Technological viruses impact the economy by causing financial burdens to individuals, companies, and governments, but they also have the ability to create economic growth through job creation, technological development, and the creation of more efficient systems. Just as humans have discovered benefits and beneficial uses for biological viruses through research, further knowledge and understanding of technological viruses will lead to the discovery of beneficial applications of technological viruses. There is no doubt that in the future, technological viruses will continue to be a financial burden; however, many people fail to acknowledge the potential benefits viruses will bring to the economy.
Currently, technological viruses create financial burdens for individuals, companies, and governments by confiscating money, intellectual property, and valuable personal information, causing drastic delays in systems or individual computers, and adding additional costs to maintain security systems and educational content. While all of these outcomes are undesirable, the confiscation of intellectual property has the most far-reaching consequences. Intellectual property takes years and immense resources to develop or discover. The vulnerability of intellectual property to viruses will create a lack of incentive to develop and discover new advances, as the investors will not recoup their losses. Development of intellectual property is key to the advancement of society and lack of development will have long-term consequences. Technological viruses will continue to plague society and place financial burdens on individuals, companies, and governments.
Despite the negative impact to the economy, technological viruses will also play an important role in economic growth. Viruses expose flaws in existing systems, which allow for the creation of better and more efficient systems. In affect, viruses create an incentive for companies and governments to continue to innovate. Innovation is key to technological and societal advancement. For example, viruses may incentivize governments to rethink how they store their citizens’ personnel information. Such a monumental task would not occur without some external pressure. In addition, viruses can be used as a type of security against other viruses or alert users of potentially malicious activity. Data from certain demographics could be collected by viruses and utilized to effect positive change or tailor programs to the needs of individuals. Finally, viruses have created a new job market that is growing everyday. Companies and governments need individuals with expertise in protecting their systems from being breached. Education of employees and citizens is a must, again creating a new job market of trainers and teachers.
As more individual, company, and government systems become electronic, the impact of technological viral attacks will increase as more individuals or systems will be encompassed in the attack. Newer technologies will not rid the world of technological viruses, instead technological advancements will cause technological viruses to evolve much like biological ones have over time. The evolution of viruses will fuel innovation and economic growth. Increased knowledge about technological viruses will allow us to apply those concepts to other fields just as scientists have begun to study the comparisons of biological viruses to technological viruses to promote new and exciting insights.