Gone are the times when Apple products are just used by an elite percentage of the world’s population. When the iPod hit the market, it made the brand a giant not only in the IT industry, but also in business and entertainment. The rise of consumerization and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in enterprise operations also paved the way for the rapid growth of the number of Mac users around the globe. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Apple dominates its target niche in the future.
One of the top reasons why people choose Mac is security. Since Apple makes their own hardware and software, the nuts and bolts of their products are harder to access, making it tougher for hackers to study and scrutinize them. In the past, cybercriminals don’t really mind this because only a small number of the populace use Macs—they can’t really get much from hacking them. But today, almost every business phone is an iPhone. This current popularity of Apple transformed the threat matrix, turning some “facts” about Mac security into modern myths. Here are 3 of them:
MYTH 1: Cloud integration in Mac products is easy.
Apple is one of the pioneers of cloud integration. In fact, the most recent line of Macbooks doesn’t have optical disc drives anymore, forcing users to utilize the cloud-based storage offered by Apple—iCloud. This paradigm shift syncs all Apple devices and the data in them to one big database, which users can easily access through the Internet. Admittedly, the company’s method of moving to the cloud is very easy to follow because it’s very simple. However, since Mac’s impenetrable security heavily relies on its exclusive hardware specifications, adopting a software-based infrastructure might create holes in its defense. True enough, the number of malware incidents related to Mac products skyrocketed in 2012, and it is predicted to grow even more this year.
MYTH 2: Macs are immune to malware.
Contrary to popular belief, no Apple product has ever been immune to malware. It’s just that hackers don’t find value in creating malware for devices used by a small portion of the world’s population. In fact, there have been a number of security incidents related to Apple before; but they are so small that they are negligible. Today, the threat landscape for Mac has evolved with a myriad of potentially devastating Mac-targeted malware filling the terrain.
MYTH 3: Macs are exploit-proof.
The death of Apple’s founder Steve Jobs is not the only nightmare Mac owners experienced in 2011; the sudden upsurge of Mac vulnerability exploits is another bad dream that tormented thousands of users. At least 600,000 Macs worldwide were infected by the Flashback Trojan in 2012. Oddly, what made Mac secure before is now crippling it because people have found a creative yet destructive way of eliminating the limits of Apple’s exclusive hardware—iOS jailbreaking.
Jailbreaking is the process by which a person removes and replaces the running iOS operating system in Apple devices so they don’t have to buy expensive software applications from the App store. Through the use of software and hardware exploits, people can enjoy applications in devices like iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and second generation Apple TV without spending a dime.
Another issue that accrues from Mac’s exclusivity is its flawed updating process. Unlike update processes in other operating systems, Mac’s method of updating is password-based. This traditional tactic makes it easy for viruses to bypass detection and infect any Apple device.
For many years, Apple owners have been told that Macs don’t get viruses. Now, you know better. If you want to keep your Mac safe, it’s best to deploy a security solution for Mac that can withstand the emergent Mac-targeted attacks.