A Complete Guide to Mac OS X's Actual Security Risks

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Mac OS X, Apple computers, and its related devices have enjoyed a reputation for being relatively more secured than other computing devices, over the years. But experts claim that the Apple software has had numerous security issues, and they didn’t come into notice because the vulnerabilities don’t get exploited. Read this article to know if you’re concerned about Mac security and its associated software.

Mac software is one of the hot topics of discussion during IT strategy meetings, and its highly secured nature makes it win huge business contracts and work machine orders. Globally, various enterprises deploy Macs at their workplace and will continue to do that, as Gartner has noted. Undoubtedly, the company’s mobile iPhone and iPads are accepted by enterprise IT, and most of the business users apply them to reply important business emails, chat with partners and taking down notes. But researchers state that Mac laptops and desktops aren’t commonly accepted by IT because the company has made great efforts to adapt iOS technology into OS X.

Is Apple Totally Free From Infections?

Well, the answer is No. There aren’t too many flaws in Mac security, but the Apple security issues generally avoid the security essentials and force Mac applications to skip critical verification checks. There was a protection flaw in the Apple software, reported in February 2014 and that leads to security issues with the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Due to the problems in the security shield, the connections negotiate over unsecured Wi-Fi networks, resulting in man-in-the-middle attacks. The company quickly fixed the security issue for mobile devices running on iOS, but it took a few days to patch the OS X. There are a lot of defense issues that have occurred in the past, but they didn’t get reported simply because the vulnerabilities don’t get exploited.

What are the Improvements that OS X’s Security Has Experienced in Recent Years?

One of the common questions that security professionals will ask the company is that how secure is OS X today? Presently, the OS is more secure than what it has been in the past, but the important thing is that it is currently far from being invulnerable. Over the years, the company has improved OS X’s security and currently, the Mac software series is as inherently secure as the latest versions of Windows. Additionally, the company’s spokesperson claims that new Apple Software series is secure and is relatively safer than Windows.

As per the recent research results and conclusions, plug-ins like Java and Flash applets are main Mac software attack vectors and the company has made several improvements in its defense mechanism including:

  • Improved memory protection techniques
  • New security defaults and automatic installation features
  • Gatekeeper feature to scan OS X’s existing malware and to protect Mac PCs from malware and problematic apps
  • FileVault2 disk encryption system for key escrow in corporate systems
  • Minimizing the use of common attack vectors
  • Incorporation of APIs as in iOS 7 for secure system management and remote configuration

Does Apple Focus on Blocking Malware?

Mac professionals claim that the Gatekeeper whitelist system provides an optimal defense against current OS X malware, viruses, and infections. Additionally, application sandboxing support allows developers to write applications and develop programs that will have limited access to the system, if Mac security gets compromised. Undoubtedly, the antimalware detection capability is quite limited, but it can potentially limit some OS X malware to protect your devices from serious damages. Researchers claim that Apple’s iOS is more secure than its desktop OS versions. The company is taking the security lessons from the mobile OS platform and is applying them to Apple software to ensure better safety and security of Mac devices. Apple devices ensure higher security with Gatekeeper’s ability to stop widespread infections. By applying iOS 7 features the user can prevent major security breaches and ensure availability of the secured apps on the App Store.

Conclusion

Sometimes, an Apple user may feel that the devices are threat-free and do not have vulnerabilities that can get exploited easily. But the threats in the cyber world are smart enough to escape even from tight security set up and may damage your device to an irreparable extent. Undoubtedly, the company is applying all its strength, knowledge, features and other important programs to ensure optimal security improvements, but it needs to consider other issues as well. Always remember that Apple does not furnish long-term support for its operating system series, so you might only get security patches for the current and previous versions only.

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