Why Endpoint Security on Mac used at work goes beyond traditional antivirus

Macs are set to become the company’s premier terminal in the coming years. If you’ve entered the workforce in the past 5-6 years, chances are you got a Mac on day one, and you probably can’t remember a world where the only Macs you had usually an organization were in the graphic design department. .

These users were alone on an island – often having to become their own IT department to troubleshoot issues. The IT department did not manage software updates or system settings. They would buy the Mac, give it to the employee, and probably never see the device again.

The world has changed, and not just because Macs have become more commonplace in business (which they have), but cybersecurity is now front and center. Security is no longer a technical problem. This is now a board-level issue, and it’s led every endpoint to a situation where IT teams can no longer rely on trust to ensure their devices are secure – they need to verify .

Built-in Mac protection

The Mac has always been the type of platform that didn’t get traditional antivirus tools like Windows did. Apple has done a great job of hardening the core of macOS while putting tools in place to deal with threats when they arise.

Through tools such as the App Store, Notarization, and Gatekeeper, Apple makes it harder for malicious agents to create and distribute Mac malware without clearly informing the Mac user of the risks associated with installation. applications that would circumvent these protections.

The next layer of defense is to ensure that if known malware manages to pass through the first layer of prevention, it will be identified and blocked, stopping its spread before further damage can occur. This includes both XProtect and MRT.

These protections can provide a good level of security for the traditional consumer user. But what about businesses?

Macs used at work normally have access to very critical and sensitive information, ranging from large volumes of personally identifiable customer information, to confidential business data, and even the source code of hundreds of thousands of applications that will be installed on millions of devices around the world. .

For these reasons, the security of Macs used at work must reach a new level of defense.

Companies not only need more powerful and specialized security tools, but also the ability to remotely validate, in real time, that all devices are protected with a centralized solution that would make this information readily available internally for internal reviews, security certifications and external audits.

How can IT managers and corporate CISOs secure their Macs?

Building on the secure foundation that Apple has built, there are a handful of additional technologies that can – and should – be deployed to achieve the appropriate level of security expected from enterprises while ensuring compliance (with reporting) . The first is a next-generation antivirus.

Apple-specific next-generation antivirus

Plain and simple: All Macs used for business purposes should be running next-generation antivirus software.

Although built-in tools such as XProtect offer protection against some well-known malware, the majority of attacks targeting businesses today exploit new or updated malware. A good part of them being completely unknown before being identified within the framework of a security incident.

Next-generation antivirus solutions go beyond known file-based malware signatures and are ready to effectively identify malware and unknown threats by leveraging sophisticated engines based on artificial intelligence and machine learning to run a predictive analysis.

But not all next-gen antiviruses will be effective on Macs. macOS is materially different from Windows, as are the threats and methods used by malicious agents. Solutions that “also works on Mac” normally adapt their original Windows solution to Macs by looking for commonalities between the two. This allows vendors to also generate additional revenue from Macs by exploring their market recognition as being effective in protecting Windows.

However, in several cases, these solutions don’t add much to what macOS already does when it comes to malware prevention.

So, when selecting a next-gen antivirus solution for Mac, IT or security teams should ask themselves a simple question: is this vendor specialized in Macs and is the solution provided specifically designed to protect Macs? If the answer is no, they should look for another solution provided by an Apple-specific security vendor.

hardening and compliance macOS

A macOS Hardening & Compliance solution can provide a comprehensive repository of security controls to help you better protect your macOS fleet, including remote and hybrid work environments where there are no corporate-level firewalls. incoming network connection.

A macOS hardening and compliance solution lets you integrate your existing security controls into the deployment process, so you can deploy a secure and compliant macOS environment in minutes, then easily repeat it across your entire park as new machines are introduced.

Hardening must be accompanied by means to report and maintain regulatory compliance. When considering the tools your business will use, look for these features:

  • Library of preconfigured security configurations
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Mapping for CIS, NIST, SOC2 and PCI
  • Specialized options for each supported macOS version
  • Compliance Status Report
  • Automatic remediation of non-compliant devices
  • Easy creation of custom compliance rules

Privilege management

In today’s complex IT environment, organizations need to take a new approach to managing their macOS privileged access. Attackers look for ways to spread malware after exploiting a vulnerability and persistence is one of the first things they try.

It is therefore important that your company has measures in place to disable the option to allow all users to run as an administrator 24/7.

There needs to be a solution that only grants admin level privileges when needed. An on-demand admin tool is an automated solution that eliminates the tedious process of managing and securing privileged accounts.

Employees can be given administrator privileges for a particular task and time period. Once the employee completes the task and no longer needs privileged access, they are immediately removed from admin-level permissions and a detailed log is generated for IT to use in analysis.

Adopting this approach allows IT teams to focus on what really matters, saving money and boosting the company’s security profile.

Online Security

Online protection in a remote environment can be difficult.

As the number of malware distribution websites, phishing attacks, spam, and online user tracking increases exponentially, the new hybrid work environment has eliminated the traditional enterprise network layer used in the past to create some protection against these threats.

For this reason, a specialized Mac-based solution for online security and privacy has become a must-have for any business using Macs at work. A specialized Mac solution for online security and privacy will apply online threat controls and protection directly to every Mac.

As a result, employees will be protected wherever they work, whether at home, in airports, hotels and cafes.

Finally, methods to ensure privacy should be another requirement for advanced online security, as no company wants to give hotels, cafes, or even ISPs access to all of their employees’ online activities. Methods such as encrypted DNS provide strong protection and are readily available through the best specialized Mac solutions for online security and privacy.

One solution to solve all your macOS security needs

Based on the different solutions outlined above, businesses can expect to need several different vendors to achieve the desired level of security for their Macs. While this may seem like a viable option, in reality it’s not ideal.

The good news is that there are better options for protecting Macs used at work.

Software vendors who focus on solutions for managing and protecting Apple devices used at work can use their in-depth knowledge of Apple’s operating systems and specialization to integrate all the functionality needed to manage and protect Apple devices used at work through a single Apple platform.

This approach is known as the Apple Unified Platform.

Mosyle, a leader in modern Apple terminal solutions is the benchmark on Apple Unified Platform with its product called Mosyle Fuse.

Mosyle Fuse integrates comprehensive and automated Apple device management, Mac-specific next-generation antivirus, Mac-specific hardening and compliance, Mac-specific privilege management, Mac identity management, application management and Apple-specific fixes with a full library of automated apps not available on the App Store and an encrypted online privacy and security solution.

By unifying all solutions on a single platform, Mosyle not only simplifies the management and protection of Apple devices used at work, but Mosyle Fuse also achieves a level of efficiency and integration not possible with independent solutions.

Finally, the cost advantages of a unified Apple platform such as Mosyle Fuse are also significant. Considering the average cost of each individual solution that should be part of the Mac computing software stack, we estimate that by adopting a unified Apple platform, businesses can generate savings of over 70%. Even for small fleets, this is a relevant amount.

So if you have Macs used by employees at work, you should try a unified Apple solution, such as Mosyle Fuse, as they can bring incredible benefits to you and your business.


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Why Endpoint Security on Mac used at work goes beyond traditional antivirus


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