Chuck Leaver – A Mac Is A Security Risk Too

Written By Roark Pollock And Presented By Chuck Leaver

 

Got Macs? Great. I have one too. Have you locked your Macs down? If not, your enterprise has a possibly major security weak point.

It’s a misconception to believe that Macintosh computer systems are inherently protected and don’t need to be protected against malware or hacking. Many believe Macs are certainly arguably more protected than Windows desktops and notebooks, due to the style of the Unix-oriented kernel. Definitely, we see less security patches issued for macOS from Apple, compared to security patches for Windows from Microsoft.

Fewer security defects is not absolutely no problems. And safer doesn’t imply 100% safe.

Some Mac Vulnerability Examples

Take, for example, the macOS 10.13.3 update, released on January 23, 2018, for the current versions of the Mac’s operating system. Like a lot of present computer systems running Intel processors, the Mac was susceptible to the Meltdown flaw, which indicated that harmful applications may be able to check out kernel memory.

Apple needed to patch this defect – as well as numerous others.

For instance, another problem could allow harmful audio files to carry out random code, which might break the system’s security integrity. Apple had to patch it.

A kernel flaw meant that a harmful application may be able to execute random code with kernel opportunities, giving hackers access to anything on the device. Apple needed to patch the kernel.

A defect in the WebKit library indicated that processing maliciously crafted web content may result in arbitrary code execution. Apple had to patch WebKit.

Another defect suggested that processing a malicious text message may result in application denial of service, freezing the system. Whoops. Apple had to patch that flaw also.

Don’t Make The Same Errors as Customers

Numerous consumers, believing all the hype about how wonderful macOS is, opt to run without defense, relying on the macOS and its integrated application firewall program to block all manner of bad code. Bad news: There’s no integrated anti virus or anti malware, and the firewall program can just do so much. And lots of businesses wish to overlook macOS when it comes to visibility for posture tracking and hardening, and hazard detection/ risk hunting.

Consumers frequently make these assumptions because they do not know any better. IT and Security experts ought to never ever make the very same mistakes – we must know much better.

If a Mac user sets up bad software applications, or adds a malicious browser extension, or opens a bad email attachment, or clicks a phishing link or a nasty ad, their machine is corrupted – much like a Windows computer. However within the enterprise, we need to be prepared to handle these issues, even with Mac computers.

What To Do?

What do you need to do?

– Set up anti-virus and anti malware on corporate Mac computers – or any Mac that has access to your organization’s material, servers, or networks.
– Track the state of Macs, much like you would with Windows computers.
– Be proactive in applying patches and fixes to Mac computers, again, much like with Windows.

You must also eliminate Macs from your corporate environment which are old and cannot run the most recent variation of macOS. That’s a lot of them, since Apple is pretty good at keeping old hardware. Here is Apple’s list of Mac models that can run macOS 10.13:

– MacBook (Late 2009 or newer).
– MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or more recent).
– MacBook Air (Late 2010 or more recent).
– Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer).
– iMac (Late 2009 or newer).
– Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer).

When the next version of macOS comes out, some of your older devices might fall off the list. They ought to fall off your inventory as well.

Ziften’s Perspective.

At Ziften, with our Zenith security platform, we strive to preserve visibility and security feature parity between Windows systems, macOS systems, and Linux-based systems.

In fact, we have actually partnered with Microsoft to incorporate our Zenith security platform with Microsoft Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for macOS and Linux tracking and threat detection and response coverage. The integration makes it possible for customers to detect, see, investigate, and respond to advanced cyber-attacks on macOS computers (as well as Windows and Linux-based endpoints) straight within the Microsoft WDATP Management Console.

From our perspective, it has actually always been very important to offer your security teams confidence that every desktop/ laptop endpoint is safeguarded – and therefore, the enterprise is protected.

It can be hard to believe, 91% of businesses state they have some Mac computers. If those computers aren’t safeguarded, and also appropriately incorporated into your endpoint security systems, the enterprise is not secured. It’s just that basic.

~leaverchuck1


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