Mac Antivirus - Being Careful and Staying Safe

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Bozidar Spirovski

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Having an antivirus software is a gold standard in the Windows world. But what if you are using a Mac?

The prevailing opinion is that there aren't enough viruses or malware in the wild to merit having an antivirus.

But in reality, while very few will name 5 viruses for Mac off the top of their heads, Mac has a lot of issues.

For instance, Safari does not have a stellar reputation on security. In March of 2011, at CanSecWest, a Mac with Safari fell victim to a security exploit in under 10 seconds.

Also, social engineering attacks can be easily used to con the user into running malware code on their Mac. So having an antivirus and antimalware package on your Mac is a very wise choice.

But this brings us to another problem: What antivirus software packages have a Mac version. As of June 2011, Wikipedia lists that only 16 out of 62 antivirus software packages support the Mac.

In a very interesting marketing move, some antivirus manufacturers actually offer free use of antivirus packages for Mac.

Norton has another very interesting combination product - one that runs on the native MacOS and another that runs on the Windows environment available through BootCamp.

The policy of implementing an antivirus on Mac is a very wise choice for corporate environments. If a corporate environment is just starting to adopt the Mac platform, one can start 'light' with the free antivirus packages.

These are not manageable through a central console, so you will soon be looking for a corporate antivirus platform that includes Mac antivirus software. But while you are using a couple of Macs, the free stuff will help immensely.

Cross-posted from ShortInfosec

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