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Virus Protection Scholarship

 

Computer viruses and malware have the potential to disrupt an individual’s economic impact through identity theft which, if left unreported and uncorrected, can ruin a person’s finances and thus prevent them from making significant purchases like a home or a car.

 

Identity theft aside, computer viruses have a significant economic impact at the corporate level. Virus developers continually develop ways around the current protections and when they do companies have to update their antivirus software. This requires companies to budget money specifically for virus protection updates rather than using that money to invest in research and development or use that money to improve the quality of life of the employees. Additionally if a workers computer gets infected with a virus, their productivity is slowed until they can get the computer fixed and the company has to either pay for someone to fix or dedicate resources to resolving the issue. For the most part these viruses act as small inconveniences but multiplied over years and over the number of different companies in not just the US but the entire world, the loss of productivity and loss of money to fix the problems can total into the billions of dollars.

 

The cost to a company can be slow, as described above, or fast and devastating as with the 2013 data security breach of Target. Being a major retailer in the US and across the world, Target had to pay $18.5 million to better its cyber security and the company also lost the faith of its shoppers so its revenue took a hit as well as well as put the customers at risk for identity theft.

 

As the world moves to become almost exclusively digital, we as a society need to understand the economic ramifications of gaps in cyber security and work so that we may be one step ahead of new computer viruses designed to circumvent in place security measures.