Are you safe?
Anything that touches a network represents a security risk. If it connects, you must monitor it. And yes, Apple products are no different.
We already mentioned the increase in malware, but these aren’t the only issues Mac users face. From software vulnerabilities to social engineering attacks, Mac users can fall victim to cyberthreats just as much as anyone else. And once a machine is compromised, it could become the launching point for a larger attack.
So make sure you include the following when managing Macs:
- Patch management: Just like any other machine, Macs can have vulnerabilities and cybercriminals can develop exploits for them. Make sure to keep up with patching for both macOS and other third-party software packages like Java, Adobe Flash, and any web browsers. If someone develops an exploit for Google Chrome, it doesn’t matter if it’s on a Mac or a PC—the end user will be affected.
- Antivirus: I began this post by debunking the myth that Macs don’t get viruses. With the increase in malware samples mentioned before, you can’t afford to get away with having MacBooks or iMacs without antivirus running in the background. Make sure to look for an AV product that goes beyond signature-based scanning. Behavioral-based AV looks for actions a file takes that could indicate a potential virus—such as changing the system registry or deleting local backup files—even if the virus is new and there hasn’t yet been a signature developed for it.
- Backup: Speaking of deleted local backup files, you absolutely need to have a cloud-based backup solution in place for Macs. Macs come pre-loaded with Time Machine, which backs up the entire Mac. However, this backup only exists locally, depriving you of much-needed redundancy in the event of a data loss incident. Beyond that, many ransomware strains attempt to delete local backup files so victims have no recourse beyond paying a ransom. Having an additional copy of your customers’ data in a corporate-grade, cloud-based backup system allows you to not only sidestep these issues, but also lets you restore systems quickly without needing access to the physical Mac laptop or desktop itself. In a security breach, recovery speed is paramount, so the convenience of a cloud-based system plays a major role in keeping your customers safe.
- Email protection: A majority of cyberattacks come via email. The native security in most email solutions simply isn’t enough to protect your customers. When you add email protection into your layered security strategy, you can help protect against phishing scams, malware downloads, spam, and less obvious attacks like scripts and macros launched from downloaded documents or spreadsheets. SolarWinds® Mail Assure offers protection for email built on collective intelligence gained from across its user base. This helps protect you against even emerging threats.
Managing your customers’ macs
Unfortunately, many still believe the myths about Apple security—that includes your customers. While Macs may get fewer viruses than PCs, they still get their fair share (and that share is increasing). Plus, Macs still remain vulnerable to other attacks like email phishing, exploited software, and advanced attacks leading to data loss.
The bottom line is this—if it touches the network, you need to monitor and secure it. SolarWinds RMM offers its Management for Mac feature, which lets you monitor and manage Macs from the same web-based dashboard you use for Windows machines. Plus, you get access to patch management, managed antivirus, and backup for critical business documents from one system. If you’re looking for complete backup for your Macs, you can also get our full, standalone SolarWinds® Backup, which includes direct-to-cloud backup and multiple recovery options.
Brian best is Apple Strategist for SolarWinds MSP.