feature used across their portfolios. While this is mostly used to inform product decisions and improve profitability, it can be used to lock down devices located in sanctioned areas. It’s unclear whether trade sanctions would include devices owned by companies from non-sanctioned countries.
For example, companies operating in Venezuela may not be permitted to use U.S. vendors’ equipment in their IT infrastructure.
What actions can you take? At this point, you might want to add this topic to the risk register and flag it to management for them to decide what to do. That’s what they get paid for.
The political environment around trade sanctions is febrile and there are few signs that this is going away. I can’t see a possible risk mitigation that would address vendors deactivating mandatory licensing. You don’t get a choice in modern software-driven infrastructure.
Link: Don’t be so Maduro: Adobe backs down (a little) on Venezuela sanctions blockade – The Register
Link: Cumplimiento de Adobe de orden ejecutiva de EE. UU. | Venezuela – https://helpx.adobe.com/la/x-productkb/policy-pricing/executive-order-venezuela.html
Link: Adobe is cutting off users in Venezuela due to US sanctions – The Verge