Virus protection Mac - useful and necessary?
Introduction to Mac antivirus
Viruses and malware represent one of the greatest dangers on the Internet. And the danger is not getting any smaller: the sheer number of viruses lurking on the World Wide Web grows by 350,000 new variants every day. Windows users in particular are therefore accustomed to equipping themselves with additional anti-virus software. Despite the in-house protection offered by Apple, Mac OS users should also consider additional protection for their data and systems, because the Mac OS is not invulnerable. Because in principle, having virus protection for your Mac is better than having none.
In-house virus protection for Mac: XProtect, sandbox architecture and co.
As a company, Apple is known for offering solid virus protection for their Mac and other devices ex works. Starting with automatic data encryption and a sandbox architecture, the protection extends to the integration of the antivirus software “XProtect”.
Technologies such as XD (Executable Disable), Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and System Integrity Protection (SIP) are used, which form a good basis for making it more difficult for malware to cause damage. These technologies prevent processes with root privileges from modifying critical system files. Furthermore, Apple scores with its FileVault 2 system, which encrypts the entire hard drive.
And the in-house browser “Safari” also comes with the latest protection standards: intelligent tracking protection, password monitoring and separated processes, so that malicious code is limited to one tab and cannot access any data.
Coupled with the App Store, a secure source for many everyday programs, Apple thus delivers solid basic protection on the latest devices. The question that remains: Is this enough virus protection for your Mac?
Macs are not invulnerable
The feeling of security can be deceptive, because although Apple has a lot of protection mechanisms, the Mac OS is not more secure than its Microsoft counterpart, according to some experts it is even much worse. This was demonstrated at the hacker conference Defcon, among others: There, it was impressively proven that Macs are very susceptible to various attacks and it often only takes a few seconds to take over. Accordingly, virus protection for your Mac makes sense and is recommended.
Among other things, there are criticisms of the firewall, which, for example, must first be switched on manually – a step that is often simply forgotten. Also, the in-house virus program “XProtect” cannot compete with its Microsoft counterpart “Defender”. This is because XProtect only detects malware on the basis of the signature.
It is true that the majority of malware is written for Windows. But that doesn’t mean, conversely, that it’s harder to create malware for the Mac. And if antivirus software is not used, it often goes undetected. It must also be remembered that the number of Macs is constantly increasing, making them an increasingly attractive target for hackers. In addition, Macs can very well become infected with Windows malware.
Even if these cannot harm the Mac OS itself, they are spread within the network. The lack of protection thus poses a threat to all devices in the network. A virus protection for your Mac can protect against viruses and co.
Virus protection for Mac and the Layer-8 problem
No matter how technically advanced a device is, the biggest problem is still the human being, i.e. the user. People themselves are always an incalculable risk for every system.
From phishing to surfing the Internet, there is always the risk that damage can be done to a system through careless actions. One click on the wrong email, carelessness with password security or careless opening of files can quickly lead to devastating effects, even on a Mac.
For this reason, it is all the more important to create a basis, e.g. through user awareness and virus protection for Macs, on which work can be done safely and thoughtfully in order to minimize the residual risk.
Conclusion about virus protection for your Mac
So the answer to the question of whether it makes sense to install antivirus protection for Mac can be answered with a “yes”. Many factors play a role here. On the one hand, the Mac OS is a system that is constantly being developed further by Apple, and this is also important, because malware and the like are developing just as rapidly as the security functions of a Mac. On the other hand, we see that despite Apple’s efforts to offer an absolutely secure system, the Mac and the Mac OS are behind the standard in some aspects. It must always be remembered that there is no such thing as absolute security and IT security is a process that takes time and does not come “out of the box.” . In addition, there is the human being as an unknown variable, whose actions have a great influence on the security of an IT system. To minimize the risk of malware becoming a danger, we therefore also recommend virus protection for Macs.