The Death of the Mac Malware Myth

MAC malware
MAC malware
Have you heard that Macs don’t get viruses, trojans and ransomware? These days, it’s not true. The Mac Malware Myth is turning out to be false, and you need protection. Digital Uppercut can help.

Do you have Mac computers in your office? A lot of companies use them because there’s been a myth for a long time that Macs were more secure than PCs. “There’s no malware for Macs,” the old saying goes. And while that used to be true, it’s far less true these days. In the year just past, more Mac malware was discovered than in any other year, indicating that as Macs become more popular, they become a bigger target for malware designers.

Why People Believe Macs Don’t Get Malware and Viruses

Plain and simple, Macs are less popular than PCs — especially in business environments — and therefore a virus designed for a Mac will have less effect than a virus designed for PCs. That makes it less attractive to malware designers.

Second, Mac’s OSx is built on top of a Unix-like operating system. Unix was developed as a teaching tool back in the 70’s and is extremely secure. It has evolved into in many open-source variants and, because so many thousands of people have contributed to it and patched security holes, it is very secure. OSx has benefited from that history.

Why Even Mac Users Are Threatened Now

Some viruses don’t even depend on a specific computer to be malicious. Malicious code can live inside of the scripting languages built into MS Word and Excel files that both Macs and PCs can now run. Malicious Javascript can be embedded inside of PDF files. Some malware even lives on web pages, where malicious software and fake web pages can steal your user credentials as part of a Phishing attack, exposing your business and personal data to the criminals of the dark web.

As for the Mac-specific threats, one user on Quora.com (a popular question-and-answer website) answered a question in 2017 about Macs and Malware and concluded with “I don’t use any anti-virus or anti-malware software on my Mac, but I wouldn’t dream of trying to do that on a PC.”

But 2018 turned out to be a banner year for Malware on Macs. An article on ArsTechnica.com talks about malware that they contend Apple knew about for 4 months and never announced their discovery. An article on ITSPmagazine.com wrote up a list of 11 recent malware and virus threats.

That’s not nearly the number that were developed for Windows PCs, but it still makes the case that if you use Macs for your business (and even your home), and you value your business (and personal information), you need to protect yourself and your business from these digital threats.

How To Protect Yourself From Mac Malware and Viruses

Generally speaking, reputable Mac software is approved and “signed” by Apple. With the rare public exception of the malware referred to in one of the articles above, Apple does a good job of making sure that software that appears in their App Store is safe. If what you need can’t be found there, go to the publisher’s official website rather than downloading the software from some other source.

Keep your software updated. A lot of malicious software exploits bugs in software. Once those bugs are discovered by the publisher, they are quickly fixed and patched. If you keep your software updated, you’re less likely to have these kinds of vulnerabilities.

Install good antivirus and antimalware software on your Macs. Better yet, “Advanced Endpoint Detection” (AED) tools can detect malicious behavior on computers even before they ever show up in a virus definition file. AED knows what normal activity looks like, and it knows what malicious behavior looks like, and can shut down the malicious behavior when it sees it.

Always be aware of what you’re doing online. Most malware is transferred via the web and emails. So training yourself to recognize legitimate websites and links is a good first step. Better yet, use software to monitor and filter your email for phishing attacks and malicious links.

How Digital Uppercut Can Help

All four of these steps are part of Digital Uppercut’s new Business Protection Toolkit. This system can help keep your software updated, ensure only approved software is installed on your computers, guard your computer from malicious behaviors with AED, and monitor your web and email traffic for online threats.

Then we back that all up with a Security Operations Center where we live computer security experts monitor your network log files for threat patterns, and spring into action in case threats are detected.

The Business Protection Toolkit can even help you with compliance standards, ensuring that your network data is encrypted on a file and folder level, which is far more secure than full-disk encryption.

Contact Us Today

Whether your business network is all Mac, all PC, or a mix of both, let Digital Uppercut protect you from PC and Mac Malware and help keep your business running. Talk to us about our Rapid IT services, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, Cloud services, and of course our Business Protection Toolkit. Contact or call us today.