Mac OS is undoubtedly more secure than Windows, but it is a wise step to consider all possible security options for your Mac to prevent any chance of data breach. Let’s discuss in detail the factors that lead to robust Mac security, recent examples of Mac malware, and how next-generation antivirus software can add up to the existing layers of security.
Why Mac is Considered as a Secure Option?
Mac is considered as a safe choice majorly because of its Unix-based operating system. This operating system comes with different built-in security features, making it difficult for hackers to accomplish their malicious intent. One of the most talked about security features of Mac is Gatekeeper, which doesn’t allow any software to run on your system without your permission. Even those software which are approved by Apple are sandboxed to perform only those functions which they are intended to do. Along with Gatekeeper, FileVault 2 is also there to encrypt and safeguard the data on Mac.
But, are these in-built security features on Mac sufficient to deal with sophisticated malware and ransomware attacks? The answer is ‘no’, and there are many recent examples of Mac malware that have caused severe damage to stored data.
Threats Faced by Mac Users in the Recent Past
Recently in April 2017, a security analysis firm, CheckPoint Software Technologies discovered a new OS X malware. The OSX/Doc used an email phishing campaign to target OS X users. And then there is Xagent, which can take screenshots, and steal passwords and iPhone backups stored on a Mac.
OSX/Pirrit is seemingly present in cracked versions of Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft available online. And you also have the Word Macro Virus, which challenges the notion that Mac cannot be affected by viruses. Along with the Word Macro Virus, you also have the KeRanger ransomware. This ransomware uses dodgy software to take a sneak peek at your Mac data and encrypt files without your permission.
Mac-targeted denial-of-service attacks are also a reality. In November 2016, Malwarebytes, a well-known security company started documenting DOC attacks on Mac from a forged tech support website.
If you look at the highlights of the latest hacking contest conducted in 2017, you will get to know that the Touch Bar display on a 2016 MacBook Pro was hijacked by Samuel Groß and Niklas Baumstark.
But before you get demotivated by these examples of Mac malware and start doubting your system’s security, you need to know about the exclusive security research team of Apple. This team has been successful in blocking most of these malware and viruses from causing any major damage.
Is Antivirus Software Important for Mac?
With the security research team of Apple on its toes to ensure Mac security, you don’t essentially need to install antivirus software. However, sometimes Apple’s research team may not respond as quickly as required. In this scenario, free antivirus software installed on your Mac can do the needful. You can look for the best antivirus software solution solutions that can ensure on-demand scanning and check for virus infections at regular intervals.
Moreover, you also need to keep your macOS up to date and opt for the latest vulnerability patches to protect your system against malware effectively. Regularly checking for OS updates is one of the best practices to improve Mac security. Along with vulnerability patches, Apple also provides several non-security fixes to ensure uninterrupted performance and stability.