How secure is macOS from Apple?

ESET researchers have scrutinized well-known Mac myths. […]

Almost every day, the media report on ever larger, constantly improved and highly successful hacker attacks on companies worldwide. That is why many company leaders are already rethinking their security strategy and are turning more and more to “Zero Trust Security”. This also includes checking the operating systems used, such as macOS, for their security. Because there are many myths about the security of Apple’s macOS: starting with complete immunity to malware and ending with supposedly few vulnerabilities. ESET researchers have made a myth check of Apple’s operating system. They published their findings here.

The success of iPad and iPhone as well as the well thought-out ecosystem has made Apple computers socially acceptable in companies. If only recently Macs were at best to be found in graphics departments and some marketing offices, the triumphal march now passes through almost all departments. Perhaps the chief departments in the daily handling of Apple devices have noticed how easy and safe uncomplicated they are to use. But when it comes to security, decision-makers should take a closer look, because macOS thrives on five classic myths:

  • Myth 1: There is no malware for macOS
  • Myth 2: The operating system is safe
  • Myth 3: The few vulnerabilities are not relevant
  • Myth 4: Hackers are not interested in Apple
  • Myth 5: Macs don’t need antivirus

Closer examination revealed that only one myth withstood scrutiny. Twice each” half-true “and” false ” show that administrators should not weigh themselves in a deceptive security. This is especially true if the company relies (or wants to rely) on zero-trust and should therefore generally distrust any entity. In this case, there is no place for myths and marketing fairy tales.

“The success and increasing market shares make macOS increasingly lucrative for cybercriminals. In November 2020, Apple introduced a series of Macs with the new Apple Silicon M1 chip and a few weeks later, corresponding malware was discovered,“ warns Thomas Uhlemann, Security Specialist at ESET. “Even if the pure quantity of macOS malware is comparatively small, Apple computers can still be infected. Or they become a springboard for Windows malicious code, which is safe for the operating system, but finds its way into hybrid networks via Apple computers. This contradicts the idea of “zero trust security”.

Conclusion

Apple’s macOS is one of the currently secure operating systems on the market. Despite the described security gaps, the manufacturer offers a very good security architecture, which is constantly being further developed. Nevertheless, even Apple does not provide one hundred percent security. It is therefore advisable to install another security layer in order to get close to the optimal goal. Experts recommend the additional use of a reliable and independently tested solution with several protection technologies.

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