- 24th January 2023
- Posted by: Mark Dodds
- Category: cybersecurity
There is a common perception that Macs are more secure than PCs, but this isn’t necessarily true. Both Macs and PCs can be secure if they are configured properly and kept up to date with the latest security patches.
However, it’s important to note that no computer is completely immune to security threats. It is always important to practice safer computing habits, such as using strong passwords, installing security software, and avoiding suspicious websites and email attachments, regardless of whether you’re using a Mac or a PC.
Macs are vulnerable.
Macs’ increasing popularity makes them a more appealing target for cybercriminals, and as a result, we’re seeing an increasing number of Mac users fall prey to viruses, malware, and web threats.
Here’s what you should know:
Viruses can infect Macs.
Despite the fact that there are less malware programmes targeting macOS, the threat exists: Seven hundred thousand Mac users were infected with the Flashback Trojan virus, according to a study by Kaspersky Lab. The idea that Macs are virus-free is out of date and completely incorrect.
Mac’s security systems are vulnerable to attack.
Apple’s Gatekeeper, one of macOS’s main security mechanisms, isn’t perfect. A team of researchers has found a way to overcome Gatekeeper, allowing them to steal user data and even infect the system with malware.
Cyber-attacks can happen on any device.
Using a Mac does not protect you from phishing scams or other web-based threats by default. You risk installing malware on your laptop if you click a link or download an attachment in a dodgy email.
Easy ways to keep your Mac safe
None of this means you should avoid using Macs for business or personal use. It just means you need to be proactive and sensible when using your devices.
If you choose to deploy Macs in your business (and we believe there are plenty of reasons why you should), here’s what you need to do to ensure your system is secure:
Install EDR (Endpoint Detection & Response) Software
EDR is intended to fill security gaps on endpoint devices like employee workstations, servers, and mobile devices. EDR helps security teams investigate and immediately respond to malicious activities at remote endpoints to contain and mitigate attacks.
Antivirus software is still useful for preventing low-level viruses on computers, but it’s no longer as simple as installing and forgetting. Antivirus software must be continually updated to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date definitions of new cyber malware assaults. Instead, upgrade your antivirus software with SentinelOne.
It protects your computer and data with anti-malware and anti-exploit protection. The SentinelOne agent continually receives intelligence updates from SentinelOne servers. The agent is very lightweight on resources and offers minimal to no impact on work.
Control who’s an administrator
Apple has a binary attitude when it comes to modifying system settings: you’re either an administrator or you’re not. A normal user can be restricted via parental controls and can’t create user accounts, enable file-sharing services, or install certain kinds of software.
With administrator privilege set, a user can turn on features through switches in System Preferences, such as enabling Samba which is typically three to six months out of date. We recommend limiting administrative accounts to users that require them, rather than letting everyone have full control.
Keep on top of software updates
It is essential to update your systems. System updates are one of the most important things for businesses to do to keep safe. A simple way to keep on top of your software updates is to go to the Software Update pane of System Preferences, and if there’s an update available, you’ll see a button saying Install Now.
If you click Advanced…, you see a number of options allowing you to enable automatic updates.
Check for updates
Enable this to tell your Mac to check for operating system updates and security updates regularly. This should be checked.
Download new updates when available
If you check this, your Mac will download new updates as soon as they are available.
Install macOS updates
This tells your Mac to install the operating system and security updates as soon as possible. Your Mac will warn you if it needs to be restarted, so you can choose to delay the update if necessary – though it’s better to avoid doing this.
Install updates from the App Store
This does the same as the setting in the App Store preferences.
Install system data files and security updates
This setting, which is independent of the Install macOS updates setting, tells Software Update to automatically install certain security updates and some system files that do not require a restart, such as XProtect updates.
System updates are hard to keep track of, and it’s important that you know your staff are updating their macs. If you aren’t sure they’re doing this, then you should consider getting an IT partner.
Get an IT partner
An IT partner can provide you with IT support, manage software updates and deploy anti-malware protection, amongst many other things.
Urgent updates, cybercrime, new software and new devices can take time and effort to figure out, and the risks of hacking and downtime are too large to deal with alone, so it’s no surprise that for many businesses, outsourced IT support is the perfect solution. Not only can your managed IT service provider help to keep your business up to date, but they’re also able to fix IT, modernise legacy solutions and keep the infrastructure optimised and secure all the time.
We believe that a safe, productive workplace is a happy one and that’s why you can always count on us to equip you and your team with the right tools for the job.
If your existing IT provider isn’t doing the same, get in touch and book your 15-minute call here.